Wednesday night's portion of the convention was yet again very well-rounded with speakers from various government and private sectors. Some of the most prominent speakers of the night included Vice President Mike Pence, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Texas Representative Dan Crenshaw, Republican nominee for North Carolina's 11th congressional district Madison Cawthorn, and Republican nominee for Utah's 4th congressional district and former football star Burgess Owens.
Mike Pence spoke from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland. The backdrop for his speech was empowering as the fort is the site that gave way to the inspiration for our national anthem. The vice president spoke highly about the administration's strong backing of our nation's military. He touched on the Trump administration's restoration of our military after they inherited one hollowed out by budget cuts from the prior administration. He touted the creation of the U.S. Space Force, our success in putting astronauts back into space on American-made rockets after a nearly 10 year lull, and positive reformations to Veterans Affairs.
Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota and a large proponent of the president, gave an effective speech. She discussed how our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution in such a way that would protect American citizens from government oppression and tyranny. Her powerful opening reminded us of our former presidents' struggles to maintain and restore peace, like Abraham Lincoln, and gave way to slamming Democrats for doing exactly the opposite. She called out Democratic leaders on their ineffectiveness and unwillingness to help quell the violent protests taking place in cities run by members of their own party. She alluded to their lack of leadership as encroaching on their constituents' rights and wellbeing.
Dan Crenshaw reflected on his time serving in Afghanistan. He mentioned how his close friend and teammate provided cover fire against Taliban insurgents so Dan could walk out of his hellish situation alive. His friend, years later, was not so lucky. Dan hailed him as a hero who sacrificed his life for this country and also praised all of America's heroes. Those in the military and first responders risk their lives each and every day. They are what makes America the greatest country in the world. He said that it is up to us, the American public, to uphold and protect the individual rights and liberties granted to us by our Constitution, something that many have fought and died to protect.
Madison Cawthorn is a name that many may not have heard of, that is, until last night. He was injured in a horrific car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, but that didn't stop him from becoming the Republican nominee for North Carolina's 11th congressional district. His extremely powerful speech praised God, his community and his doctors for giving him the chance to live. He addressed how, despite being only 25-years-old, age is only a number, and that young people have the power to make a difference. Mentioning how George Washington was only 21 when he received his first military commission, Abe Lincoln was 22 when he first ran for office, and James Madison was 25 when he signed the Declaration of Independence. Toward the end of his speech, Madison had a walker placed in front of him and stood up out of his wheelchair to recite part of the Pledge of Allegiance. If one would take it as stab at the kneelers in the professional sports world, then it was an effective one.
Burgess Owens began his speech by providing a brief but inspiring story of his great-great-grandfather, who came to America on a slave ship and lived as a slave until he successfully escaped by way of the Underground Railroad. Ultimately settling in Texas, his ancestor built up a community and became very successful. He reminisced on the struggles he faced in his own life after his Super Bowl-winning career in the NFL. He fell on hard times while trying to start his own company and ended up living in a one-bedroom basement apartment sweeping chimneys in the morning and working as a security guard at night. His speech revolved around the point that despite what Democrats have their base believing, all Americans have the same opportunity to become what they want and create their own success story. He even touted the president's ability to drive unemployment down to record lows for minority communities.
Tonight, President Trump speaks at the RNC along with Ben Carson, Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton, Kevin McCarthy, Jeff Van Drew, Rudy Giuliani, Franklin Graham, Dana White, and others.
(Cover photo: WSJ)