The RNC begins with Republican politicians and voters alike labeling Joe Biden a dangerous socialist and celebrating Trump administration victories. Here are the highlights from day one of the Republican National Convention.

Charlie Kirk, Founder of For Kids and Country Rebecca Friedrichs, small business owner Tanya Weinreis, Rep. Matt Gaetz, GOP House Candidate Kim Klacik, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, registered nurse Amy Johnson Ford, LSU Health Sciences Center surgeon Dr. G.E. Ghali, Rep. Jim Jordan, Herschel Walker, bone cancer survivor Natalie Harp, Georgia Democratic State Rep. Vernon Jones, Andrew Pollack, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, Trump campaign adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle, House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, Congressional Candidate Sean Parnell, former hostages, businessman Maximo Alvarez, former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Donald Trump Jr., and Sen. Tim Scott, all spoke at the first night of the Republican convention. 

The speakers addressed a camera and an empty auditorium, due to COVID-19 precautions. Below are the highlights from their speeches.

Charlie Kirk: Democrats will “eliminate everything that we love”

Charlie Kirk is a 26 year old conservative advocate, operator and founder of Turning Point USA. Turning Point organizes young conservatives on college campuses. Kirk spoke yesterday, dubbing President Trump as the “defender of Western civilization” from its Democratic attackers.

“I am here tonight to tell you, to warn you that this election is a decision between preserving America as we know it, and eliminating everything that we love,” Kirk began. “For decades, ruling class leaders in both parties sold out our futures to China to faceless corporations and to self-serving lobbyists. They did it to preserve their own power and enrich themselves, all while rigging the system to hold down the good, decent middle class patriots striving to build a family, and pursue a decent life.”

Trump, he continued, is the “bodyguard of Western civilizations” and the “good, decent middle class patriots” who seek to preserve it. “Trump was elected to protect our families from the vengeful mob that seeks to destroy our way of life, our neighborhoods, our schools, churches, and values. President Trump was elected to defend the American way of life, the American way of life means you follow the law, you work hard, you honor God, you raise your kids with strong values, and you work to create a civil society.”

Kirk ended his dramatic speech by imploring viewers to elect Trump, “the defender of Western civilization, our champion, my friend, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”

Congressman Matt Gaetz: Biden administration would be a “horror film”

Congressman Matt Gaetz warned viewers: a Biden administration would be run by other Democratic politicians, not the President himself. Biden’s moderate record should not be a comfort to Republicans. “Settle for Biden,” he said, “that’s the hashtag promoted by AOC and the socialists, the woketopians 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,” Gaetz continued, “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 and disbanded.”

Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel: “They think he’s a nice guy”

RNC Committee chair Ronna McDaniel attacked the Democratic party’s pitch for Biden. Their argument for Biden, she said, “boiled down to the fact that they think he’s a nice guy.”

McDaniel thinks: Biden is not a “nice guy.” Biden “raising taxes on 82% of Americans is not nice, eliminating 10 million good paying oil and gas jobs is not nice. Policies that force jobs to flee our country or allow abortions, up until the point of birth, are not nice.”

Congressman Jim Jordan: “Democrats won’t let you go to church, but they’ll let you protest.”

The Democratic Party, Congressman Jim Jordan claimed in his passionate speech, is led by “crazy ideas” and misguided priorities. “Democrats won’t let you go to church, but they’ll let you protest,” he said. “Democrats won’t let you go to work, but they’ll let you riot. Democrats won’t let you go to school, but they’ll let you loot.”

“President Trump has fought against all these crazy ideas, he’s taken on the swamp. All the swamp. The Democrats, the press, and the Never Trumpers.” Trump’s victories were hard won, Jordan argued. In his words, “when you take on the swamp, the swamp fights back.”

The Democratic “swamp” tried “the Russia hoax, the Mueller investigation, and the fake impeachment. In spite of this unbelievable opposition, this President did what he said he would do: taxes cut, regulations reduced, economy growing, lowest unemployment in 50 years, out of the Iran deal, embassy in Jerusalem, hostages home from North Korea, a new US MCA agreement, and of course he’s building the wall and rebuilding our economy as we speak.”

Herschel Walker: “It hurt my soul to hear the names people called Donald. The worst one was: racist.”

Former football player Herschel Walker recounted a 37 year friendship with the President, as evidence that Trump is not, as some critics claim, a racist. “I’ve known Donald Trump for 37 years, and I don’t mean just casually ran into him from time to time, I’m talking about a deep personal friendship,” Walker told viewers.

“It hurt my soul to hear the names people called Donald,” he said. “The worst one was: racist. I take it as a personal insult people would think I have had a 37 year friendship with a racist. Growing up in the deep south, I’ve seen racism up close, I know what it is, and it isn’t Donald Trump.”

Trump “loves and respects the flag, our national anthem, and our country,” but this “doesn’t mean they don’t care about social justice.” 

Rep. Vernon Jones: “The Democratic Party does not want Black people to leave their mental plantation”

George State Rep. Van Jones addressed Biden’s infamous claim in a campaign interview, that anyone struggling with the decision between him and President Trump “ain’t black.”

“As you can see, I’m a man of color, and I’m a lifelong Democrat too,” Jones began. “You may be wondering: why is a lifelong Democrat speaking at the Republican National Convention? And that’s a fair question. And here’s your answer, the Democratic party does not want Black people to leave their mental plantation.”

Jones addressed his response to Biden directly: “I have news for Joe Biden, we are free. We are free people with free minds. And I’m part of a large and growing segment of the Black community who are independent thinkers and we believe that Donald Trump is the President that America needs to lead us forward.”

