Election 2020

5 Things to Know About Night 2 of the Republican National Convention

Screenshot via C-SPAN

The Republican National Convention (RNC) highlighted the promise of America, the threat of the radical Left, and the achievements of President Donald Trump. The convention delivered an action-packed evening with some powerful surprises.

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 Night 2.

1. The naturalization ceremony

Due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions have been partly remote. For the Democratic version, the remote convention mostly made the proceedings more of a snoozefest, a Gaslighting America Telethon. Yet the RNC and President Donald Trump approached it as an opportunity.

On Night 1, Trump held a historic panel with former hostages freed by the Trump administration. On Night 2, he did something similarly impressive — he hosted a naturalization ceremony in the middle of a party convention.

This might seem an odd choice. A naturalization ceremony is a celebration of America — not a political party. Yet Democrats and the left-leaning media have smeared America by pushing ideas like The New York Times‘s “1619 Project,” which claims that slavery — not the Declaration of Independence — was the true founding of America.

Naturalization ceremonies are not partisan, or at least they should not be partisan. Yet Democrats have made them partisan, while slamming Trump as an anti-immigrant president (for implementing the same policies Barack Obama did). By hosting a naturalization ceremony, Trump gave the lie to the Left’s attack that he is anti-immigrant.

“Today America rejoices as we welcome five absolutely incredible new members into our great American family,” Trump declared. “Congratulations, good going. You followed the rules, you obeyed the laws, you learned your history, embraced our values, and proved yourselves to be men and women of the highest integrity.”

“It’s an honor for me to be your president,” Trump said.

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2. Stories of comeback

The RNC featured many inspiring stories of comeback on Tuesday night.

Ryan Holets, a New Mexico cop who adopted a homeless drug addict’s baby, praised Trump for helping fight the opioid epidemic.

“I hold a special place in my heart for those facing opioid addiction, and that’s why I’m enormously grateful to the president for his leadership in fighting this deadly enemy,” Holets declared. “Drug overdose deaths decreased in 2018, for the first time in 30 years.”

Hope for Prisoners Founder Jon Ponder also addressed the RNC. A former gang member and bank robber who discovered God in prison and accepted Jesus after hearing Billy Graham over the radio, Ponder befriended the FBI agent who arrested him and created a successful prisoner re-entry program, Hope for Prisoners.

“Jon’s life is a beautiful testament to the power of redemption,” Trump said as he introduced Ponder.

“Not so long ago, my life was running from the police, fearing the police, and avoiding the police,” Ponder said, “due to the animosity I had allowed to grow inside of me, making me believe that they were my enemy. But today, praise God, I am filled with hope. A proud American citizen who has been given a second chance.”

First Lady Melania Trump also told stories of comeback and redemption. “We need to remember that suicides are on the rise as people who are struggling with loneliness and addiction feel they have nowhere to turn,” she said. “If you are struggling with addiction, there is no shame in your illness. Please, seek help. You are worth it.”

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3. Nick Sandmann

Nick Sandmann, a former Covington Catholic High School student who wore a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat at the March for Life last year and found himself demonized by the left-leaning media, also spoke virtually at the RNC. Sandmann explained what it felt like to be demonized for a few minutes of video taken out of context.

“While the media portrayed me as the aggressor with a ‘relentless smirk’ on my face, in reality the video confirms I was standing with my hands behind my back and an awkward smile on my face that hid two thoughts. One, don’t do anything that might further agitate the man banging a drum in my face and two, trying to follow a family friend’s advice never to do anything to embarrass your family, your school, or your community,” Sandmann explained.

“Before I knew what was happening, it was over. One of Mr. Phillips fellow agitators yelled out ‘We got him!’, ‘It’s all right here on video’ and ‘We won Grandpa.’ What I thought was a strange encounter, quickly developed into a major news story complete with video footage,” he said.

“My life changed forever in that one moment. The full war machine of the mainstream media revved up into attack mode,” Sandmann noted. “They did so without ever researching the full video of the incident; without ever investigating Mr. Philips’ motives; or without ever asking me for my side of the story. And do you know why? Because the truth wasn’t important.”

“Advancing their anti-Christian, anti-Conservative, anti-Donald Trump narrative was all that mattered.  And if advancing their narrative ruined the reputation and future of a teenager from Covington, Kentucky…so be it. That will teach him not to wear a MAGA hat!”

He later realized he had been “canceled, as in annulled, as in revoked, as in made void. Canceled is what’s happening to people around this country who refuse to be silenced by the far left.  Many are being fired, humiliated, or even threatened. Often, the media is a willing participant.”

Yet Sandmann fought back and wrestled money out of left-leaning outlets like CNN and The Washington Post through multiple defamation lawsuits. “I look forward to the day that the media returns to providing balanced, responsible, and accountable news coverage.”

He also praised Trump for standing with him during the nightmare.

