Writing and posting this, I very well know that this article may cause some controversy, and I look forward to any thoughts or questions anyone may have regarding what I have written here. In addition, I have sources and links cited for everything I present (something Melania Trump failed to do). The past few weeks I have read some of the thoughts my peers have expressed about the upcoming presidential election, but now it's my turn. Welcome to the first segment of a new series I will be doing on the election called, "You're All Wrong." Please enjoy (or don't) some of my thoughts on the RNC.
For those who don't know, the RNC is the Republican National Convention that just took place this past week in Cleveland, Ohio. Featuring prominent conservatives both in government and in pop culture, some of the RNC's speakers included Willie Robertson (from "Duck Dynasty"), Scott Baio (ChaChi from "Happy Days"), Chris Christie, Ivanka Trump, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz... you get the idea (source). But, boy, this year's RNC has been something even I, a far-left liberal, could've never expected. In no particular order, here are some of the events that actually happened.
1. Paul Ryan's Snow White selfie.
Taking place right before the start of the 2016 RNC, Paul Ryan posted a selfie of himself and some of the interns from Capitol Hill. As soon as it was posted on Instagram, people immediately noticed one striking detail: every single person in the photograph, except for one, is white. The Republican Party is already facing difficulties achieving diversity within the party, where out of 2,472 delegates, 18 are African American -- or less than 1 percent (source). This is especially controversial as the Republican Party seems to have a "fundamental misunderstanding" with the Black Lives Matter movement, where, for the most part, it's perceived -- and was addressed during the RNC -- as being "anti-white" and "anti-police," when the movement isn't at all (source). Race and diversity continue to be a weak point of the GOP.
2. "Make America Safe Again"?
Monday's theme of the RNC this year was "Make America Safe Again." The question that initially popped into my head was, safe for whom? As I just mentioned, the GOP continues to not understand the BLM matter and white privilege, when this summer alone there have been numerous shootings on innocent African Americans.
Another question: safe from whom? The overall crime rate in the United States has gone down since 2008, and that number includes violent crime, property crime, murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft and vehicle theft (source). But deaths due to gun violence are on the rise, to the point that about the same number of people yearly die from motor vehicle incidents (car accidents, collisions between cars and people) as they do from guns (homicides, suicides, accidental deaths): 10.3 people per 100,000 (source). So how does the GOP think they can really "Make America Safe Again"?
3. Representative Steve King questions the contributions of non-white "sub groups."
During a panel discussion on MSNBC, when speaking about race and the Republican Party's image of being that of "old, white people," Steve King questioned the contributions that non-white "sub groups" have made to civilization (source). I can't make this up. I guess the Representative from Iowa conveniently forgot all the achievements that have taken place in Asia, Africa, and the rest of the world. In ancient China alone, the world has received such staples like alcohol, the mechanical clock, tea, silk, porcelain, and many more (source). Frankly I find it disrespectful to our country that a man given the power to help create laws is this ignorant.
4. Melania Trump plagiarizes Michelle Obama's speech.
I'm sure you've all seen this all over social media the last week. Need I say more?
5. Trump adviser calls for Hillary Clinton to face firing squad.
Al Baldasaro, a senator from New Hampshire and adviser to Trump on veterans' issues, is currently under FBI and Secret Service investigation for saying that Clinton, "should be put in the firing line and shot for treason." (source) Shawn L. Holtzclaw, spokesman for the Secret Service, said that they are "aware" of this and that the "appropriate investigation" will be conducted. Once thought to be meaningless and ignorant, rhetoric from the Trump campaign has become so extreme that some of the resources for our Secret Service have to be wasted on this senseless hatred.
6. Laura Ingraham's Nazi salute.
After the Trump campaign has already battled claims of being anti-Semitic (source), this is probably the last thing that Trump and the GOP need. After finishing her hate-filled speech at the RNC last week, Laura Ingraham, a conservative radio host and political commentator, made a strange kind of salute to Donald Trump. Multiple videos show her doing a Nazi salute to Donald Trump and then trying to play it off, moments after, as a wave. Check out the video here.
7. "The most powerful VP in history."
It came out this week that while on the hunt for a vice president, Donald Trump Jr. made a private phone call to a John Kasich adviser in hopes of persuading Kasich to join the ticket. Trump Jr. started out the conversation by saying that Kasich could be "the most powerful vice president in history." Confused, the adviser asked how, and Trump Jr. responded that the VP would "be in charge of domestic and foreign policy." What would Donald Trump be in charge of? "Making America great again," Trump Jr. replied (source).
There are several things wrong with this. Number one, it is extremely disrespectful to this country and to the American people who actually hold respect for the office of the President of the United States, while Donald Trump continues to think it is all a joke, or some opportunity to get himself into history books for doing absolutely nothing. Number two, if the above conversation actually reflects what would take place in a Trump-Pence presidency, that's absolutely terrifying. Mike Pence is extremely socially conservative, as well as being fiscally conservative, and has passed some of the most extreme, restrictive legislation while governor of Indiana -- including a bill that would make it easier for businesses to refuse service to gay couples (source) and a bill that requires unborn fetuses to have a sort of "funeral" at their mother's expense (source). To top it off, he still thought, in 1998, that smoking doesn't kill you (source).
I personally know several Trump supporters who are feminists and LGBTQ+ supporters and I now have to ask, how can you still vote for Donald Trump? Does America really want to revert back to the 1950s?
8. Trump to "purge" all federal officials appointed by Obama.
On Tuesday, Chris Christie said in an interview that if he won the election, Donald Trump would purge the federal government of all officials appointed by the Obama administration and that he would push for Congress to pass a bill making it easier to fire public workers (source). Obviously, this is terrifying for numerous reasons. The first reason is that all of those confident workers appointed by the Obama administration, including judges appointed to federal courts, would lose their jobs for doing absolutely nothing wrong -- just being appointed by the wrong person. But then, things get a little scarier, because once one starts to think about this actually happening, it starts to sound like one of the first steps towards fascism. For those of you who don't believe me, here's the definition.
These appointees, who have done nothing wrong, would be "purged" from their jobs just for being appointed by the Obama administration and possibly having mildly liberal views, therefore disagreeing with whatever exactly the Trump administration believes (because it's really hard to pinpoint exactly what Trump wants, besides a wall). And on this train of thought, this is another one of the first steps Adolf Hitler took in his rise to power (I urge you to check out this article here that will elaborate more). In addition, how will a government be able to create a bipartisan government that will benefit everyone in this nation, when only those who agree with Trump's ideology are in charge? This is completely in contrast to what President Franklin D. Roosevelt did when, as president, he had a bipartisan group of advisers called the Brain Trust. A diversity of opinions is what spurs creativity and brilliant, efficient government. Without that, our country is at a great intellectual disadvantage and is at risk to the rise of fascism.
9. Ted Cruz won't endorse Donald Trump.
Ted Cruz may have actually earned a little bit of my respect last week as he announced he will not be endorsing Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president. Even though he was booed off of the stage, Cruz made it clear that he will not endorse a candidate who personally attacks his family (source). And although this may have been "political suicide" for him, I (and I'm sure many other people) have a little more respect for him, now.