Republican and Democratic Conventions Compared - Part 3

Another day completed of the Republican National Convention, and there is just one final night left. The convention began on Monday, August 24th and is scheduled to end on Thursday night. Comparisons of the first two days of the Republican and Democratic conventions were posted on Tuesday and Wednesday, and tomorrow the final installment will be published.

On night 3 of the DNC, emphasis was again placed on the importance of the American people working together, despite our differences, to build a better America, with greater justice, kindness, safety, and equality for all.

Speakers offered endorsements of Joe Biden’s kindness, empathy, his advocacy for women, care for American people and their welfare, his experience building an economy after recession, including references to the Recovery Act, his past hand in saving the auto industry, securing American jobs, and his experience fighting Ebola and H1N1.

Kamala Harris was endorsed as a leader who fights to keep families together, to end mass incarceration, who defends our constitution, who fights for disabled people, for LGBTQ+ rights, and a better America. Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that Kamala Harris is a woman “brilliant at defending [our Constitution].”

Decency, justice, and love were ideals highlighted throughout the night, as well an idea of reaching for an America we know is possible, an America we love. Commemoration was given to women who fought hard for the right to vote 100 years ago, and to the black women who had to fight even longer for their rights. Calls were given for us to keep fighting for a better America.

Appeals were made to “a vision of our nation as a beloved community, where all are welcome…. Where we may not agree on every detail, but we are united by the fundamental belief that every human being is of infinite worth” and worthy of dignity and respect. (Kamala Harris)

Calls were made to effect change in climate change policies, immigration policies, small business practices, better childcare options, and prevention of mass shootings. Personal stories were offered of trauma from gun violence, heartbreak after deportation of loved ones, and desperation of working mothers. Stresses were placed on the importance of safer environmental practices for both our economy, our environmental health, and our personal physical health, and for the importance of women’s contribution to our economy.

President Trump was criticized throughout the night as a leader who cannot bring our nation together in unity, who cares about himself and his friends more than the American people, who does not fight for American workers, and who has “failed miserably” in his response to COVID-19. Claims were made that small businesses are suffering because of President Trump’s poor pandemic response, and former president Barack Obama suggested that the opposing party wants to convince us that our votes don’t matter, in an effort to take away our power.

Former President Barack Obama offered promotions of Joe Biden’s character and qualifications as a leader, and stressed that our government needs reform. He offered that workers, business owners, immigrants and many more feel like they have no place and no advocacy. He commemorated some of the darker sides of our American history, when people have been mistreated because they were different, and urged each of us “to believe in [our] own ability”.

He also stressed that the president is not above the law, and must be held accountable to it, and condemned the use of federal soldiers, who, as he noted, are willing to sacrifice everything for our country, as “political props” to deploy against peaceful protesters. He also claimed that Donald Trump "and those who enable him" do not support American values.

The closing address was from Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, in which she commemorated the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, and noted, again, that black women were excluded from this moment, honoring their “good trouble”, referring to John Lewis, to bring more freedom and equality in our country. She stressed the values of family, justice, decency, and kindness and compassion for all people, no matter what their situation.

She offered that COVID-19 “is not an equal opportunity offender” and has hit BIPOC communities the hardest, suggesting that this is the effect of structural inequities - in education, healthcare, technology, housing, job security, transportation, and even in reproductive and maternal health care, in excessive use of force in our police and in our broader justice system. She condemned President Trump for "turning our tragedies into political weapons."

Her call was for a leader who will bring us together, and for an America that is more equitable and just. She suggested that “the road ahead is not easy… we may stumble and fall” but we, as a country, can get through this.

Day 3 of the RNC began with prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and a video montage commemorating the extraordinary spirit of our forefathers, our brave emergency responders, and the spirit of heroism “that is stronger than any virus”, and criticized “those who condemn our heroes, seek to erase history and deconstruct the American ideal.”

The theme of the night was American heroes, and the ideals of equality, freedom, and opportunity were a main focus. Many addresses promoted the idea that “if you work hard and dream big, you can achieve anything you can imagine” and personal stories were shared highlighting achievements and success of Americans who worked hard for everything they have.

Many addresses were given highlighting the sacrifice of law enforcement and military personnel. Honor was given to military spouses, and everyday Americans were commended as heroes. Emphasis was placed on the idea that heroism is about sacrifice and grace, not about lecturing and “perpetual rage”.

