Night 1 of the Republican National Convention

It was a good first night at the Republican National Convention.  Republicans highlighted Trump’s record, contrasted it with Biden’s, and pushed back at charges of racism.

The major themes of the night were:

  1.  Highlight the successes, particularly the economic and foreign policy successes of the Trump administration, prior to the Coronavirus.
  2. Answer charges that President Trump is racist and to reach out to blacks.
  3. Answer charges that President Trump has somehow failed in his response to the Coronavirus.
  4. Highlight the current plight of America, with our Democrat-led cities on fire, and the dangers of the nostrums the left would apply.

Overall, it was a very well organized and choreographed night — a “strong start” according to NRO’s Jim Geraghty.  There were some memorable moments and only one true mistake.  Someone apparently told Kimberly Guilfoile that the audio was down, so she needed to scream her speech in order for the people of California to hear it.  That bit was bizarre.  Regardless, the four standout speakers were Sen. Tim Scott, Donald Trump Jr., Maximo Alvarez, and former Governor of S.C., Nikki Haley,

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)

SC Senator Tim Scott, was named the keynote speaker for a reason.  One, he delivered perhaps the most memorable line of the evening.  Referring to his family history, Scott explained that “Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime.”Scott’s mission was to highlight what Republicans have done for blacks, particularly under Donald Trump, and how the left has not only failed them, but is using them.  He succeeded:

He contrasted this opportunity with the Left’s increasingly negative view of America, and he highlighted Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s tremendous weaknesses with the black community.

“Joe Biden said if a black man didn’t vote for him, he wasn’t truly black,” Scott noted. “Joe Biden said black people are a monolithic community. It was Joe Biden who said, ‘Poor kids can be just as smart as white kids.’”

Yet Scott didn’t just slam Biden’s words. He also noted the former vice president’s actions.

“In 1994, Biden led the charge on a crime bill that put millions of black Americans behind bars,” he explained. “President Trump’s criminal-justice reform law fixed many of the disparities Biden created and made our system more fair and just for all Americans.”

While Biden criticized Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), “Trump signed into law historically high funding for HBCUs.”

“Make no mistake: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want a cultural revolution. A fundamentally different America. If we let them, they will turn our country into a socialist utopia, and history has taught us that path only leads to pain and misery, especially for hard-working people hoping to rise,” the senator declared.

Several of the other speakers also addressed the race issue, most notably Hershel Walker and Vernon Jones.  Walker is a famous black sports figure out of Georgia.  He spoke to his 37-year friendship with Donald Trump and that Trump is not a racist.  Vernon Jones is a Democrat Georgia State Representative who supports Donald Trump because Trump, unlike Democrats in general and Joe Biden in particular, has delivered for black people.

Donald Trump Jr.

Jr. spoke to the cultural, law and order, and economic issues at stake in the 2020 election.  The Democrats spent their convention last week studiously ignoring that America’s major cities are on fire, courtesy of BLM, Antifa, and progressive politicians.  Jr. highlighted it all.  As he framed the election, it’s a choice between ” church, work, and school versus rioting, looting, and vandalism.”  As Fox News stated:

President Trump’s oldest son praised his father as “the man who represents a bright and beautiful future for all” and tore into Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as the “Loch Ness Monster of the Swamp” during the opening night of the Republican National Convention.

“Joe Biden and the radical left are also now coming for our freedom of speech and want to bully us into submission.  If they get their way, it will no longer be the ‘silent majority, it will be the ‘silenced majority,’” he warned.

Coming off a week during which Democrats used their quadrennial confab to hammer the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and warn that another four years of Trump in the White House would threaten the nation’s democratic foundations, the president’s son and other speakers returned fire, railing against socialism, cancel culture, and warning of chaos if Biden is elected.

Maximo Alvarez:

Alvarez were perhaps the most interesting speaker of the night. Alvarez fled the communist regime of Cuba’s Fidel Castro, so when he spoke to the dangers of socialism and the programs of the progressive left, he spoke from personal knowledge. As Alvarez said of the progressives, “I’ve seen movements like this before. I’ve seen ideas like this before and I’m here to tell you, we cannot let them take over our country.” This from the Federalist:

Throughout the seven-minute speech delivered on the first night of the Republican National Convention, Alvarez shared his family’s story fleeing the oppressive regime just 100 miles off Florida’s coast.

“I’ve heard the promises of Fidel Castro, and I cannot forget those who grew up around me, who looked like me, who suffered, and starved, and died because they believed those empty promises. They swallowed the communist poison pill,” he said.

“By the grace of God, I lived the American dream, the greatest blessing I ever had,” said Alvarez, who now serves as the president of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors. “My dad, who only had a 6th grade education told me, ‘Don’t leave this place. You will never be as lucky as me … There is no place to hide.’”

Alvarez’s address come as the Democrats put forward the most radical pair of presidential candidates in decades who have pledged $10 trillion in programs that would lead the American people on a path of dependency with government health care, free higher education and “environmental justice.”

“They sound radical to my ears,” Alvarez said. “They sound familiar.”

Nikki Haley

Former Gov. of S.C. and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley gave a full-throated endorsement of President Trump’s foreign policy, This from the NY Post:

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley touted President Trump as the man to lead America on the international stage — while claiming that challenger Joe Biden would pal around with China while sowing “socialism” at home.

“The UN is not for the faint of heart,” she said. “It’s a place where dictators, murderers and thieves denounce America and then put their hands out and demand that we pay their bills.

“Well, President Trump put an end to all of that. With his leadership, we did what Barack Obama and Joe Biden refused to do. We stood up for America.”

Haley cited as example the Trump administration’s crackdowns on North Korea and Iran, and strengthening of ties with Israel.

She cast Biden as the polar opposite. . . .

Interestingly enough, Gov. Haley’s speech seemed to have the bones of a future stump speech.  Haley, 2024?  Well, I guess its never too soon to get started.