This past week, thousands of devoted Conservatives come down to Cleveland, Ohio, and participate in the 2016 Republican National Convention. A convention like no other, it was a rather interesting week, and for a poli-geek it was a great week. Here's just a quick recap of what went down.
Monday- Melania Trump
She made a wonderful speech. Well, actually she just restated Michelle Obama's speech, but that is neither here nor there. The point is that this speech did exactly what it was intended. To humanize Trump, show a new softer, kinder side of Donald. That was the goal of this opening night speech, and in many regards it did that. While it did not sway me over at all, and many references are just plain wrong, we did see a pretty well delivered speech.
Tuesday- Gov. Christie, and more family
It was another great night of speeches. Well to a degree. Let's start with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He decided to turn the republican convention into a jury, and have a court session, without the defendant even being present, or any defense for that matter.
Clearly, Christie is still upset about being overlooked for that VP position. He was the first to end his campaign and endorse Trump. The only rationale from onlookers was that he really wanted to be VP, well we know that Trump chose a much more boring person as his running mate, but maybe there is still an opportunity for a senior position in a Trump cabinet. We have to question his speech greatly, however it fed exactly what the people want. Well... what the Trump supporters want.
But of course, it wouldn't be a day without the Trump family making an appearance. Donald Trump Jr. made an appearance, as did the much lesser known Tiffany Trump. Both speeches were filler, that served actually no real purpose in my opinion. But it was only day 2. Donald Trump was officially the Republican nominee, and things were going great, or so we thought.
Wednesday- Ted Cruz, and VP nominee Mike Pence
Things were going well, or so we thought. The party was unifying around the Trump candidacy, but wait. Not so fast.
Ted Cruz, did not endorse Trump in his speech. He made his typical, passionate speech focused on his right-wing rhetoric, protecting the constitution, and listing off all the possible enemies of the Republican party. But his most important line of the night, was his "vote your conscious" line. Many, including myself, took this as a direct attack on the Trump candidacy, and effectively calling for a real conservative alternative.
"Vote Your Conscious!" ~ Ted Cruz
However, that was not the only speech of the night. There was the possibility of a saving grace. That did not happen. Mike Pence, the Vice-President nominee of the Republican party, made his acceptance speech this night. A speech with a lot of hype, that did not exactly deliver it. It was a good speech, I enjoyed listening to it, however it did not provide any forward momentum for the campaign. He was able to semi-introduce himself to the American people, but that wasn't even fully delivered. It was a sub-par speech, by a sub-par candidate. However, that was actually fine, but it did not deliver what was necessary. A winning speech by Pence would have been able to mask this Ted Cruz fiasco, but it didn't happen, and instead voting your conscious was the message from Wednesday night.
It was finally the day! The day where the man himself was to speak. This was a crucial speech. Done correctly, and he has a real possibility of winning the White House, failing at it though would result in Clinton returning to that house. But before we heard from Donald, we got to hear from his daughter Ivanka.
Wait. I thought this was a republican conference. Equal pay for equal work. Umm... I think we have a Democrat on our hands. It is without a doubt, that Ivanka is definitely more progressive than her father is. In fact, she would probably feel right at home in the Clinton campaign, however this whole family loyalty thing gets in the way of that. I think we heard from a future Democratic nominee Thursday night. The goal for her, was to soften her fathers image, and to make him more appealing to centrist and left-leaning independents. It was a really good speech in my opinion, in fact, I would rather her be president than her father. However that is not the case and we have to judge each candidate on their merits. So after a liberal speech by Ivanka, any progress that was made with her speech was quickly erased by Donald.
This was a typical Trump speech. What else could we expect? There was almost no new policy announced, and very little policy in general anyways. He did attempt to make inroads into some new groups, however it was not enough to sway any significant portion of people. It was a propaganda speech, designed to be embraced by one group, and those are the Trump supporters. This cemented their loyal support for him, however it would have also made some people start considering him. Trump is playing on people's fears. (Don't get me wrong, Hillary is too, but let's focus on Trump for now). That can and will be effective. When people are scared they will go to the person who they feel will keep them safe. His message resonates with a group of people, and that is dangerous. His speech was nothing more, and nothing less than what was expected. This does not win him the presidency, however he is still very much in the competition.
We must face reality and realize that Trump could win the presidency. We are seeing a close race between the two main nominees, with rising trends for the other parties. This is a race like no other. No one expected this. However this is the reality that we are in. It's a scary one, but it is 2016. Regardless that is a quick summary of the Republican National Convention. Its now Trumps party.