Jones called Black voters a Democratic “captive audience.” He recounted Democratic Party leaders going “crazy” and wearing kente cloth in the Capitol building “when President Trump sought to earn the Black vote.”

Andrew Pollack: Trump “cuts through the BS”

Andrew Pollack’s daughter was murdered in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. After his daughter’s death, Pollack was invited to the White House to speak with President Trump. While Pollack was initially disinterested in politics in the wake of his daughter’s death, he said Trump was a “good man and a great listener, and he cuts through the BS.”

Pollack told Trump “his administration needed to take a closer look at what went wrong and why. And I got to see who President Trump really is. He’s a good man and a great listener, and he cuts through the BS. Then the President did what he said he would do, he took action. He formed a school safety commission that issued dozens of recommendations to make schools safer. But I’ll bet you never heard about that.”

Pollack blamed his daughter’s death on Obama-Biden “restorative justice” policies, which allowed school administrators to ignore warning signs that the perpetrator would attack his fellow students. “I truly believe the safety of our kids depends on whether this man is reelected,” Pollack finished. “I hope you’ll join me in helping make that happen.”

Mark McCloskey and Patty McCloskey: This “could just as easily happen to any of you”

Mark and Patty McCloskey face criminal charges for pointing guns at peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors outside of their St. Louis mansion. Yesterday, the couple spoke from their home at the RNC. The McCloskey warned viewers “what you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country.”

The couple accused the Democratic party of “no longer [viewing] the government’s job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens.” This, they said, “is Joe Biden’s party,” a party which wants “radicals” in Congress and to “abolish the suburbs” through zoning laws.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Trump Campaign Senior Adviser: “The socialists will fundamentally change this nation”

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Senior Adviser to the Trump campaign, gave possibly the most notable speech of the night. Guilfoyle warned of a socialist takeover of America, promising Trump would not only avoid this future but ensure every American citizen can “realize their American dream.”

“Biden, Harris, and the rest of the socialists will fundamentally change this nation,” said Guilfoyle. “They want open borders, closed schools, dangerous amnesty” She recounted her own family history, her father an immigrant and her mother a Puerto Rican who traveled to the mainland US. Guilfoyle claimed this history showed her “how dangerous their socialist agenda is.” 

Democratic “socialism” and “cancel culture” is for “cosmopolitan elites” who “blame America first.” She asked viewers to consider: “do you think America is to blame? Or do you believe in American greatness?” 

Democrats “want to enslave you to the weak dependent liberal victim ideology to the point that you will not recognize this country or yourself.” Guilfoyle said “don’t let the Democrats take you for granted. Don’t let them step on you. Don’t let them destroy your families, your lives and your future. Don’t let them kill future generations because they told you and brainwashed you and filled you with lies that you weren’t good enough.”

Rep. Sean Parnell: “After 485 days of combat, I came home, eager to enjoy the freedoms I risked my life to defend”

Rep. Sean Parnell, a former Democrat, encouraged other Democrats who feel left behind by their party to support President Trump. He recalled watching “with alarm as the party of my grandfather, a lifelong Union Democrat, turned against the very people they profess to represent. I watched as Joe Biden spit venom at an auto worker who dared to question Joe’s intent to dismantle the Second Amendment.”

Parnell returned from his military service, “eager to enjoy the freedoms I risked my life to defend.” The Democratic party now denounces those who celebrate American freedom, he claimed.

“Democrats once stood for hardworking, law-abiding Americans who displayed our flag with pride,” Parnell said. “this new Democratic party considers these people uneducated racists, clinging to guns and Bibles.” The Republican party will welcome Democrats to their ranks, he promised.

Maximo Alvarez: Trump is “fighting the forces of anarchy and communism”

Maximo Alvarez, founder and President of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors, is a Cuban immigrant who warned against communism in his emotional RNC speech. “I heard the promises of Fidel Castro,” said Alvarez, “and I can never forget all those who grew up around me, look like me, suffer and starve and died because they believe those empty promises. They swallowed the communist poison pill.”

Trump’s America is the “place where I was able to build my American dream through hard work, determination.” Trump is “fighting the forces of anarchy and communism.” The rest of the “DC swamp,” Alvarez said, will “hand the country over to those dangerous forces.”

Nikki Haley: Biden has “A record of weakness and failure”

Nikki Haley, former US ambassador to the UN and Governor of South Carolina, argued that Biden would hurt America’s standing on the world’s stage. “Joe Biden is good for Iran and ISIS, great for Communist China, and he’s a godsend to everyone who wants to apologize, abstain, and abandon our values,” she said. While America is not “perfect,” American principles “are perfect” and should not be abandoned.

Donald Trump Jr.: Biden is the “lochness monster of the swamp”

Biden, claimed Trump’s son in his RNC address, represents everything his father’s administration stands against. “Trump’s policies have been like rocket fuel to the economy and especially to the middle class,” Trump Jr. said. “Biden has promised to take that money back out of your pocket and keep it in the swamp. That makes sense though, considering Joe Biden is basically the Lochness Monster of the swamp.”

While Trump is tough on China, “Beijing Biden is so weak on China that the intelligence community recently assessed that the Chinese Communist Party favors Biden.”

The choice between Biden and Trump is a choice between “rioting, looting and vandalism,” and “church, work, and school.” The life you want to have, “one with a great job, a beautiful home, a perfect family, you can have it,” under Trump. 

Sen. Tim Scott: Biden wants “a cultural revolution” 

Sen. Tim Scott was the final speaker of the night. Scott dramatized the central theme of the night: “make no mistake, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris wanta cultural revolution. A fundamentally different America.”

If Americans elect Joe Biden, Scott promised, “they will turn our country into a socialist utopia.”

Ava DeSantis is Gen Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today. She has a background in political science and history at George Washington University.    

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