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Republicans' convention turns the race in Trump's favor

Republicans' convention turns the race in Trump's favor
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After just two days of the Republicans’ national convention, the Biden-Democratic house of cards began to collapse. In place of the gloom of the Wagnerian sorceresses that oppressed watchers of the Democratic convention last week, Republicans produced a crisp, lively procession of very articulate women and African Americans, in particular, who swaddled themselves in the usual patriotic exultations; by their demeanor and the content of their remarks, they have spiked the Democratic effort to portray the Trump Republican Party as a wretched ragtag of bigots and quasi-fascists. 

Republicans have done the necessary to separate the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the urban guerrillas and terrorists mobbing some cities, from the overwhelming majority of Americans — including African Americans — who love their country, wish an upgrade in police techniques and, unlike the Democratic Party in its convention, condemn mob violence. The inability of Democrats to take their distance unreservedly from those who burn down whole districts of cities, assault the police and try to level statues of Frederick Douglass, U.S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln, was a time bomb that Republicans have wasted no time in detonating.

Democrats did not refer to the urban violence that has plagued America this summer, even though it is the uppermost political thought in the minds of most Americans, not excluding the coronavirus. Republicans — largely through excellent, persuasive African American spokespeople such as Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottLiberals should embrace Trump's Supreme Court nominee Romney slams Trump for refusing to denounce QAnon on national television Graham says SC people of color can go anywhere in the state but 'need to be conservative, not liberal' MORE (R-S.C.) and the 34-year-old GOP attorney general of Kentucky, Daniel Cameron — exposed the cowardly Democratic placation of extremists, the colossal failure of corrupt Democratic municipal machines, and highlighted urban violence with positive, un-demagogic proposals for a combination of reform and law enforcement to combat it. 

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Where Democrats chiefly spoke in a darkened room, and vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter As VP Kamala Harris could be a powerful voice for women's retirement security The clock is ticking and Trump is still taking a shellacking MORE (D-Calif.) seemed like the narrator of a Bela Lugosi performance as Count Dracula in the Transylvanian dusk, Republicans spoke in a brightly lit, flag-festooned hall. And where Democrats presented a succession of rather tired political office-seekers and -holders, Republicans interspersed young, promising officeholders with articulate, sympathetic advocates from many walks of life for key elements of the Republican program.

The Republican African American speakers dismembered the traditional Democratic stance that Black America has a moral and historic duty to vote Democratic. Billy Graham’s granddaughter made a strong but tasteful pitch for the evangelical vote without in any way confining the Republican Party to that section of the public. A defector from Planned Parenthood, principal provider of abortions in the United States, made a compelling pro-life pitch without inciting the inference that the Republicans wish to ban abortions. 

Democrats were reduced to crabbing that Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo: 'Dangerous' for Twitter to take 'non-viewpoint-neutral' stance Pompeo warns any arms sales to Iran will result in sanctions as embargo expires Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members MORE addressed the convention from the roof of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. Republicans explained that he was speaking in a personal capacity, that the State Department had no part in preparing his address and its contents were not derived from any facts hitherto unknown publicly. 

Sen. Scott closed out the first night with a powerful invocation of this administration’s fiscal and social efforts to revive depressed areas, which had been highly successful prior to the onset of the coronavirus. 

The most powerful performance was that of Melania Trump in the White House Rose Garden, to conclude the convention’s second night. Mrs. Trump offered no criticism of the Democrats, explaining that she did not wish to add to the divisions that exist in the country. She movingly spoke to COVID-19 sufferers and recounted the achievements of her husband’s administration in containing and reducing the virus. She spoke eloquently as a legal immigrant fleeing a communist homeland. And, without histrionics or hucksterism, she spoke effectively of the need to mobilize national opinion behind nonviolent progress over all of society’s imperfections, including those that have resulted from what she described as regrettable aspects of American history. It was a well-worded address, and the first lady’s pronounced but not acoustically irritating Slovenian accent highlighted her credentials to speak of the comparative greatness and potential of her adoptive country. 

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The Rose Garden setting that had Democrats clucking in protest, the unexceptionable clarity of her message, and Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Early in-person voting kicks off in Florida | Biden lays low to prep for debate | Trump rips Fauci on call with campaign staff Melania Trump to appear at Pennsylvania rally Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event MORE’s always startling pulchritude and elegant style, all made her extensive speech so powerful that even CNN was momentarily incapable of criticism. Yet, shortly after it began, Bette Midler, demonstrating Hollywood’s nasty and unfathomable Philistinism, tweeted out a complaint: “She still can't speak English.” 

At the end of her remarks, a CNN panel demonstrated its compulsive hostility and also the ponderous capacity for improvisation of the Trump-hating media, whom Mrs. Trump dismissively criticized without naming any particular outlet. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer began by offering the first complimentary words I have ever heard from him about any representative of the Trump administration. Next came fellow anchor Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperNY Times slammed for glowing Farrakhan op-ed: 'You would think he was a gentleman' Democrats condemn Trump's rhetoric against Michigan governor as allies defend rally Illinois governor blames Trump's allies for state's wrong direction on coronavirus MORE, who fetched up on the notion that Mrs. Trump was rebelling against her husband by speaking sympathetically about the coronavirus and avoiding direct criticism of Democrats. Chief political correspondent Dana BashDana BashCNN's John King: Barrett 'would be getting 70 votes or more' in Senate if nominated by another GOP president Romney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' GOP lawmaker calls Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' MORE built on this theme and political correspondent Abby Philip, with the advantage of speaking last, was able to imply the opening of a full-scale schism in the Republican Party and the Trump administration, even possibly in the president’s marriage, because the first lady spoke with such compelling moderation. 

Interspersed in the evening’s convention remarks were a citizenship naturalization ceremony in which the president welcomed new Americans from five Asian, African and Latin American countries, and his grant of a full pardon to a convicted bank robber who had served his sentence and established an organization to assist ex-convicts in finding a law-abiding, constructive place in society.

After only two days, Republicans sliced horizontally through Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE’s innocuous, passive candidacy surmounting a militant Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE-ite program, no part of which enjoys majority support among the American public. Barring an unlikely flare-up of the virus or a historic faux pas by the president, this electoral race should now begin to open up in Trump’s favor.

Conrad Black is an essayist, former newspaper publisher, and author of ten books, including three on Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE. Follow him on Twitter @ConradMBlack.