As the Republican National Convention concludes this week, political junkies like myself are reflecting on this unconventional convention season, which has had to make adaptations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The RNC had a delicate balance between optimistically touting American exceptionalism and issuing careful warnings about what America could look like under a radical leftist agenda. It carefully made a case for reelecting President Trump, by mentioning his record on criminal justice reform, the economy, and school choice. Although I may not be the largest Trump fan out there, I found that this convention offered several moments that everyone under the Republican “Big Tent” would enjoy.
Logistically speaking, many Republicans had a reasonably low bar set for the production quality of the mostly virtual convention. Still, the RNC blew the Democratic National Convention out of the water. With the mix of pre-recorded remarks, live speeches, and the occasional audiences, the RNC made the DNC look like a glorified Zoom meeting.
The RNC was notably trying to reach out to a diverse coalition of voters and wanted to counter the narrative that Republicans are the party of old white men. By hearing from Burgess Owens, Kimberly Klacik, Maximo Alvarez, and many more, the Republican Party was able to accomplish their goal of representing all types of American’s, regardless of their identity.
One obvious thing was the role that faith played throughout the convention. Nearly every speech concluded with some variation of “God Bless America,” and several speakers such as Sister Dede Bryne and Alice Johnson made their faith the cornerstone of their remarks. The topic of abortion was paramount throughout the event, even making its way into President Trump’s nomination acceptance speech Thursday night.
Unsurprisingly, the RNC acted as a soapbox for potential 2024 candidates. Political insiders are expecting that former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Senator Tim Scott, and Senator Tom Cotton will throw their hat into the ring the next election cycle. Through their remarks, they began to plant the early seeds for what the Republican Party will look like following the Trump administration.
As for this election, a convention bump for Republicans is not highly likely, but it’s not impossible. Overall, the Republicans wanted to make it clear that they are the party of faith, opportunity, and law and order. Could this help swing the election in President Trump’s favor? We will find out in 67 days.