By Kelly Morrison
The Republican National Convention held in Cleveland, Ohio was contentious, raucous and volatile as Republican leadership attempted to rally delegates under one controversial, non-politician candidate: Donald J. Trump.
As of this week, Donald Trump dropped the “presumptive” and became the Republican nominee for President of the United States, shocking those of us who considered him the joke candidate less than a year ago. As the Republican nominee, Trump faces an unusual problem: a fragmented party, a portion of which are firmly and loudly against his run for president. The message of dissent and disruption does not bode well for the Republican party, revealing an opportunity for Democrats to gather up the unhappy anti-Trump votes and make a mad dash for the White House come November.
Perhaps through a moment of brilliance, the Republican party realized that the only way to unite the divided party was through the age-defying phrase: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
While the roll call vote exemplified the unhappiness of certain delegates about Trump’s nomination, the Republican convention could all agree that no one wanted Hillary Clinton as POTUS. The speakers, crowd and candidate screamed for the damnation of Clinton 2016 and found a topic they could finally unite on.
Now more than ever, the conservative party is facing contradictions. Trump’s role in the Republican party is already questionable due to his unsure and unclear standing on issues while he managed to burn bridges with several prominent Republicans (notably absent from the Convention: former President Bush(es), Mitt Romney, and John McCain to name a few).
In an attempt to win Trump votes, mixed messages rang out. Peter Thiel, a technology billionaire, stated that he was “proud to be gay” –the first speaker in party’s history to do so. Thiel enthusiastically encouraged voters to turn to Trump. Ivanka Trump introduced her father on Thursday, championing his movements towards women’s equality. She described The Donald as a man different from the one in the public eye, one that pays women equally and hires just as many women executives as men.
The mixed messages come at a time when Trump can no longer be the loud, boisterous candidate that grabs attention, but a candidate that will represent the Republican party – one who hasn’t seen the White House in eight long years.
The theme of the RNC was evident: Destroy Hillary Clinton, secure the White House. The convention participants abandoned the less important platform ideologies, such as “education,” “unemployment” or “women’s rights.” The conservative right’s platform in 2016 is crystal-clear: whatever doesn’t get a Democrat elected in the fall.
Speakers included the family members of a fallen police officer and soldier who died in Benghazi, both women directly blamed Clinton for their deaths. Clinton was accused of covering up sexual misconduct by President Bill Clinton, and linked to Lucifer by Dr. Ben Carson, who finally woke up. Hillary Clinton was accused of treason and “should be put on the firing line and shot.” Crowds chanted “lock her up” in reference to the email scandal and prompted by one of Trump’s advisers. She was famously “put on trial” by Chris Christie while the crowd shouted guilty—the RNC appeared to be a flashback to the Salem Witch Trials and exactly what Trump needed.
While each day had a devoted theme titled in a play on words for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” (“Make America First Again,” “Make America Safe Again,” etc.) topics such as jobs and economy were skimmed over as speakers berated Clinton to the cheering and bloodthirsty crowd.
It’s commonplace for National Conventions to boost their party’s candidate and degrade the opposing nominee. However, the RNC focused on destroying Hillary Clinton from all angles. Perhaps an attempt to unite the disruptive and divided party, perhaps to distract from the lack of an actionable Republican plan. Perhaps it was easier to highlight the flaws of a politician’s long career rather than focus on the fact that Trump has never held political office.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, the Democratic National Convention will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania tonight. Clinton’s responded to Trump’s nomination and acceptance speech in a tweet: “we can’t let him become president.”
DNC Outlook: less violence, defamation and division. The United States can expect Mrs. Hillary Clinton to be nominated as the first female candidate for President and Tim Kaine to have a far more active role in the campaign than Trump’s Mike Pence.
Kelly was born and raised in Virginia, where she currently lives with her rescued pup, Anna and fiance. She loves frozen Hershey bars, Netflix, running, and playing with new technology. Her best friend is her over-sized giraffe stuffed animal and her sass, which never leaves her side.