Recap: Trump accepts Republican nomination for presidency and gives speech on White House lawn

By Brennan Keifer

Elm Staff Writer 

Aug. 20th saw the end to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, where Joe Biden announced he would be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for this year’s election. 

Less than a week later, from Aug. 24 to Aug. 27, it was time for the Republicans to enter the limelight for the 2020 Republican National Convention. 

“My fellow Americans, tonight with a heart full of gratitude and boundless optimism, I profoundly accept this nomination for President of the United States,” said President Trump during a 70-minute address on the South Lawn of the White House, formally accepting the Republican Party’s nomination to run for a second term of presidency and ending the Republican National Convention. 

Unlike the Democratic National Convention, which was conducted with almost no in-person events, the RNC featured crowds of people during Trump’s acceptance speech despite COVID-19 concerns. 

“Guests on the [White House] lawn were packed in rows of chairs,” said New York Timesreporter Alexander Burns, “in plain violation of social-distance guidelines, and few face coverings were in evidence.” 

Many have come forward criticizing Trump for holding such a large, in-person event. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Timessaid that “the Trump team…wants to vault voters either back to the pre-Coronavirus spread…or forward to sometime in the future when this is behind us.” 

Biden has also criticized Trump,calling him an “irresponsible” and “know-nothing” president in the face of COVID-19.

However, Trump remains confident in his administration’s handling of COVID-19, stating in his speech that “we are delivering lifesaving therapies, and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year- or even sooner.” It should be noted too that Biden plans to hold in-person events in key voting states starting after Labor Day,“depending on state regulations on gatherings.” 

There were three main themes which Trump discussed during the RNC and his acceptance speech: Restoring law and order, swift economic recovery, and criticizing Biden. 

“Your vote will decide whether we protect law abiding citizens, or whether we give free reign to violent anarchists, agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens,” Trump said in his address. Trump also criticized protestors,calling them part of a “radical movement” threatening to “dismantle and destroy” the American way of life. 

On current economic issues, Trump promises that if he is reelected, he and his administration will “again build the greatest economy in history, quickly returning to full employment, soaring incomes and record prosperity.” Although these promises sound good, Trump remained vague on his actual plans for said recovery. 

Trump was also keen to speak out against Biden,stating that Biden is “not a savior of America’s soul.” Trump continued, “how can the Democrat Party ask to lead our country when they spend so much time tearing down our country?” 

Trump also stated that Biden spent much of his political career offshoring American jobs,and sending young Americans into wars that “never ended,” adding that “four years ago, I ran for president because I could not watch this betrayal of our country any longer.” Trump also railed Biden as a career politician, telling his audience that Americans should not look to big government to solve their problems, but to instead put their faith in God. 

What the Democratic Convention lacked in fanfare, the Republican Convention made up for in spectacle, ending the convention with a firework display over the Washington Monument. Although much was talked about during Trumps long acceptance speech, over twice as long as Biden’s, specific details for Trump’s plans should he win the election remain vague. However, the Trump administration’s main goal remains clear, and in the words of Vice President Mike Pence, that goal is to “make America great again- again.”

Featured Photo caption: The Republican National Convention (RNC), while focusing on providing rebuttals from the Democratic National Convention (DNC) a week prior, also provided President Trump the opportunity to publicly address the nation in preparation for November. Photo Courtesy of Heather Kitchen.

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