“I’m proud to say that throughout my media nightmare I have had President Trump’s unwavering support. And I know you’ll agree with me when I say no one in this county has been a victim of unfair media coverage more than President Donald Trump,” Sandmann said. “In November, I believe this country must unite around a President who calls the media out and refuses to allow them to create a narrative instead of reporting the facts.”

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4. Daniel Cameron

The first black attorney general of Kentucky … is a Republican. Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R-Ky.) stunned at the RNC Tuesday night. He defended America in a time of lawless riots.

“I was raised in Kentucky, just a few miles from Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace. Our first Republican president believed in compassion. Self-reliance. Freedom. Equality. And justice. Sadly, there are some who don’t believe in this wisdom or in the better angels of our shard American history, as they tear down the statues of people like Ulysses S. Grant and even Mr. Lincoln himself,” Cameron declared.

“Even as anarchists mindlessly tear up American cities while attacking police officers and innocent bystanders, we Republicans do recognize those who earnestly strive for peace, justice, and equality,” he vowed. “Republicans will never turn a blind eye to unjust acts, but neither will we accept this all-out assault on Western civilization.”

He contrasted America’s heroes with Joe Biden, noting Biden’s horrific past statements.

If you aren’t voting for me, “you ain’t black.”

Who argued that Republicans would put us “back in chains.”

Who says there is no “diversity” of thought in the black community.

“Joe Biden is a backwards thinker in a world craving forward-looking leadership. There’s no wisdom in his record or plan, just a trail of discredited ideas and offensive statements,” Cameron declared. “Joe Biden would destroy jobs, raise our taxes, and throw away the lives of countless unborn children. And he is captive to the radical left, a movement committed to cancel culture and the destruction of public discourse. They believe your skin color must dictate your politics. If you fail to conform while exercising your God given right to speak and think freely, they will cut you down.”

“The politics of identity, cancellation, and mob rule are not acceptable to me, and Republicans trust you, the people, to think for yourselves and to pursue your American Dream however you see fit,” the attorney general added.

“Let’s be honest: no one is excited about Joe Biden,” Cameron said. “And so I ask you to judge the record:

On criminal justice reform: Joe Biden couldn’t do it, but President Trump did.

On the economy: Joe Biden couldn’t do it, but President Trump did build an economy that worked for everyone, especially minorities, and he will do it again.

And on immigration: Joe Biden promises more to illegal immigrants than he does to you, and President Trump believes his highest duty is to the American worker.

Cameron didn’t just make an inspiring case for Trump, he expanded his national profile with his powerful speech.

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5. The first lady’s speech

First Lady Melania Trump concluded the night with a mammoth and powerful speech. She spoke about looking to America while growing up in a communist country. She assured Americans that President Trump is working tirelessly to fight COVID-19. She combatted the leftist anti-Trump narrative. Some even said she made a better case for four more years of First Lady Melania Trump than for her husband.

“Growing up as a young child in Slovenia, which was under communist rule at the time, I always heard about an amazing place called America, a land that stood for freedom and opportunity,” the first lady recalled. “As I grew older, it became my goal to move to the United States and follow my dream of working in the fashion industry.”

She praised America as a “nation that allows for people to arrive with a dream and make it reality.”

Melania Trump also empathized with those struggling with COVID-19 and assured Americans that her husband is working as hard as he can to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one and my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering. I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you are not alone,” the first lady said. “My husband’s administration will not stop fighting until there is an effective treatment or vaccine available to everyone.”

“Donald will not rest until he has done all he can to take care of everyone impacted by this terrible pandemic,” Melania Trump assured America.

The first lady gave a powerful defense of Trump’s patriotism, insisting that his heart is truly focused on making America better.

“No matter the amount of negative or false media headlines or attacks from the other side, Donald Trump has not and will not lose focus on you. He loves this country and he knows how to get things done,” she confided. “As you have learned over the past five years, he’s not a traditional politician. He doesn’t just speak words. He demands action, and he gets results. The future of our country has always been very important to him, and it is something that I have always admired.”

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Other tidbits:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave an important speech from Jerusalem, extolling the Trump administration’s successes abroad. He praised Trump for having “pulled back the curtain on the predatory aggression of the Chinese Communist Party” when it comes to the coronavirus, Chinese spies, and unfair trade deals. He celebrated Trump bringing North Korea to the table. He celebrated the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, the assassination of Iranian General Quasem Soleimani, the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the recent historic peace deal with Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Cissie Graham-Lynch, the granddaughter of Rev. Billy Graham, recalled the Obama-Biden administration’s attacks on religious freedom and the Trump administration’s efforts to restore it. “The Biden-Harris vision for America leaves no room for people of faith,” she warned. “Whether you’re a baker, a florist, or a football coach, they will force the choice between being obedient to God, or to Caesar. Because the radical Left’s god is government power.”

Vice President Mike Pence interviewed Americans who represent the opportunity of this great country.

 

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood staffer-turned-pro-life-activist, revealed the horrific truth about abortion.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) flipped the script on Trump, Biden, and criminal justice reform.

Former Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.) used Biden’s own campaign slogan to reveal his corruption.

All in all, it was a fantastic night.

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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