By: ANDRES ARROYO
Well, it’s official. The 2020 Republican National Convention is officially in the history books. Four full nights of speakers from Republican representatives to the main speech of the President on the final night, for the Republicans to state why they are the better candidates in the 2020 election in November. And boy, it was… well, “sunshine and rainbows” during all four days of the Republican convention. Yeah, the quotes mean I am being sarcastic. Yeah, the Republican convention was absolutely NOTHING like the Democratic Convention. In fact, it was the exact opposite.
In my last article, I talked about how the GOP (Grand Old Party, known as the Republican Party) under Trump is evolving into an extreme-right wing party: becoming very closed minded, wanting to consolidate all the power, oppressive, appealing to only their base and the people they represent, and becoming so culturally conservative that it is racist and homphobic. This extremism, as well as the Republicans’ loyalty to Trump, definitely came out in this convention.
Anger, Fear, and Racism
The RNC had speakers from Representatives Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan, to Don Jr. and all of the Trump family. Each speaker gave the same anti-democrat rhetoric, it was just worded differently. Every speaker trashed and discredited Democrats and liberals, calling them “radicals”, “pro-abortionists”, and “anarchists” that will destroy the country. Don jr.’s girlfriend, and ex-wife of Governor Newsom (CA), who spoke on the first night of the convention, went as far to call out the state of California.
“The same socialist policies which destroyed places like Cuba and Venezuela must not take root in our cities and our schools. If you want to see the socialist Biden/Harris future for our country, just take a look at California. It is a place of immense wealth, immeasurable innovation, and immaculate environment, and the democrats turned it into a land of discarded heroin needles in parks, riots in streets, and blackouts in homes.”
- Kimberly Guilfoyle, RNC Night 1
Yeah, well, America is trying to look at California on google maps, but nobody can see us because there is fire and smoke everywhere because of climate change.
And the rhetoric from these speakers continued, and it began to become more fearful and racist. Representatives and speakers claimed that if Joe Biden and the Democrats get elected, they will “invite MS-13 to live next door”, and support the “Cancel Culture” movement. Some speakers called Covid-19 the “China VIrus”, blaming China for intentionally releasing this virus upon the world. Republican Convention speakers also tried to instoke fear by making the claim that the Democrats want to “abolish the police”, and “abolish American suburbs”.
Meanwhile, speakers from Republicans, to supporters, campaign sponsors, and Donald Trump’s own family praised him for the job he has done the last four years. Speakers argued that without Trump, America would fall into chaos, and that U.S. jobs would go to China. Speakers even called him America’s savior, and praised him like he was this deity that was sent by God to lead America.
“We may not have realized it at the time, but Donald Trump is the bodyguard of western civilization.”
- Charlie Kirk, RNC Night 1
The President, in his speech, doubled down on this rhetoric, and maybe even took it a step further. In his speech on the final day, he praised himself for doing as much for the black community as Abraham Lincoln, he claimed he brought more jobs than any other president, credited himself for proposing and legalizing Veterans Choice, appointing over 300 federal judges, and being hard on immigration. Meanwhile, he tried to discredit Joe Biden and instoke fear to not vote for him, claiming that Biden will take away our guns and 2nd amendment. The rhetoric throughout the GOP convention was INSANE, and the fact that most of these claims and accomplishments are not true, just makes it worse.
Fact Check: The Truth and Lies
Kimberly Guilfoyle called California “a land of discarded needles in parks”, that’s not true. You’ll find that there is way more good than bad in California, and that you’ll see bad if you go looking for it. Claims that Democrats want MS-13 to live next door in our neighborhoods is not true, that’s just racist rhetoric towards Latinos. Claims that Democrats and liberals support “cancel culture” are true, but they’re only seeking to remove Confederate statues that honor slave owners, and end systemic racism in the police, which for some reason Republicans are defending. Democrats don’t want to abolish the police, they want to reform the police nationwide so that police are better trained and so that unjust killings and uses of force don’t happen again. The claim Joe Biden and Democrats wanting to take away your 2nd amendment is an INSANE LIE. No Democrat has proposed that idea, because it will never happen. The 2nd amendment is constitutionally set.
Donald Trump claims to have done more than any other president for the black and latino communities is false. Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act. Johnson did ten times more than him, while Trump called neo-nazis in Charlottesville “Very fine people.”
He claimed to have appointed 300 federal judges. The number may or may not be accurate, but to give credit, it is true that he has appointed a lot of federal judges. That is because Senator Mitch McConnell blocked a lot of candidates that Obama proposed, leaving those spots open.
Trump takes credit for approving Veteran’s Choice; that was signed into law by the Obama administration in 2014, not by Trump.
It is true that the president pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The president falsely claimed that the Paris Climate Agreement was a disastrous deal, when it helps us fight climate change.
