When the Republicans said they would be featuring “average” people during their convention, last night was not what I pictured.


First published in August 2020.


In one (videotaped?) segment, we saw the President standing in the middle of about six “average” folks. Why they were standing, I don’t know. Sitting would seem to be more intimate. And why the President didn’t ask them their names, I don’t know either.

First night of the 2020 Republican National Convention. / PBS

In any event, I know everyone doesn’t dislike Trump, but these were front-line workers, nurses, postal workers. A doctor appeared and said that the President was fabulous because he provided the health caregivers with the equipment and protective equipment they need.

The President says he had to step in because the governors weren’t doing their jobs. (I think he must mean only the Democratic governors since he clearly believes there is a difference between “Democrat-led” and “Republican-led” states.)

But I seem to recall governors from both parties begging the federal government to step in to secure personal protective equipment and ventilators and I seem to recall the President at the time saying the federal government “is not a shipping clerk.” Or words to that effect.

Actually those were the exact words he used.

You have to be a true-blue Trump person to believe these “average” folks. But there they were. Why shouldn’t they be believed? I don’t know, but something tells me there was something fishy going on. Why didn’t he ask them their names or where they were from? They certainly looked like the person next door. I know, I’m sounding like a conspiracy theorist … but ya gotta wonder.

First night of the 2020 Republican National Convention. / PBS

I don’t wonder about the “average” couple that pointed guns at peaceful protestors in front of their home, though. The peaceful protestors were doing nothing but…protesting peacefully. They were on their way to the mayor’s house down the street and this man and his wife pointed guns at them, saying they had to protect their property.

No one was threatening their property. So it came as no surprise that they spoke at the Republican Convention to point out erroneously that the Democrats will take your guns and MS13 will be moving in next door if you elect Joe Biden.

I read that the rabbi of the synagogue that abuts the couple’s property called the couple “bullies.” Among their offenses, she said, they destroyed bee hives children of the synagogue had and the hives were on the couple’s property by six feet. They didn’t call the rabbi first, they just destroyed the hives.

First night of the 2020 Republican National Convention. / PBS

No one at the convention mentioned anything about how the Administration struggled to get their hands around the coronavirus. But I didn’t expect that – this indeed was convention to nominate Donald J. Trump to a second term.

I get that Republican political figures are supportive of Trump. I mean, I don’t really get it but I do understand it. Going against him means likely losing your job. It would be heartening to know, I know, that some elected or appointed official would be willing to give up his or her job because the President is a clear and present danger, but I get why they swallow that and support him. I just don’t agree or like it.

Like Nikki Haley who wants to run for President. Or Senator Tim Scott of North Carolina, who has opposed the President on occasion. But there he was speaking in support at the convention.

I must admit, I did not watch the “prime time” hour of the convention. (Prime time at 10 o’clock is pretty much past bed time for me.) I was going to watch it but I was watching the first part of the convention which was broadcast on CSPAN.

The last speaker of that segment was Kimberly Guilfoyle. I mean SHOUTER. She was SHOUTING as many people do when they speak at political conventions with thousands of the faithful cheering so much you almost have to yell. But she was speaking to an empty hall. The SHOUTING was… well, I don’t know how to describe it. Off-putting to say the least.

Then again I’m told her boyfriend, Donald J. Trump Jr., followed her and it made him sound reasonable.

I’m a political junkie, well not a junkie but I follow it pretty closely. I’ve been to several GOP conventions both as staff, as an “official observer” and as a consultant who led a client around the convention to introduce him to folks. (It was The Rock of WWE fame. WWE was a client of mine when I was a dreaded Washington consultant.)

I must admit, though, that I really couldn’t watch last night’s installment, never knowing when the President might pop in awkwardly “interviewing” the common man and woman. I seem to recall also, it was just last week, the President ragging on the Democrats who mostly had videotaped segments and they weren’t live. A lot of taped presentations last night though.

I think, too, that, so far, the pandemic version of conventions was far better produced by the Democrats last week. Just sayin’. That isn’t a partisan statement, it’s a professional opinion on the product of each convention.

I will try to watch again tonight. I am curious about how Trump makes his nightly appearances, breaking a long tradition of both parties of how the nominee stays out of the limelight until he’s nominated (which he was yesterday) and when he or she speaks to end the convention.

Melania Trump, the first lady, speaks tonight and I read that convention planners and Trump’s campaign are hoping she will come across well to female suburban voters, where the President faces a deficit. I guess because she’s a woman they think that. I’m not a suburban woman but I fail to see how a former model, married to an (alleged) multi-billionaire and carrying and wearing very expensive designer products is relatable to that woman.

Then again, what is a suburban female? It used to mean white women of a certain level of success. But the suburbs (or how pollsters define suburbs) have changed. The 2010 census found that roughly equal shares of suburban and city dwellers in the U.S.’s 50 biggest metro areas had college degrees or higher. Also, today, 35 percent of suburb dwellers are minorities.

There is a pandemic, and while, as the President likes to point out, Wall Street is booming, at the moment, and he’s “created” millions of jobs in the last couple of months (rather than admitting that these are jobs that reappeared after state economies slowly opened up. That is not what “creating a job” means.) Wall Street is not an economic indicator. Ask any economist. It rises when it should fall and falls when it should rise. There is little rhyme or reason.

But then, conventions, for all political parties, are fantasy land.

Wait a minute, isn’t this presidency a fantasy land based on a reality show?🔷


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[This piece was originally published in The Screaming Moderate and re-published in PMP Magazine on 25 August 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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