On the second night of its national convention, the Party of Trump resorted to reruns, hammering home the message he’s been pushing for four years: that the radical left—with help from Communist China and the Lamestream Media—is hellbent on destroying the traditional (white) American way of life, and the only person who can stop them is Donald Trump.
Among the invitees to take up the theme was Nicholas Sandmann, the Kentucky prep school student who became a darling of the right after he and his MAGA hat went viral following an incident with a Native American activist last year. Sandmann blasted the “anti-Christian, anti-Conservative, anti-Donald Trump” left that he claimed “cancelled” him, like many “people around this country who refuse to be silenced by the far left.”
That was an odd claim to make during his primetime speaking slot at a national convention being broadcast on every major television network. That set the tone for a night when Tiffany Trump, who somehow expects us to believe that she “can relate to so many of you who might be looking for a job,” mostly pulled that same trick her father always does, wherein he attributes the things he’s literally in the act of doing to someone else—in this case, the media.
“Rather than allowing Americans the right to form our own beliefs, this misinformation system keeps people mentally enslaved to the ideas they deem correct,” said the less-loved daughter. “This has fostered unnecessary fear and divisiveness amongst us. Why are so many in the media, in technology, even in our own government, so invested in promoting a biased and fabricated view… The answer is control—and because division and controversy breeds profit.”
Trump hailed her father as the single entity that can save America, an idea that was later repeated by her half-brother Eric, who—two days after white police officers in Wisconsin shot a Black man at point blank range in the back several times—took time to insult athletes for “taking a knee” against police brutality. He contrasted those athletes with the “patriots in the flyover states.” He big-upped Confederate monuments and cops, and promised America’s “shamed, censored and canceled”—presumably for saying something hateful—that “my father will fight for you.” For good measure, he said that American freedom is somehow at stake, perhaps because of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, and declared that “a fight that only my father can win.”
No GOP event is complete without a few token minorities to absolve the party of its overt race-baiting and appeals to white grievance. Tonight, that relief was most overtly provided by Daniel Cameron, the first African-American attorney general of Kentucky, whose support for Trump helped explain why Breonna Taylor’s police killers are still free.
"Mr. Vice President, look at me. I am Black. We are not all the same, sir. I am not in chains. My mind is my own. And you can't tell me how to vote because of the color of my skin," Cameron said, ostensibly to Joe Biden, but actually to an audience of white Republicans who love it when Black conservatives give them a pass for their racism.
And in between there was a lot of Trump, mostly engaging in political stunts. The law and order, anti-immigration president used the White House as a political prop and his TV time there to issue a pardon and oversee a naturalization ceremony. The whole thing was absolutely gross and very likely illegal.
It was also completely Trumpian, meaning his base probably loved it. And if that’s the measure of success for this president—and I think it very much is—then tonight was a definite win.