By Michelle Marchante
The third day of the Republican National Convention focused on the theme of “Make America First Again” and included speeches from a variety of well-known figures- all banning together- to ask each and every person in America to get out there and “Vote Trump” in November.
Piggybacking off New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie’s idea of creating a chant with the crowd, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker fueled the crowd with “America Deserves Better,” saying that “America Deserves Better than Hillary Clinton,” and because of this you need to vote for a Trump-Pence ballot in November.
A vote for someone who isn’t Trump, Walker said, is a vote for Clinton, who is so in the inside of government, that “if she were any more on the inside she would be in prison.”
According to Walker, the consequences of giving the Supreme Court up to “liberal Hillary Clinton” would be too great, citing the email scandal as an example.
“This isn’t just another Clinton scandal,” Walker said. “Hillary’s scandal put our national security at risk and that makes Hillary Clinton unfit to be President of the United States.”
Like the two previous days, the party also pushed for the minority vote, having women like Laura Ingraham and Eileen Collins-the first female Space Shuttle Commander- speak to the party as well as Hispanics such as Kentucky Senator Ralph Alvarado and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. African-Americans like Pastor Darrell Scott and Lynne Patton, the vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation and senior family assistant, also made appearances.
After a video that connected Patton, who suffered from previous substance abuse and addiction and was given a second chance by the Trump family to start over, opened her speech with a simple but powerful statement, “I know Mr. Trump.”
“We need to heal a wounded and divided nation,” Patten said.
Listing all the recent tragedies that have occurred on America soil from the Orlando nightclub Pulse shooting to Minnesota, Baton Rouge and Dallas’s shootings, Patten called these incidents not attacks on a specific community but attacks to America.
“[I]n order to heal as a nation we must stop viewing these incidents as attacks to the LGBT community or attacks on the black community or even attacks on the law enforcement community,” Patten said. “These are attacks on America, on our values and are attacks on the very foundation of civil society.”
Historically, Patten said, black lives-her life- has mattered less but tonight, “as a minority,” she pledged that “Donald Trump knows your life matter” that her life matters, “and that LGBTQ lives matter. He knows that veterans lives matter. He knows that blue lives matter!”
According to Patten, America is more divided now then it was eight years ago but that tonight, change could happen.
“Vote not for the candidate who asks to stand with her but instead vote for the candidate who stands in solidarity with you,” Patten said.
Rubio spoke via video, reinforcing the need of voters to Vote Trump, saying that Clinton does not have the “honesty, the courage or the independence” to be the next president, citing various failures of the Obama-Clinton administration such as Obamacare, the Iran Deal and Benghazi.
According to Rubio, unlike Clinton and Obama, Trump is “committed to cut taxes, curb spending and get our national debt under control.” He also takes the threats from Islamic radicals “seriously” and is “committed to rebuilding our military,” while also being committed to “appointing constitutionalist judges, who will respect the proper role of the judiciary.”
“[T]he time for fighting each other is over,” Rubio said. “It’s time to come together and fight for a new direction for America. It’s time to win in November.”
One of the most powerful speakers the Republican base has, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, gave an emotional account of the death of Michael Smith, one of the fallen officers in the “Dallas Ambush,” who devoted his life to protect “those who mocked him” because he loved America and how his nine-year old daughter would never see him again, igniting tears and chants of “U.S.A.” in the crowd as his speech changed tunes.
“America is an ideal, a simple but powerful idea,” Cruz said. “Freedom matters. For much of human history…government decrees and the people obey but not here.”
“Our nation is exceptional because it was built on the five most beautiful and powerful words in the English language: I Want To Be Free.”
Just like the other speakers before him, Cruz spoke of a divided nation and how citizens are furious at an establishment that has broken promises and ignores “the will of the people.” Cruz also said that there was a “profound difference” in each party’s vision of the future.
“Theirs is the party that thinks ISIS is a JV team. That responds to the death of Americans at Benghazi by asking, what difference does it make?” Cruz said. “[They think] it’s possible to make a deal with Iran which celebrates its holidays, Death to America day and Death to Israel day.”
Cruz also brought up a history of the Republican party that he claimed the media would never share that “the Republican Party was founded to defeat slavery.”
“Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Together, we passed the Civil Rights Act, and together, we thought to eliminate Jim Crow laws.”
Through shouts of “Endorse Trump” by the crowd, Cruz asked everyone at home not to stay home in November and to “vote your conscience,” to “vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution,” but he failed to endorse Trump and left the stage with boo’s from the roused crowd.
The speech of Trump’s son, Eric Trump- on the other hand- took a different turn, giving voters a reason as to why his father had chosen to run for president, crediting a 1988 Oprah interview, where Oprah asked Trump if he would ever run for the White House.
During the interview, Eric said, Trump told Oprah he would only run for president if the situation got “so bad” that he would have to “get involved.”
Newt Gingrich, whom Brit Hume has labeled as “The Explainer,” not only gave one of his classic Anti-Clinton speeches but he also saved Cruz’s behind, turning the senator’s non-endorsement of Trump into an endorsement.
“Ted Cruz said you can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution,” Gingrich said. “In this election, there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution.”
To paraphrase Cruz, Gingrich said, if you want to protect the Constitution, “the only possible candidate this fall is the Trump-Pence Republican ticket.”
During his speech, Gingrich explained that Trump was right, that the United States is “at war” with radical Islam, that “we are losing the war” and that we must “change course” to win.
“Let me be very clear, because I know the news media will do their best to distort this,” Gingrich said. “We have nothing to fear from the vast majority of Muslims in the United States or around the world. The vast majority are peaceful…”
“The challenge is when even a small percentage of a billion, six hundred million people support violence against those who disagree with them, that is still a giant recruiting base,” he said.
The Pew Research Center, according to Gingrich, found that only nine percent of Muslims support ISIS but nine percent means 16 million people.
Gingrich said that this election isn’t about politics but the “safety and survival of our country” and that every American should be “terrified” at a potential Clinton presidency.
“The cost of Hillary’s dishonesty could be the loss of America as we know it,” he said. “The first step forward to safety is electing a leader who will be truthful with the American people about the realities we face.”
And that leader, for Gingrich, is Trump, because Trump “understands this” and with his running mate, Mike Pence, they will “defend America first.”
“Republican, Democrat or Independent…watching at home and knows we cannot continue on our current course…is to rise above our factions and rise about the politics we’ve inherited; to ignore the lies of the news media and the old order; to reject the suicidal DISHONESTY of Hillary Clinton and her establishment allies; and to be proud to stand with Donald Trump and Mike Pence…”
Indiana Governor and Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, was the last to speak, opening his speech with his famous line: “I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican- in that order,” speaking of how he joined the party through the Reagan Revolution, why Trump chose him for “balance”, how Trump- against all odds- won the nomination by his own volition and how they will win the presidency.
“[W]ith this united party,” Pence said. “He’s got back up and on Nov. 8th, I know we will elect Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the United States of America,” Pence said.
“Let’s resolve here and now that Hillary Clinton will never become President of the United States of America,” he said. “We cannot have four years apologizing to her enemies and abandoning our friends. America needs to be strong for the world to be safe, and on the world stage, Donald Trump will lead from strength.”
“If the world does nothing else, it will notice: America stands with Israel.”
Image by Gage Skidmore.