Riots, mobs, looters, MS-13, totalitarian oppression — it’s all waiting for you on the far side of Nov. 3, 2020. And the sole purpose of the first night of the Republican National Convention on Monday, it seemed, was to remind viewers of the perceived danger ahead.
The convention mashed up politicians, political commentators and “regular folks” vignettes that all uniformly praised President Donald Trump — but also, and more central to the night’s message, painted a near-apocalyptic picture of the United States in 2021 if left without Trump’s protective embrace atop the executive branch.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, the former Fox News host and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, was one of the most emphatic to make what became a painfully repetitive point.
Democrats, she shouted at the camera, “want to destroy this country and everything that we have fought for and hold dear. They want to steal your liberty, your freedom. They want to control what you see and think and believe so that they can control how you live. They want to enslave you to the weak, dependent, liberal victim ideology to the point that you will not recognize this country or yourself!”
"They want to control what you see and think and believe so that they can control how you live. They want to enslave you to the weak, dependent liberal victim ideology to the point that you will not recognize this country or yourself." pic.twitter.com/DMDyevi5mp
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 25, 2020
Jarring, yes — but it was hardly any different than Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) message just a few minutes earlier.
The Democratic party’s left flank, Gaetz figured, “will settle for Biden because they will make him an extra in a movie written, produced and directed by others.”
“It’s a horror film, really,” he said. “They’ll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door. And the police aren’t coming when you call in Democrat-run cities — they’re already being defunded, disbanded.”
The horror movie backdrop eventually melted into a sort of blur. It was almost as noticeable when a more measured presence — say, closing speaker Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, or even House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) — tried to match the chaotic energy on display all around them.
“Last time, Joe’s boss was Obama. This time, it would be Pelosi, Sanders, and the squad,” Haley read. “Their vision for America is socialism.”
Yawn! Where’s the good stuff? Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), expert haranguer?
“Look what is happening in American cities, cities all run by Democrats,” he said — sleepily, but his heart was in the right place. “Crime, violence and mob rule. Democrats refuse to denounce the mob and the response to the chaos? Defund the police, defund Border Patrol and defund our military. And while they’re doing all this, they’re also trying to take away your guns.”
It’s a far cry from the “optimistic and upbeat” convention we were promised, but perhaps the theatrical rage is better handled by a trained expert. The President’s son Donald Jr. might have, in an alternate reality, used his precious few minutes in front of the nation to tell us a little bit about his dad — what he’s like behind the scenes, perhaps, or what kind of father he was all those years ago. But no — more doom-and-gloom.
“It’s almost like this election is shaping up to be church, work, and school versus rioting, looting, and vandalism,” he said. “Or in the words of Biden and the Democrats, ‘peaceful protesting.”