Republican Convention 2016: Tumultuous and Yet a Triumph?


Make America Great Again! The unsurprising but all too apt title of the 2016 Republican National Convention, with the backdrop of a divided nation and a divided party, now was the time for Donald J Trump to show whether he really could be the Republican nominee and more importantly the next President of the United States of America.

People have said many things about Donald Trump, most of them I probably shouldn’t repeat here, but one thing that is undeniable is that he knows how to put on quite a show, and what a show this convention was! I’ve picked out some of the highlights of the convention.

Michelle Obama – what are you doing here?

If you had been listening to the speech on the radio you might be forgiven for thinking you heard the first lady Michelle Obama at the convention; sadly for the republicans it wasn’t. Melania Trump has come under heavy fire for plagiarizing Ms Obama’s previous speech. Some of her staunch supporters have refuted this claim but I’ll let you be the judge.

On Monday Melania said:

From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, and you do what you say and keep your promise.

Back in 2008 Michelle Obama said at the Democratic convention:

Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values, that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do.

If you need any more proof, Chris Harrick, the VP of Turnitin, found two types of plagiarism used by Ms Obama and as any history student will know you can’t argue with Turnitin.

Make America Safe Again!

The opening night of the convention was given the title “Make America Safe Again”, featuring speakers such as Marcus Luttrell (a retired U.S. Navy SEAL), U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, and a particularly passionate speech by Karen Vaughn, the mother of a fallen U.S. Navy SEAL.

However, the most telling speech of the night was delivered by former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani. He warned that: ‘there is no more time for us left to revive our great country. No more time to repeat our mistakes of the past’.

If you watch just one speech from this convention, make it his. This speech and this night was a moment when Donald Trump may have found the key message that resonates with all Republicans, making America Safe again. As the man himself put it: ‘I am the law and order candidate’.

The Beginning of a Trump Dynasty?

I’m sure somewhere there is a TV producer watching the convention and wondering if they have found a replacement for Keeping up with the Kardashians, and I for one would love to watch Keeping up with the Trumps!

Over the four days both his daughters, Tiffany and Ivanka and his sons Eric and Donald Jr gave powerful speeches, particularly Ivanka and Donald Jr. Already both established names, and known key advisors for their father it wouldn’t be surprising to see either running for elected office soon. The Bush family tried to create a dynasty and failed; could this be another time we see a Trump succeed where Jeb Bush failed?

Ted Cruz making fans wherever he goes

From all the republican primaries, we learnt two things. Firstly Donald Trump’s candidacy was not a joke, and secondly that no one likes Ted Cruz. From this convention we have remembered two things, Donald Trump’s candidacy is not a joke and no one likes Ted Cruz! Booed and ridiculed by the crowd for failing to endorse Trump, only time will tell whether this was Cruz acting out of true principle or just more political maneuvering.

President Trump? Yep it’s possible

Trump’s announcement that he will ‘lead our country back to safety, prosperity and peace’ highlighted what anybody who watched the speech will have known, this is not the Trump of the primaries. Yes there were still unscripted moments, and a lack of the political correctness but this was a speech which marked the start of a man trying to look more presidential, and more worryingly for Hillary Clinton, he succeeded.

Anything else happen?

Yes, while the failed attempt to change the rules to allow delegates to vote for someone other than Trump may have been the headline story, an equally important story happened on the final night. Peter Thiel co-founder of PayPal spoke on the final evening of the convention, which while not a story in itself meant he became the first openly gay man to speak at a Republican Convention raising the issue of LGBT+ rights. This highlighted more than anything that this was not business as usual for the Republicans, Trump is making his mark on his adopted party, and regardless of whether they win in November they may thank him some day for this.

It’s been a long time since there has been such a chaotic and frankly exciting convention as this one and while it was not the perfect convention Trump may have hoped for (Cruz saw to that) it was not the disaster democrats would have hoped for either. Trump has not won the presidency of the United States over these last four days but if he keeps to this new message it might well be his to lose come November.


I'm a Third year Politics and International Relations student. Apart from being involved in Wessex Scene. My interests include anything even vaguely political, and i'm also a keen sports fan. Follow me on twitter @jeds1996

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