Two nights into the virtual Republican National Convention and the strategy now seems crystal clear. Throw some choice cuts of red meat at the base at 9:13 and then devote the 10-11 p.m. national network window to refuting a biased big-box media narrative that 2016 candidate Donald Trump would have openly laughed at as he merrily went about puncturing establishment balloons.
For a second evening, the best voices for President Trump’s feisty brand of outsider politics came early. The night started with a trio of speakers offering perspectives that the dominant media deliberately prevent Americans from hearing.
Breaking Through the Controlled Media
Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director who is now a pro-life activist, gave a disturbing glimpse into the grisly business practices the abortion retail giant utilizes to maximize profit.
Johnson detailed how she was named Planned Parenthood Employee of the Year for 2009. But after receiving her award at a swank gala, something disturbing happened. Later that same year, “my supervisor assigned me a new quota to meet,” Johnson related. “An abortion quota. I was expected to sell double the abortions performed the previous year.”
When she recoiled at this, she says she was told, “abortion is how we make our money.”
As Johnson herself noted, “abortion is abstract” to most Americans, even pro-lifers. It will not decide an election in and of itself. But in describing Planned Parenthood’s volume customer approach, Johnson successfully attacked an organization that is a sacred cow to progressive elites. It was in that regard very much an anti-establishment speech.
Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington, Kentucky high school student who was the subject of a malicious “mainstream” media assault after a staged confrontation with a trouble-seeking Native American activist was videotaped, selectively edited, and then posted onto social media, soon followed. The young man powerfully explained the horror of being an innocent private citizen who suddenly is plucked out of obscurity and held up to worldwide public vitriol by a media machine that willfully and recklessly disregards basic facts in the matter.
“Before I knew what was happening, it was over,” Sandmann stated. “One of [activist Nathan] 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.”
“My life changed forever in that one moment,” Sandmann continued. “The full war machine of the mainstream media revved up into attack mode. They did so without researching the full video of the incident, without ever investigating Mr. Phillips’ motives, or without ever asking me for my side of the story.”
The youthful Kentuckian spoke with a restrained delivery that made him all the more effective because what he had to say was so sobering. It was a potent denunciation of cancel culture from someone who has felt the full brunt of it.
Pam Bondi, former attorney general of Florida, supplied an informative primer on Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, breaking down his controversial ties to shady business dealings in Ukraine and China. While none of the information was new, Bondi, like Johnson and Sandmann, provided a valuable service by very publicly airing things the establishment media purposefully bury.
“A corrupt Ukrainian oligarch put Hunter on the board of his gas company, even though he had no experience in Ukraine — or in the energy sector,” Bondi said. “He only had one qualification that mattered: He was the son of the man in charge of distributing U.S. aid to Ukraine.” She then turned to China. “Joe Biden flew to China on Air Force Two with Hunter along for the ride,” Bondi further elaborated. “In Beijing, Hunter didn’t just go sightseeing; he had meetings with his Chinese bank partners. Hunter even arranged for his dad to meet with one of the partners. Ten days later, those Chinese communist bankers approved millions to go to Hunter’s firm.”
One might wonder why this type of material is a sidebar to the GOP convention, instead of the main focus.
Tiffany Trump Superstar?
Three Trump family members spoke on Night Two and, surprisingly, it was young daughter Tiffany Trump who made the best impression by far. Eric Trump followed in his brother Donald Jr.’s footsteps from the previous evening in giving a dutiful speech that did not stand out. First lady Melania Trump, closing out the night, gave an address befitting her position. But soft words about “helping children” seemed woefully out of place batting cleanup. With no other speakers to follow Mrs. Trump’s pat speech, it was an open invitation for viewers to click to another channel.
But Tiffany was arguably outstanding and was certainly the best Trump of the bunch on Night Two. Her comments on the dangers of Big Media and Big Tech squelching independent thought were intelligent and ably presented. They resonated all the more coming from a young adult still in her 20s. “This manipulation of what information we receive impedes our freedoms,” Trump’s often-overlooked daughter skillfully proclaimed. “Rather than allowing Americans the right to form our own beliefs, this misinformation system keeps people mentally enslaved to the ideas they deem correct. This has fostered unnecessary fear and divisiveness amongst us.” She even drew a razor-sharp conclusion:
“Ask yourselves, why are we prevented from seeing certain information? Why is one viewpoint promoted while others are hidden? The answer is control, because division and controversy breed a profit.”
Missteps and Faceplants
And now for some lows.
Vice President Mike Pence was wasted, serving as on-screen narrator of a shamelessly Oprah-esque video meant to tug heartstrings for Trump. It was all too schmaltzy, however. When Pence cued a young boy to cringingly recite to the president, “Thank you for being a hero to everybody in the country,” complete with emotive music in the background, it was a low point of the evening.
Just as heavy-handed and self-serving was Trump using the White House to politicize a naturalization swearing-in ceremony for new American citizens. As soon as Trump was seen walking through a door guarded by two Marines in dress uniform, red flags were flying. Forget about the issue for a moment and consider the precedent being set. Imagine a Democrat president signing an international climate change treaty during the Dem convention. It’s perhaps inappropriate, and it needlessly gives ammunition to his political opponents.
And that is how the valuable 10 p.m. national network window kicked off. It went on to jarringly feature a zealous foreign policy interventionist for a second night in a row. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, taking up the cue handed down by former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley on Evening One, again attempted to pawn off a hawkish foreign policy stance as a staple of President Trump’s America First agenda. “Today, because of President Trump, NATO is stronger, Ukraine has defensive weapon systems, and America left a harmful treaty so our nation can now build missiles to deter Russian aggression,” Pompeo robustly asserted, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the vast majority of Trump supporters do not see Russia as a dire threat that needs to be engaged in such a militaristic manner.
The Background Theme
A notable bright spot in the 10 p.m. hour was Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. At a time when Democrats are playing the identity politics card to the hilt, Cameron hit all the right notes in refusing to be pigeonholed based on his race.
“So the question is: Will we choose the path that gives us the best chance to meet those universal desires?” Cameron asked. “Or will we go backward, to a time when people were treated like political commodities who can’t be trusted to think for themselves?” Cameron addressed himself directly to Biden as he devastatingly dismissed the candidate’s “if you aren’t voting for me, you ain’t black” provocations. “Mr. Vice President, look at me, I am black,” Cameron said. “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.”
It was another crucial perspective that the media powers in this nation intentionally keep from being aired. And so Cameron provided another strong anti-establishment message; this is likely how Trump will rally his base in the run-up to the election. Why is his convention so afraid to make it the major theme?
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.
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