• Richard Easson

Republican National Convention: Night 1

Monday night's Republican National Convention was a night full of powerful and uplifting speeches given by well-known Republican and Democratic politicians and candidates, citizens, and even appearances by the president. Here's an overview of a few of the nearly two dozen speakers.

Archbishop of New York Timothy Cardinal Dolan opened the night up with a prayer. Important and monumental in setting up what was to come in the RNC, Cardinal Dolan's payer was inspiring and showed exactly what a majority of Republicans are, god-fearing individuals who pray for the betterment of this country. His prayer, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance recited by a World War II veteran, were so inspiring that as the first night of the RNC went on, a caller who identified himself as a lifelong Democrat in Ohio, called into C-SPAN to say that he would be supporting Republicans this year citing the party's embrace of the word God as playing a part in his decision to switch.

Republican candidate for Maryland's 7th Congressional District, Kim Klacik, was invited to speak at the event. After a campaign video featured her walking through dilapidated parts of Baltimore entitled "Black Lives Don't Matter to Democrats" went viral, she became a rising star within the House's pro-Trump candidate pool. Her speech featured her slamming Democrats, accusing them of running Baltimore into the ground during their over 50 years in office with spikes in violence, drug use, and homelessness. Her passionate video is worth the watch.

Herschel Walker is a former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL superstar, a former Democrat and an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump. Walker concentrated his speech on putting those who call Donald Trump a racist on blast. He noted Trump's achievements for the black community, stating that he has done more for them in three years than most presidents have done in eight. He also mentioned his personal relationship the president and said "I've had a personal friendship with Donald Trump for 37 years, and during all this time he has never, never, never asked Herschel Walker to speak for him, and after they've called him all types of names, and I know Donald Trump. I've been with him in very, very special moments and I've never seen that in him and that's why I wanted to speak for him." Mentioning his upbringing in the Deep South, Walker noted that he knows what real racism looks like.

Natalie Harp is a Trump campaign advisory board member and warrior battling stage 2 bone cancer. Her passionate speech praised Trump for his Right to Try legislation, and credited him for her survival. The president's legislation gives terminally ill patients the right to try treatments that have not yet been fully approved by the FDA. She mocked the Democrats' history of being largely against the concept of the right to try.

Andrew Pollack is the father of Meadow Pollack, a Parkland High School student who was killed by a fellow student in a school shooting in 2018. Andrew gave an emotional speech describing his daughter, her bright future, and how it was taken away from her due in part to liberals ruling the local school districts. He outlined how the school district knew about the shooter's threats and mental instability, but ignored the red flags and continued to embrace "restorative justice." He also reminisced on his meeting with president Trump at the White House and how the president carefully listened to and consoled his family.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who were filmed legally protecting their home with firearms as BLM activists broke into their private community and hurled threats at them, addressed the nation in a speech that blasted liberal policies that flipped the script and made them the felons rather than the activists. The couple reminded the nation that the police came and confiscated their legally-owned firearms and St. Louis's Circuit Attorney, Kim Gardner, charged the couple with felonies. Far-left BLM activist Cori Bush was recently elected to be the district's representative in the House. Mark went after Democrats saying that they no longer see the “government’s job as protecting honest citizens from criminals but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens.”

Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, gave a fiery speech that accused Joe Biden of doing absolutely nothing during his nearly half a century in politics. He even likened the former vice president to the mythical Loch Ness monster to describe how rarely he makes appearances, and when he does, it's only for his benefit. “Joe Biden is basically the Loch Ness monster of the swamp. For the past half-century, he’s been lurking around in there. He sticks his head up every now and then to run for president, then he disappears and doesn’t do much in between.” Trump Jr.'s speech also defended his father's handling of the pandemic, success in rolling back Obama-Biden era regulations to create one of the greatest economic revivals in American history, and moral and ethical character.

Lastly, Senator Tim Scott gave a heartfelt speech that provided a personal account of his life and how it led him to become the leader he is today. During an interview with Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday morning's edition of "Fox and Friends," the senator slammed Joe Biden's record on race and Bernie Sanders' claim that Donald Trump is the most racist president in American history. "Brian, let me say this first, a racist president does not provide the highest funding for HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] in the history of the country and he certainly does not make that funding permanent. A racist president does not take Opportunity Zones and provide up to $75 billion of private-sector dollars for the most distressed people in the country. A racist president simply does not create 7 million jobs and make sure two-thirds of those jobs go to African-Americans, Hispanics and women."

Night 2 of the RNC begins tonight with an opening statement from the First Lady Melania Trump followed by speeches from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senator Rand Paul, Abby Johnson (anti-abortion rights activist), Myron Lizer (Navajo Nation vice president), Mary Ann Mendoza (mother whose son was killed by an illegal immigrant), Nicholas Sandmann, Eric Trump, and Tiffany Trump, just to name a few.

(Cover photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)