In the lead-up to the Republican National Convention, the word was that the four-day event would adopt an optimistic tone to counter the Democrats' criticism of President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. That rang true in the convention's opening video montage Monday night, which argued Trump's "swift action saved lives" and that he is now leading the United States to an economic recovery. Once the first round of speakers got up to the podium, however, the evening took a darker turn.
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk called Trump the "bodyguard of western civilization" who was "elected to protect our families, our loved ones, from the vengeful mob that wishes to destroy our way of life, our neighborhoods, schools, church, and values." Kirk was followed by elementary school teacher Rebecca Friedrichs and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), both of whom also painted a dystopian image of the U.S.
Friedrichs accused teachers' unions of turning classrooms into "war zones" while Gaetz suggested if Democrats return to power they'll take away people's guns, empty prisons, and install MS-13 gang members as people's next door neighbors. Tim O'Donnell