Election 2020

5 Things to Know About Night 1 of the Republican National Convention

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The Republican National Convention (RNC) kicked off on Monday night, with powerful speeches and some speeches that proved a bit too powerful. The Democrats put America to sleep with their Gaslighting America Telethon. The Republicans are waking America up, with perhaps a little bit too much coffee.

Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle came out of the gate rather strong and forceful, and they left a powerful impression.

Check out PJ Media’s liveblog from Monday night, and stay tuned for our live coverage the next three nights.

Without further ado, here are five things to know about Day 1.

1. Tim Scott exposed Biden’s weakness with the black community

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) gave the keynote speech of the evening, and it proved fantastic. He explained that his grandfather was forced out of school to pick cotton and never learned how to read and write, but he saw his grandson “become the first African American to be elected to both the United States House and Senate.”

“Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime,” Scott said, delivering one of the most memorable lines of the evening.

He contrasted this opportunity with the Left’s increasingly negative view of America, and he highlighted Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s tremendous weaknesses with the black community.

“Joe Biden said if a black man didn’t vote for him, he wasn’t truly black,” Scott noted. “Joe Biden said black people are a monolithic community. It was Joe Biden who said, ‘Poor kids can be just as smart as white kids.'”

Yet Scott didn’t just slam Biden’s words. He also noted the former vice president’s actions.

“In 1994, Biden led the charge on a crime bill that put millions of black Americans behind bars,” he explained. “President Trump’s criminal justice reform law fixed many of the disparities Biden created and made our system more fair and just for all Americans.”

While Biden blamed Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), “Trump signed into law historically high funding for HBCUs.”

“Make no mistake: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want a cultural revolution. A fundamentally different America. If we let them, they will turn our country into a socialist utopia, and history has taught us that path only leads to pain and misery, especially for hard-working people hoping to rise,” the senator declared.

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2. Vernon Jones is getting off the Democrats’ mental plantation

Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones, a black Democrat, gave a powerful speech explaining why he is supporting President Donald Trump.

“As you can see, I’m a man of color, and I’m a lifelong Democrat, too,” he said. “The Democratic Party does not want black people to leave their mental plantation.”

He contrasted Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s record with that of the president. “Joe Biden has had 47 years to produce results, but he’s been all talk and no action.”

Meanwhile, Trump guaranteed funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for ten years — something that “never happened before in our history.” Trump champions “school choice, to ensure that no child, no matter their race or zip code, is left behind.”

Jones credited the president with having “built the most inclusive economy ever, with record-low unemployment for African Americans.” He also mentioned the opportunity zones in the Republican tax cut bill.

Trump also signed criminal justice reform, which Jones said was necessary because of the policies “caused by none other than Joe Biden.”

“I’ve seen tragic shootings on both sides, officers killing citizens, and citizens killing officers in the line of duty,” Jones said. He lamented that many “Democrats have turned their backs on our brave police officers.” If they want to defund the police, he suggested, these anti-police Democrats should start with themselves. “Democratic politicians have personal security to protect them, so why don’t they forgo their security and replace them with social workers?”

Jones said he supports Trump on four key issues: “education, jobs, safety, security.” While Biden talks a good game for the black community, Trump “destroyed these negative forces that have victimized the black community for decades.”

The Democratic state senator warned that his party “has become infected with the pandemic of intolerance, bigotry, socialism, anti-law-enforcement bias, and a dangerous tolerance for people who attack others, destroy their property, and terrorize our own communities.”

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3. “I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for you.”

Natalie Harp, a bone cancer survivor who benefitted from Trump’s Right-to-Try policy, gave a powerful speech about the key difference between Trump’s mentality to health care and the pablum the Democrats are selling.

“About 5 years ago, I was the victim of a notoriously deadly medical error. I survived, but only to be diagnosed with a rare and terminal bone cancer. You know, the Democrats love to talk about health care being a human right. A right to what? Well, I’ll tell you. To them, it’s a right to marijuana, opioids, and the right to die with dignity, a politically-correct way of saying assisted suicide,” she declared.

“I was told I was a burden to my family and to my country and that by choosing to die early, I would actually be saving the lives of others by preserving resources for them, rather than wasting them on a lost cause like myself,” Harp recalled. “And when I failed the chemotherapies that were on the market, no one wanted me in their clinical trials, I’d make them look bad.”

“They didn’t give me the right to try experimental treatments, Mr. President. You did. And without you, I would have died waiting for them to be approved,” she added.

Harp warned that “in socialized medicine, you don’t beat the odds, you become the odds. And I would lose my right to try.”

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4. Nikki Haley on Black Lives Matter

Former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) contradicted the Black Lives Matter narrative about America being a racist country.

“America is not a racist country. This is personal for me. I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants.
My father wore a turban, my mother wore a sari,” she declared. “I was a brown girl in a black and white world.” It was difficult, but “my parents never gave in to grievance and hate.” She grew up to become the “first minority and first female governor” of South Carolina.

Haley condemned Democrats for “turning a blind eye towards riots and rage” with the George Floyd riots.

“And of course we value and respect every black life,” she said. “Black cops who have been shot in the line of duty, they matter. The black small business owners who watch their lives’ work go up in flames, they matter. The black kids that have been gunned down on the playground, their lives matter, too. And their lives are being ruined and stolen by the violence on our streets.”

Indeed, the riots have destroyed black livesblack livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 22 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black.

Haley contrasted the George Floyd riots with her response to the horrific Charleston church shooting. “Our state came face-to-face with evil,” she recalled. “After the horrific event, we didn’t turn against each other. We came together, black and white, Democrat and Republican. Together, we made the hard choices needed to heal and removed a divisive symbol, peacefully and respectfully.”

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5. Trump Jr.: 2020 is a race between “church, work, and school versus rioting, looting, and vandalism”

Donald Trump Jr. framed the 2020 election as a choice between “church, work, and school versus rioting, looting, and vandalism.”

“In the past, both parties believed in the goodness of America,” the president’s son noted. The Left once supported “freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the rule of law.” Now, however, it is “trying to cancel the Founders.”

Trump Jr. warned that if the Left wins, “It will no longer be the silent majority. It will be the silenced majority.”

He noted the Democrats’ double standard in banning church, work, and school in the name of health while allowing mass rioting, looting, and vandalism.

The election boils down to “church, work, and school verses rioting, looting, and vandalism — or in the words of Biden and the Democrats, ‘peaceful protesting.'” Trump Jr. noted, “They actually called it a ‘summer of love.'”

The president’s son full-throatedly condemned the police killing of George Floyd, but he warned that defunding or abolishing the police would prove disastrous.

“When we dial 9-1-1, we don’t want it going to voicemail. So defunding the police is not an option,” he declared.

He noted his privileges, but supported school choice because “a great education cannot be the exclusive right of the rich and powerful.”


President Trump moderated a historic panel of freed hostages whom his administration brought home, including Pastor Andrew Brunson, whom he freed from Turkey. The other former hostages spent years in Iran, Venezuela, and India.

Kimberly Guilfoyle GAVE A SPEECH IN ALL CAPS. She dialed it up to eleven, and then up to twenty-two.

Promises kept.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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