Since I previously commented on the Democratic National Convention, in the interest of equal time, I will focus on the Republican National Convention, akas the Trump Family Hour. I have little doubt that those Trumpians who last week trashed the DNC will gush lavish praise on the Republican convention. To paraphrase CNN commentator Van Jones, if you are Trump supporter you wanted to throw things at the TV watching the DNC, and the reverse if you are a Biden supporter. The feelings are totally different when it is your own party’s convention.
There were so many Trumps speaking at important parts of the convention that it appeared at time to be the Trump family hour and not the Republican National Convention. I only watched the entire president’s acceptance speech and Melania’s speech, but saw the highlights (or lowlights, depending on your view). The “nasty boys” Donald Jr. and Eric lived up to their reputations; they made their father proud. Maryanne Trump Barry, the president’s sister, and Mary Trump, the president’s niece, who probably would have been the most interesting Trumps, were not invited. I cannot imagine why.
Melania gave a traditional first lady’s speech. She set the right tone. Vice President Pence also gave a traditional vice president’s speech, which I also saw, attacking the president’s opponents and mentioning the administration’s accomplishments. He did it in 20 minutes. The president went over the same items as the vice president, except he did it in an hour and ten minutes. I expected during the speech to get excited about Trump’s false and misleading statements. He did put some in the speech, but after saying the same thing three and four times I lost interest. Teleprompter Trump is boring. Donald’s Trump, Jr.’s girlfriend’s speech made Howard Beale’s speech in the movie Network seem chilled.
I am not a huge fan of politicians bringing G-d and religion into politics. However, I can be more accepting when it is coming from a person who sincerely believes in what he is saying and acts accordingly. Hearing the President talk about faith, G-d, and religion is like hearing Becki Falwell talk about monogamy. The president spent a lot of time talking about law and order, which as I mentioned in a previous article, was Nixon’s mantra. Nixon had the advantage of being the challenger. Trump, as president, is stuck with the argument that violence is out of control while I am president, but it will get really out of control if Biden is president. The most ironic graphic was the one to text a number for a mail-in ballot that was put up before Senator Tom Cotton was going to start his speech. Trump has railed against mail-in voting.
Although this may be interesting to those who are into conventions, most Americans did not watch both conventions and probably will forget what was said. However, there are immediate effects of what occurred. For example, there was no social distancing or wearing of masks at various events, including Trump’s acceptance speech.
Moreover, it may set the standard for future conventions. The Democratic convention did not violate any laws. The self-proclaimed law and order president, or members of his administration, repeatedly violated the law - or the spirit of the law - before, during, and after the gathering.
There were repeated violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity under various circumstances. Likewise, the President called the White House, “the people’s house” for a few campaign events. They also used a national park and monument for the Vice-President to give his political speech, and the Washington Monument for fireworks that read “Trump 2020.” Trump did not tell the newly-admitted citizens or New York City residents that they were going to be props for a campaign event.
One of the speakers had her drug sentence commuted. She then spoke at the convention on Trump’s behalf, and post-convention was given a pardon by the President. This is an abuse of the pardon power and looked like nothing more than a quid pro quo.
Also, Trump had pushed the head of the FDA to misstate the significance of using blood plasma, including its effects. This was to give Trump a boost at the convention. After pushback by the experts, the head of the FDA ended up apologizing. In Trump’s world, you can never admit any mistakes. Thus, two public relations people who pushed for a clarification were fired.
Similarly, the CDC quietly changed the guidelines about when people should be tested, which is consistent with the President’s approach to limiting testing so that the number of confirmed cases would go down. This also resulted in a negative reaction from the experts outside of the government. The sleaziness of this approach is that the meeting to discuss the change occurred while Dr. Fauci was having minor surgery.
The conventions may be over, but the President, as he has done in many areas, has gone against tradition and laws with no consequence. This does not bode well for the future.