Endorsements were given to President Trump as a protector of the American people, defender of our country’s interests overseas, and as a president who supports small business and opportunity. Suggestions were offered that Donald Trump is an advancer of liberty, a leader who keeps his promises, a leader who has put money back into the pockets of the working class, and a leader who protects the safety of Americans from dangers both local and overseas.

Retired Lt Gen Keith Kellogg commended President Trump for his work with foreign nations, offering that President Trump has been “wisely wielding the sword when it is required”, and urged us to ask ourselves if President Trump has fulfilled his commander in chief role by going after our enemies.

Promotions were given for School Choice, Pro-Life actions, and prison reform movements, and calls were made for us to remember our history in America as a land of opportunity. Former NFL coach Lou Holtz offered, “America remains a land of opportunities, no matter what the other side says or believes”. He urged us not to blame people, and suggested that life is about making choices, and with hard work you can achieve something.

Many speakers offered experiences in which President Trump demonstrated care for people who have suffered loss, offering that he is a man who cares for the American people. President Trump was also promoted as an advocate for black communities, and an advocate of women in business and leadership. White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway offered that President Trump respects women’s opinions, has elevated them to senior positions, and “insists that we are on equal footing with the men”.

There were strong criticisms given throughout the night for “those who condemn our heroes, seek to erase history and deconstruct the American ideal.” Suggestions were made that “Democrat-led cities across our country are being overrun by violent mobs”, and that the opposing party does not want Americans to think for themselves.“We are not, and will not, be the subjects of an elite class of so-called experts.”

US Senator Marsha Blackburn suggested that “Democrats” do not recognize law enforcement agents as heroes, that “Leftists want to turn them into villains” and “want to cancel them”.

She also offered that “Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and their radical allies” are trying to destroy our heroes so that the government can control us, stating, “If the democrats had their way, they would keep you locked in your house until you depended on them for everything. That sounds a lot like Communist China to me.” She endorsed President Trump as a man who has stood for our heroes.

Other criticisms included suggestions that Joe Biden will not do what it takes to maintain order, and that he is “the Trojan Horse” to the radical left. “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America” was Vice President Pence’s claim. Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of President Trump, offered a stern warning that America is heading down a “frightening path” towards socialism.

Multiple comparisons were presented between our choices this election. A choice between “the Radical Left [that] wants to dismantle, defund, and destroy” and “Republicans, under President Trump’s leadership, [who] want to rebuild, restore and renew.” (Madison Cawthorn, US House Candidate in North Carolina). Also, “The most pro law enforcement president we’ve ever had, or the most radical, anti-police ticket in history”(Michael McHale from the National Association of Police). And, “Freedom, prosperity and economic growth under Trump/Pence, or the Biden/Harris path, paved by liberal, coastal-elites and radical environmentalists. An America where farmers are punished, jobs are destroyed, and taxes crush the middle class.” (Representative Joni Ernst)

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik offered commendation to President Trump for fighting tirelessly to deliver results for Americans “despite the Democrat’s baseless and illegal impeachment sham and the media’s endless obsession with it”.

The night ended with an address from Vice President Mike Pence, who gave an impassioned address, calling for people to maintain the American values of freedom, opportunity, and government of the people. “We will have law and order in America” was his cry, and promises were given to never defund the police, and to prosecute those who tear down statues to “the fullest extent of the law”. Law and order was a frequent mention, and many assurances were given that Trump will defend our freedoms and our values, and keep Americans safe.

Both events presented their candidates as the leaders who will stand for American values. The RNC painted a picture of an America that has always been great, and is in threat of decline. Law and order, heroes, and opportunity were main focus points. The DNC painted a picture of an America that has never been perfect, but whose greatness is found in the ability to continually strive for better for all people. Justice, equality, and unity were main focus points.

Both mentioned environmental policy, and law enforcement.

The DNC promoted environmental reforms to keep our people and our environment safe, and as a means of creating new jobs for Americans. The RNC denounced environmental reforms as a threat to animal agriculture and gas-powered cars, and offered warnings of "radical environmentalists".

The RNC referenced law enforcement by commending heroes and condemning calls for reform as disrespectful and a ploy to allow our cities to be overrun by violent mobs. The DNC called for a reform of our justice system by eliminating the use of excessive force, and holding law enforcement agents accountable for abuse.

There is just one night left, where the presidential candidates will offer their acceptance addresses.