The RNC's first night was a polished and uplifting home run

Having watched the entire first night of the Republican National Convention, I am happy to report that I was not bored, embarrassed, frustrated, or irritated.  It was a superb production, featuring a wide variety of ordinary Americans, along with Republican politicians, giving polished, engaging, and uplifting presentations.  Also — and this completely delighted me — the Trump campaign made a bold and long-past-due play for the minority voters that the Democrats have used and abused for so long.

One of the best things about the evening was its grandeur.  The Democrats' convention played out on an exceedingly small canvas, with almost all the speakers crammed in front of their computer monitors.

The DNC didn't get any brighter for the main events.  When Harris gave her acceptance speech, she stood before what looked like a grim underground tunnel with poles holding signs for the various states, a sparse six flags, and nothing else.  Biden, for his acceptance speech, stood in front of an even sparser background of faded blue-on-blue stars, plus those six lonely flags.

Ultimately, the DNC offered a Zoom convention.  Visually, it promised that America's future would be one of continued isolation and flatness.  Even our leaders will stand shrunken and alone.

The RNC, by contrast, opted to have as many of its speakers as possible stand before an almost shimmering wall of American flags in the magnificent and soaring Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, a building that is a triumph of early 20th-century neoclassical design.  Even though each speaker stood alone in the room, there was a sense of grandeur and endless possibility, rather than the cramped feel of just another lockdown Zoom meeting:

Although there were politicians on the roster (e.g., Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Jim Jordan), and family and near-family (Donald Trump, Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle), most of the speakers were everyday Americans.  People were picked based upon their life experiences, their values, and their ability to stand in for broad swathes of the American experience.  Unlike the Democrats, Republicans did not offer a collection of politicians, celebrities, and people divvied up by victim status or sex or race identity.  Jennifer Rubin, a NeverTrump whose views align perfectly with the Biden platform, gave voice to how the left views America's normal people:

If Rubin had been less prejudiced, she might have learned something from these "nobodies."  They spoke of their love for America, the opportunities they've had in America, and the huge benefits Trump has bestowed on them, not in the form of bribes and favoritism, but because of policies that benefit everyone.

Of course, the Republicans who spoke had a significant advantage over the Democrats: speakers were repeatedly able to point to promises that Trump made and that he kept.  They contrasted this with the fact that Biden, despite 47 years in D.C., has no accomplishments.  His biggest triumph — the 1994 Crime Bill — served only to decimate black communities.  The best that Democrat conventioneers could say is that Joe's a nice guy, and even that's highly debatable.

The Republicans also, at long last, got smart: they pushed hard to bring minorities into the fold.  Blacks, Hispanics, and an East Asian Indian (that would be Nikki Haley) spoke about Trump's love for all Americans, the benefits his pre-COVID economic boom bestowed on minorities, and the fact that minorities are a part of the American dream.  In Trump's America, minorities are not victims.  They are a vibrant part of the American tapestry, even as the Democrats treat them like props and take them for granted.

While every short presentation was good, whether about school choice, health care, the American military, or a variety of other subjects, some were great.  For example, there was Maximo Alvarez, a refugee from Cuba who became a successful businessman in Miami.  He likened what the Democrats are saying now to what Fidel Castro promised in the 1950s — and warned Americans that Castro's promises destroyed people and a country.  Alvarez's reverence for America is complete:

For many, these words from Mr. Alvarez were the takeaway of the evening:

I may be a Cuban born, but I am 100% American. This is the greatest country in the world. And I said this before: If I gave away everything that I have today, it would not equal 1% of what I was given when I came to this great country of ours. The gift of freedom.

Herschel Walker, who's known Trump for 37 years, spoke movingly about Trump as a true friend who sees people, not skin color:

Natalie Harp, a cancer patient who survived because of Trump's "Right to Try" initiative, said Trump, by authorizing innovations that made medicines and treatments available to Americans, is a real-life George Bailey (from It's A Wonderful Life) because he's made a difference:

Vernon Jones, the Georgia Democrat who supports Trump, gave a rollicking speech explaining why he stood against his party and why other blacks should follow his lead:

Donald Trump, Jr. gave a polished and rousing oration that managed to touch upon the economy, cancel culture, crime, and everything in between.  He neatly highlighted the benefits that have flowed from his father's accomplishments and the inevitable disasters that Biden's presidency would create.  He also called Biden the Loch Ness monster of the D.C. swamp, which is a great line:

If the convention continues in this vein for the next few nights, the Republican Party will have hit a grand slam.  It was a polished, interesting, and often deeply moving evening that contrasted beautifully with the demoralizing, self-indulgent dystopian world that the Democrats presented on their little Zoom screens.

Image: Screen grab of the RNC Convention's first night.

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