The final curtain has fallen on the 2016 Republican National Convention and what a show it was. The night ended with Donald Trump officially accepting the nomination and giving his best impression of a presidential speech. And it went on forever. I’ll formally apologize to Mike Pence now for saying his went too long. But the night was full of interesting events so let’s get to them.
Joe Arpaio set the anti-immigration tone for the night. A theme that Trump constantly went back to during his speech. Arpaio’s speech was nothing more than a 10-minute rant about how dangerous it is to live along the border and that Donald Trump is going to fix all of our problems by building a magical wall.
The most shocking moment of the night was when Peter Thiel, the billionaire Silicon Valley inventor of PayPal, came out and said that he was gay and proud of it. He said not only was he proud to be gay, but he was proud to be a Republican and even more proud to be an American. He talked about the argument over bathrooms was nothing more than a distraction. Surprisingly, he actually got a lot of cheers. I must admit I never thought I would see that at the RNC.
Next up was Ivanka Trump. I joked with Alabama Liberal’s Brody a few days ago that Ivanka would be saved for last and would introduce Donald since he’s so obsessed with her and that’s exactly what happened. However, Ivanka delivered an outstanding and uplifting speech. I was thoroughly impressed and thought that a lot of her ideas were actually more aligned with the Democratic platform than the GOP’s, or even her dad’s for that matter. She’s welcome to come over to the good side. We’ll take her despite her last name. Regardless, she did a masterful job. Donald should really take note.
Then it was finally time for Donald J. Trump. The man officially accepted the nomination and then decided he would spend an hour and 15 minutes talking about how bad America is. I mean really, he gave probably one of the darkest victory speeches ever. The Republican hero Ronald Reagan gave a speech about it being morning in America again. Trump’s speech was more like it’s midnight and the purge is taking place in America. I seriously still don’t understand this whole dystopian country where we are all on the brink of dying that he was describing. And the facts he used; was he just pulling random numbers out of his…you know.
On top of describing the bleakness of America right now, he spent an hour and 15 minutes and failed to lay out any plans for how he’s going to fix it. Everything’s going to be fixed by “making America first again!” Well okay, but what does that mean? What does that look like? He’s going to rip up Obamacare and replace it. Okay, with what? He’s renegotiating our trade deals to get America a better deal. Okay, what kind of things are we going to get in this better deal? What’s the target for improvement? He gave no policy specifics. The closest thing he got to talking about something specific was bringing back manufacturing jobs by passing massive tax cuts. So in essence, his only real plan is another Bush tax cut? That’s comforting.
Trump attempted to reach across the aisle to some disgruntled Democrats and independents by talking about going into black and Latino communities and making investments to give them more opportunities. However, he failed to even mention criminal justice reform, which is the single biggest hurdle they are facing. You can invest in better schools and other things but when half the men are being locked up, the future will still be pretty bleak. He also mentioned helping the LGBTQ community after the Orlando shooting, calling it unacceptable. When the crowd clapped he even went off script to commend them for cheering for it. He even mentioned Bernie Sanders and how he would take up Bernie’s biggest cause:
income inequality bad trade deals? But those moments were very few and far.
As a matter of fact, when he would mention something that may get some Democrats’ attention, he would follow it up by lambasting illegal immigrants and all the terrors they are causing in America. And if they aren’t causing enough terror, Hillary is. He managed to blame her for ISIS, for Libya’s uprising, the Egyptian revolution, Iran’s hatred of America, his poor excuse for hair, and most importantly for Benghazi. But to be fair, when the crowd started chanting to lock her up, he actually resisted the urge to join in. Instead he said “let’s beat her in November.” Kudos on that at least.
All-in-all it was a rather mediocre convention. There were plenty of dramatic moments, like the attempt at a roll call vote to free delegates to vote for whomever they wanted, or Ted Cruz getting booed off stage for refusing to endorse Trump. But at least no one came out talking to empty chairs. He’ll probably get a nice little bump from it. However, I can almost guarantee you Hillary Clinton will be out tomorrow morning trying to steal the media spotlight away. She’ll probably announce her V.P. pick in the morning to get the media focused on that leading into the Democratic National Convention.