Tag Archives: 2020 Republican National Convention
Perhaps the only thing more exciting than political drama is family drama. And blended families can provide some of the best (or worst) emotional drama. That became subtly apparent this week when First Daughter Ivanka Trump appeared at the Republican National Convention to introduce her father, the President. She and First Lady Melania Trump exchanged awkward smiles before the former took to the microphone. Afterwards, there came this glare from Melania as Ivanka spoke.
You know the old saying – if looks could kill!
While there were some patriotic highlights of President Donald Trump’s speech this week at the Republican National Convention, I found more hypocrisy, factual errors and blatantly hostile rhetoric. Below is his entire speech, followed by what I feel were some of the most egregious comments amidst the verbiage.
“In recent months, our nation and the entire planet has been struck by a new and powerful invisible enemy. Like those brave Americans before us, we are meeting this challenge. We are delivering life-saving therapies and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner.”
“Joe Biden is not a savior of America’s soul; he is the destroyer of America’s jobs, and if given the chance he will be the destroyer of American greatness. For 47 years, Joe Biden took the donations of blue-collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses and told them he felt their pain. And then he flew back to Washington and voted to ship our jobs to China and many other distant lands. Joe Biden spent his entire career outsourcing their dreams and the dreams of American workers, offshoring their jobs, opening their borders and sending their sons and daughters to fight in endless foreign wars, wars that never ended.”
“We have already built 300 miles of border wall, and we are adding 10 new miles every single week. The wall will soon be complete. And it is working beyond our wildest expectations.”
(It must be noted, while Congress has authorized some spending for the project, most of the money for wall construction has been redirected from the military at the president’s insistence. Also Trump’s former political strategist Steve Bannon participated in a private effort to raise money for a border wall. Last week, Bannon and three others were indicted on charges that they siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars each from the wall fund for their own personal use. Bannon has pleaded not guilty.)
“And I say very modestly that I have done more for the African-American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president.”
– President Donald Trump, during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention
“Before the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. unemployment rate was just 3.5% – as low as it had been in half a century. But economic growth fell short of what President Trump and his advisers promised. The economy grew 2.2% last year, roughly on par with the pace over the past decade. Growth briefly hit Trump’s 3% target in 2018, following passage of the Republican tax cut. But that now appears to have been a short-lived “sugar high.” While supporters of the tax cut said it would encourage more business investment and spark a decade of sustained 3% annual growth, business investment actually slumped for most of last year. That was partly a result of sagging global demand as well as uncertainty stemming from the president’s trade war.”
– Scott Horsley, NPR Chief Economics Correspondent, in response to Donald Trump’s claims about an improving economy during the President’s speech at the Republican National Convention
“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
Both the 2020 Democratic and Republican National Conventions have come to an end, and I couldn’t be happier. Last week former Vice-President Joe Biden accepted the Democrat’s nomination for president, while Sen. Kamala Harris accepted the vice-presidential role. And, over the last few days, incumbent President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence accepted their respective nominations from the GOP. Aside from watching these political love fests conclude, the only thing that excites me more about this entire process is that the demise of the 2020 presidential race is in sight. I feel even more disenfranchised than I did four years ago.
Okay, one other thing that truly excites me is the prospect that Donald Trump will be voted out of office in November. But I have to concede that I’m not too thrilled with the idea of a Biden presidency. Joe Biden was good as vice-president, but I feel less secure with him in the role of Chief Executive. I’m certain, though, he’ll be much better than Trump. Hell, a stray dog would be better than Trump!
In 2016 I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. A physician, Stein had been the Green Party’s candidate four years earlier. I knew Iceland would see 80-degree temperatures on Christmas Day before Stein would win the U.S. presidency. But I didn’t like either Trump or the Democratic choice of Hillary Clinton. Clinton supporters blamed people like me for Clinton’s loss in 2016. But we didn’t cause Hillary Clinton to lose the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton caused Hillary Clinton to lose the 2016 presidential election. Her and the Russians. As we now know, Russia essentially elected Trump; just like the U.S. Supreme Court elected George W. Bush in 2000. America’s role as the beacon of democracy seems to have been shredded over the past 20 years.
I just never liked Hillary Clinton. I loved Bill (Whose Your Daddy?) Clinton, but I never took a liking to Hillary. By 2016, she had acquired top much baggage; more baggage than a Samsonite warehouse or a Lufthansa flight fresh in from Berlin.
And I definitely didn’t like Trump. Donald Trump had been running for president for some 30 years by the time he made it official in 2015. The idea had arisen back in the 1980s, when his name and persona first became public, and much of the nation had grown enamored with the concept of rapid-fire wealth and public prestige. As AIDS and cocaine rampaged, many in the U.S. found the likes of Trump appealing. He survived the collapse of the financial industry related to the savings-and-loan crisis and the string of high-profile prosecutions that ensued. It seemed there was a price to pay for fiduciary recklessness. No one knew at the time, though, that Trump was actually a womanizing failed businessman and tax cheat. We know that well enough now. But he’s president. And, as another massive health crisis grips the nation and the world, we see how incompetent and ineffective Donald Trump really is.
I’m sure Joe Biden can do better. But I keep thinking Biden should have called it a political life after his vice-presidency ended in January of 2017. He should have retired to his estate in Delaware to consult on other political campaigns, give speeches and write books. He’d served his time in office; he’d done his duty.
For the Democratic Party, the 2020 presidential campaign had started with high promises and an extraordinarily bright future. The field of candidates was the most diverse that had ever existed among any political party. But, by March, we’d ended up with two old White guys: Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Kind of like the Republican Party. And I say this with all due respect to old White men. I mean, I’m a mostly White man myself – in the golden days of middle age. And, as I’ve declared before, White men aren’t the nexus of evil in America they’re often portrayed to be. But I personally had hoped Sen. Elizabeth Warren would be the Democrats’ choice. I would definitely be more excited with her at the head of the ticket.
As usual, there has been no real mention of either the Green or Libertarian Parties. They’ve essentially been locked out of the convention hall – again. And Americans are overwhelmed by the demagoguery of the Democratic and Republican Parties – again. Indeed, the U.S. is becoming less and less like a democracy and more like an oligarchy. Does my vote – or the vote of any individual – truly count? Throughout the year the U.S. has seen covert attempts by the Trump Administration to thwart the right to vote – one of the foundational pillars of any free society. That’s typical of social and political conservatives. While the Republican Party of the 19th century pushed for the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it was the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that propelled many conservatives into the arms of the GOP. Recent efforts to enforce voter identifications, calls for limiting early voting days and ongoing battles to undermine mail-in voting prove that conservatives – the ones who will move Heaven and Earth to protect their sacred gun rights – will do anything possible to circumvent the voting process.
And here we are: stuck with two old men who represent more of America’s past than its future. I was enthralled with Bill Clinton and I liked Barack Obama. Yet, I just can’t bring myself to get excited with the current campaign.
My two biggest fears? If Trump is reelected, the nation will descend further into social chaos and economic madness. If Biden is elected, he may die in office, which will send the nation into equally unending chaos.
I know I will vote nonetheless. People have fought and died for this right – even within the past 100 years. There are literally millions of people across the globe who would relish the chance to choose between the lesser of two or three evils. The people of Belarus certainly wish they had that opportunity now. Amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic and a rash of voter suppression tactics, I will stand in line to select a candidate for the U.S. presidency. It’s my right and my obligation. Besides, I have nothing else to do two days before my 57th birthday.