RNC speakers and Donald Trump claim that the coronavirus crisis is near its end, and they praise themselves for responding to the virus quickly. That is another huge lie. Trump and the Republicans downplayed the virus, ignoring Dr. Fauci and claiming that there were so many cases because of high testing rates. The Trump administration ignored CDC guidelines and recommendations, and even proposed that the CDC should slow testing down, believing that high testing rates were the reason the U.S. has the most cases and deaths. Now here we are at over 180,000 dead and God help us, we don’t know how high that number is going to go now.
Let me remind people that these were only just a handful of the lies, not all of them. Yet here’s the GOP, continuing to praise Trump, honoring him like a great king or deity that saved us; that without him, it would be the end of the United States. And despite the lies, supporters still have an unshakable faith in him.
Crime and Controversy
What really stood out the most was how some of the speakers, specifically members that work in Trump’s administration in the White House, and President Trump himself, committed illegal acts during the RNC.
The first illegal moment was the speech given by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. There has never been a Secretary of State that has participated in a political event. That’s because the Hatch Act states that no member of the State Department is allowed to participate in political events such as a National Convention. Therefore, Mike Pompeo broke the law by giving that speech. To make it really controversial, he also pre recorded the speech from Jerusalem, where there is a lot of diplomatic tension. News anchors ripped Pompeo for his participation in the Convention while being in a city that has a lot of political and diplomatic tension.
Officials in the white house defended Pompeo, arguing that he did the speech during his own “personal capacity”, but that was yet another false argument. He openly said that he was speaking from Jerusalem. He was supposed to be on an official trip to meet with Isreali diplomats. This would’ve been an immediate firing in most administrations. But in this administration… nothing. Not even a warning to not break the Hatch Act law again.
The other illegal and controversial incidences were with V.P. Mike Pence, the First Lady Melania Trump. And President Trump. On night 2 of the GOP convention, Trump was featured giving a full pardon to a man named Jon Ponder, and was shown a second time in a Naturalization ceremony, and then it ended with Melania’s speech from the Rose Garden. Nights 3 and 4 had Mike Pence speaking at Fort McHenry, and Trump’s final night speech on the south lawn in front of a crowd of 1,500. At the end of the convention, there was also a fireworks show.
Now don’t get me wrong, the pardon and naturalization for immigrants was great, and they seemed to deserve it, but using it for a campaign is another thing. The reason the pardon and naturalization ceremonies are not allowed to be used as props in a campaign is because our tax dollars pay for government processes such as the naturalization speech. So by having a pardon and naturalization in the Republican convention, our tax dollars were being used for a propaganda photo-op for a political party. We the people didn’t donate money for this one convention, or the Republican Party as a whole, nor did we have to. But on night two of the Republican Convention, we did. Not by choice, but by force through our taxes which we are by law required to pay.
We also pay through tax dollars to keep the White House, Fort McHenry, and other national monuments as they are historical artifacts of the nation. That means that when an event is being held at national monuments, we pay to make sure it is clean prior to and after the event. Second, these national monuments are not just government controlled property, but it is also the people’s land, and you can’t just hold a rally at these monuments. During the convention both Donald and Melania held a speech with an audience of 1,500. There was a stage built for Trump’s speech, boards in the background with “TRUMP 2020” displayed on them, and then he held a fireworks show on the final night at the Washington Monument, with the fireworks in the sky spelling “Trump 2020” as well. Trump, and the Republican Party, practically turned the White House into the ‘Trump Royal Palace’ for the four days of the convention. And because tex dollars pay to keep the White House maintained and well-kept, he used our tax money for propaganda against the people’s wills.
The second thing about the white house speeches was the fact that they had an audience of 1,500 people. None were socially distant, and none were wearing masks. Trump claimed that we beat Covid and said that we the people did it, and the crowd cheered for him. For a full hour, the crowd, the president, and the Republicans were living in a world that does not reflect reality. Meanwhile, sport events don’t have fans, college clubs can’t hold events, and the CDC is still recommending that we social distance and limit the size of crowds. Dr. Fauci also recommended this, and also warned that we are far from victory over Covid. It’s not something to totally rip the GOP for, but not following the science and CDC recommendation is something to point out.
Now it’s over, and the GOP has made its statement, and revealed its true colors. But are they red, white, and blue? Do they represent the nation as a whole, or was it red meat to the base? Will it gain Trump more support as we come closer to the election?
Comedians, talk show hosts, celebrities, and professional athletes, have criticised it for being divisive, and sparking racial tensions amid civil unrest that is continuing right now. News anchors have criticised it for being a fearful, angry, and racist rally, and a “red meat” convention that only was intended to appeal to the base, especially the extremist part of the base. Fact checkers viewed it as a pile of lies. And although polls have shown that the gap has closed between Trump and Biden by 2 percent, Biden still has the lead in the national polls by 7 percent. Therefore, the convention did not gain the Republicans more support that they needed as we near election day, and it was only red meat to the base. And saldy, their colors are not looking as red, white, and blue as they did during Lincoln’s presidency.
So after a convention that drew criticism and backlash, which direction will Republicans go now? We shall see after this election. But whichever direction they choose, it will set the basis and ideals of the party for the rest of the decade that is to come.