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OPINION

What I learned on the first night of the RNC

It was a night full of hosannas to Trump and willful lying about his four years in office.

A logo is displayed on a computer at the start of the Republican National Convention Monday.
A logo is displayed on a computer at the start of the Republican National Convention Monday.Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Here are a few of the things I heard on Monday evening while watching the first night of the Republican National Convention:

President Trump responded quickly and effectively to the coronavirus pandemic.

Donald Trump is “just another family man.”

▪ The Democratic Party has consigned Black America to a “mental plantation” and they want to “abolish the suburbs” by bringing “crime, lawlessness, and low quality apartments” to thriving suburban neighborhoods. The latter point was made by a St. Louis couple who pointed guns, including a semi-automatic rifle, at peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters.

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▪ A Cuban immigrant talked about the gift of being able to live in America as he extolled the virtues of a president who has made it increasingly difficult for immigrants to come live in America.

▪ Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, declared that Trump rejected the Obama administration’s weakness on North Korea, which oddly omitted that Trump has previously said he exchanged “love letters” with Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea. Haley also said her Indian-Americans parents had “faced discrimination and hardship,” a moment after criticizing as wrong those who say America is a racist country.

▪ Herschel Walker, a 1982 Heisman Trophy winner who is Black, said that Trump is not a racist because the two men have been friends for many years. Walker also said that Trump cares about social justice.

▪ In a segment taped at the White House, in violation of the Hatch Act, which forbids the use of government property for partisan political purposes, the president welcomed a half dozen former hostages who had been released during Trump’s presidency (they sat together not wearing masks or social distancing). The group included American pastor Andrew Brunson, imprisoned for two years by the Turkish government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Trump told Brunson, “to me, President Erdogan was very good.”

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Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, called Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden “the Loch Ness Monster of the Swamp,” even though the Loch Ness monster lives in a lake. Not a swamp.

He also said that Biden’s “entire economic platform seems designed to crush the working man and woman,” which is an interesting claim in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and at a time when almost 20 percent of American households with children can’t adequately feed their children.

Trump Jr. said, “The Republican Party is the home of free speech. The place where anyone from any background can speak their mind” days after his father called for a boycott of Goodyear, an American tire company, after the company reportedly banned political clothing, including MAGA hats.

Also, he said Americans cannot lose sight of the fact that the police are American heroes, a day after police officers in Kenosha, Wisc., shot a Black man in the back seven times as his children watched in horror.

▪ The president — in an appearance with essential workers in the White House, none of whom were wearing masks or social distancing — said, “We just have to make this virus go away and it’s happening” on a day in which the confirmed US death toll from COVID-19 reached 177,000.

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The president also touted the benefits of hydroxychloroquine, even though studies have shown that it does not help victims of COVID-19, and called the coronavirus the “China virus” even though that’s a racist formulation.

▪ Ronna McDaniel, the head of the Republican National Committee, jabbed Democratic National Committee host and star of the show “Desperate Housewives” Eva Longoria, by noting, “I’m actually a real housewife.” In fact, McDaniel is the full-time head of the RNC and not a housewife.

McDaniel also complained that if one watched the DNC, they would have learned very little about the DNC’s policies. In related news, the Republican National Committee did not write a party platform for the 2020 convention and instead offered a blanket endorsement of Trump’s leadership.

I could go on for a while, but you get the idea.

What I definitely did not hear in between the hosannas to Trump, the willful lying about his four years in office, or the apocalyptic descriptions of a Joe Biden-led America is a good reason why a voter not already supporting the president’s reelection would want to give him four more years in office.


Michael A. Cohen’s column appears regularly in the Globe. Follow him on Twitter @speechboy71.