COVID to Racism: How Republican Convention Used Lies to Back Trump

Many critics accused Trump’s family members of painting a false picture of him to make him seem more likeable.

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What was supposed to be an event to expound on the Republican Party’s ideals and values, turned into an event focused on the evils within the Democratic Party and how President Donald Trump would be best suited to save America from them.

Most notably, for the first time, the Republican Party did not release a party platform at the Republican National Convention (RNC). A party platform is essentially a layout of the goals that the administration has for the country and how they will achieve them.

While the Democratic Party has released a large party platform dealing with improvements to immigration, healthcare, racism, police brutality, economic growth and so on, the Republican party skipped this step.

For more context, the reporter spoke to SV Date, a white house correspondent for HuffPost and a political expert who has authored an upcoming book about Donald Trump’s presidency.

“There are a lot of people who used to be in the party who think that that is the last bit of proof anybody needs to know that this is not a Republican Party anymore. This is a Donald Trump party. Nothing else matters.”
SV Date

So, what were the most notable characteristics of the RNC – and how did it differ from the DNC?

1. Racism

While the Democratic National Convention (DNC) placed a heavy emphasis on systemic racism in the US, the RNC commenced by denying the existence of racism in the country. Nikki Haley, former South Carolina Governor and US ambassador to the United Nations, gave a speech that left American voters slightly confused.

She essentially accused those decrying racism of hatred and talked about her own struggle with discrimination growing up.

“I was a brown girl in a Black and White world. We faced discrimination and hardship, but my parents never gave into grievance and hate.
Nikki Haley

But, she kicked off the convention by saying: “In much of the democratic party, it's now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country.”

In light of her speech, many have called out the RNC for failing to address the black lives matter movement.

“They are talking to the hardcore Trump supporters who don’t see racism. I mean, the police officer who killed George Floyd was a Trump supporter.”
SV Date

2. COVID-19

Racism wasn’t the only issue the RNC did not address sufficiently. The Republican Party also did not talk about their response to COVID-19. Unlike the DNC, the RNC wasn’t held completely online and many of the events took place with an audience, with disregard to COVID-19 guidelines.

Unlike the DNC, most of the RNC speakers downplayed the effects of the pandemic, while constantly referring to it as the ‘China Virus.’ They also did not talk about how President Trump handled the overall outbreak in light of the high number of casualties and cases in the country currently.

3. Key Republicans MIA

Another notable distinction between the two conventions was that many key Republicans such as George Bush, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, and Mitch McConnell were missing in action.

“There were a lot of Republican senators. The sorts of people who are dying to get prime time attention. They weren’t there. They didn’t want to come. But, you know, it’s very telling. It’s just as telling who didn’t come to the convention as who actually ended up there.”
SV Date

5. Scare Tactics and Direct Attacks on Joe Biden

The RNC speakers did not shy away from using scare tactics and direct attacks on Democratic candidate Joe Biden -- from Donald Trump Jr. calling him the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ to Pam Bondi baselessly accusing him of corruption to Mike Pence saying America would be unsafe under Biden’s presidency.

“They have a lot of messages. One of their favourites is that Joe Biden is a secret socialist or he’s so senile that he’ll allow these radical left wing socialists to come and remake the US.”
SV Date

6. Misleading – and Full of ‘Repeated Lies’

Many political critics have accused RNC speakers, mostly Trump’s own family members, of painting a false picture of President Trump to make him seem more likeable.

“He’s who he is. He’s exactly who he appears to be. And so what his family and the others in the party have to do is make him out to be someone he’s not. You have to make him out to be a nice person, someone who cares about things other than himself. And again, that’s not an easy sell. It was an easier sell in 2016. Nobody knew really who Donald Trump was.”
SV Date

The New York Times created a running tally of false and misleading statements made at both the DNC and RNC. They reported only two instances of misleading statements and four instances of exaggeration at the DNC, but noted over 80 such instances over the first three nights of the RNC.

“They know what they’re saying is not true. And it was funny because I remember early on in the administration, Mike Pence would not say things that were not true,” said Date. “Now he does. So it’s almost like you’re required to repeat the lies. Otherwise, you’re not part of this club.”

7. Some Empathy for COVID-19 Warriors, War Veterans

But it’s not all bad. CNN noted that there were some hits at the RNC including the speeches made by the first and second ladies, Melania Trump and Karen Pence, who showed empathy for COVID-19 victims and war veterans, respectively. Sen Tim Scott and Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who were the few Black speakers at the convention, made speeches that were well-received. Scott discussed cancel culture within the Democratic Party and Cameron called out Joe Biden for implying that Black people should only vote for the democrats.

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