Presidential Campaign

There’s the real GOP convention, and then what the media ‘reports’

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Two different Republican National Conventions are simultaneously occurring in Cleveland, depending upon the news organization covering it.

{mosads}To hear it from the leftist media, the party stands divided and is not ready to nominate its candidate, features no Hollywood celebrities, the floor reels in chaos and protesters are rioting in the streets outside of Quicken Loans Arena.

I feel as though I am in a completely different city and at a completely different venue.

From my perspective as a delegate from Michigan, the convention hall appears well-organized and on message, aside from a minor last gasp from the Never Trumpers.

Nobody tore up the streets of Cleveland. Protesters outside the event are by and large demonstrating peacefully. Security is necessarily strong in the context of police murders in the country and jihadist activity in Europe.

The speakers on day one — including House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (Texas), former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. — all delivered crisp remarks on national security and inspired confidence in the campaign of presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

Melania Trump’s speech on the true nature and convictions of her husband resonated with those in attendance and signaled a subtle, yet new and positive direction in the arc of his candidacy.

The mother of diplomat Sean Smith, whom jihadists murdered in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, told the painful story of the final hours of her son’s life and how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded to her.

The speakers effectively framed the foreign policy debate for the November election. Clinton chose to arm and train the Islamists who overthrew former dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Those same radicals would later murder Pat Smith’s son.

It was Clinton’s decision to take sides when the U.S. intervened in Libya in 2011, and she chose badly. Gaddafi regime loyalists — who, it must be noted, are most decidedly guilty of their share of human rights abuses — allied themselves with the U.S. in 2012, and they saved the lives of Americans evacuating Libya during that fateful night.

Those in the audience understand that voters cannot suffer four more years of policies that led to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and enabled jihadists to infiltrate the West and cause mass suffering such as they have in Orlando, Florida; San Bernardino, California; Nice and Paris, France; Brussels; and Wurzburg.

Despite all of the positivity emanating from the arena, where the GOP will officially nominate Trump this week, many members of the media focus on the one or two made-for-TV disruptions.

The truth is that security responded well to the few protestors within the convention, and most attendees likely didn’t notice that anything had occurred.

Members of the Fourth Estate will sensationalize stories to draw ratings and enhance their public profiles. That is how they approach their jobs. Their commentaries for the week were written long before they arrived in Cleveland, and they will spend the week amplifying the most inconsequential events regardless of facts.

Reading the online news and turning on the TV for coverage of the convention after leaving The Q causes me to wonder whether I was ever there at all.

As for the Hollywood celebrities, they will all travel to the East Coast next week for the Democratic National Convention. Republicans don’t really need them for a serious, rational discussion that carries so much consequence for our country.

Hoekstra represented Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District from 1993 to 2011 and is the former chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

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