On Monday, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told us to expect “an aspirational and uplifting tone from the greatest messenger for our party and the star of this convention: the president himself.” What we got was anything but.
Before the convention, McDaniel wrote on FoxNews.com:
Since day one, the president has celebrated this country while all Democrats have done is decry it.
Expect an aspirational and uplifting tone from the greatest messenger for our party and the star of this convention: the president himself.
President Trump will appear nightly to present his optimistic vision for the next four years.
This was the opening of Trump’s speech after being formally nominated, and a chant of “four more years”:
TRUMP: Now if you want to really drive them crazy, you say 12 more years.
Because we caught them doing some really bad things in 2016. Let’s see what happens. We caught them doing some really bad things. We have to be very careful because they’re trying it again with this whole 80 million mail-in ballots that they’re working on, sending them out to people that didn’t ask for them, they didn’t ask, they just get them and it’s not fair and it’s not right and it’s not going to be possible to tabulate in my opinion. It’s just my opinion.
We have to be very, very careful, and you have to watch. Every one of you, you have to watch. Because bad things happened last time with the spying on our campaign and that goes to Biden and that goes to Obama and we have to be very, very careful. Have to be very, very careful, and this time they’re trying to do it with the whole post office scam. They’ll blame it on the post office. You can see them setting it up. Be very careful and watch it very carefully. Because we have to win. This is the most important election in the history of our country. This is the most … For a long period of time, I would say, “Well 2016, how special was that evening? Was that one of the great …” That was one of the great evenings but we have to be very, very careful and we have to win.
Feeling uplifted yet? No? How about Trump’s following remarks:
TRUMP: Our country is counting on it. This is the biggest, this is it. Our country can go in a horrible, horrible direction or in an even greater direction and before the plague came in from China, that’s where we were going. We were going in a direction like we had never seen. The most successful economy in the history of our country, the best unemployment numbers in history for African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, women, college students, bad students, good students, everybody. If you had a diploma, if you didn’t have a diploma, didn’t matter, you were doing well. Everybody was doing well and we were actually coming together.
You know success brings people together, maybe better than anything else. Success brings people, so many times they say we’re divided. Well we were very divided under President Obama, very divided. People have no idea how divided. They didn’t talk about it as much, they didn’t say it as much, but we were really coming together and I was speaking with Democrats all of a sudden because the success, the markets were at an all-time high and by the way, take a look at what’s happening with the markets. Take a look at your 401(k)s which you probably do every hour. Take a look at your stocks. We’re very close to breaking the record and NASDAQ has already done it. You know NASDAQ has broken the record I think 16 times already during a pandemic. Hopefully we’ll call it the final phase of the pandemic.
Apparently, the Optimist in Chief doesn’t realize that unemployed people, going to food banks and not receiving the unemployment assistance he and his party kiboshed, might not have a stock portfolio to rejoice over.
The New York Times has more of the “uplift”:
[Trump and his party] laid out a dystopian picture of what the United States would look like under a Biden administration, warning of a “vengeful mob” that would lay waste to suburban communities and turn quiet neighborhoods into war zones.
Though several Trump advisers had promised an upbeat convention, the evening program was bleak from the early stages, as a sequence of Trump supporters spoke in Washington, D.C., from a dais in Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, a formal, a wood-paneled event space with towering pillars that gave the event something of the atmosphere of a memorial service.
In that setting, Charlie Kirk, a right-wing youth activist, warned of the advance of “bitter, vengeful, deceitful activists,” while Rebecca Friedrichs, a school-choice activist from California, claimed that teachers’ unions had “morphed our schools into war zones.”
And not even an event touting his administration’s release of hostages could prevent Trump from slobbering over an authoritarian:
At the start of the convention’s second hour, Mr. Trump appeared in a video with several people who were held as hostages or prisoners overseas until his administration negotiated their release, and who praised the efforts of his team. Mr. Trump spoke briefly with them in turn, generating at least one dissonant moment in which he told Andrew Brunson, a pastor who was jailed in Turkey, that the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had been “very good” to deal with.
I could only stand to watch about 15 minutes of the convention before having to leave the room. But feel free to use this as an open thread for any or all of your own observations about the 2020 RNC.
(Trump image via screen grab)