Words I would use to describe the Republican National Convention held in Cleveland this past week: magical, historical, energetic, patriotic, peaceful.
I was literally buzzing with excitement after the first night of the convention. Talk about an impactful experience — and it was only day one! Thousands of patriotic Americans converged on Cleveland to show their support for the Republican nominee. Between the young kids handing out free water to police on the streets, to the jovial laughs ringing through the convention halls, the air was light and the energy positive. I watched Americans of all socio-economic backgrounds embrace each other and fight for their idea of a better America. The first day of the Republican National Convention was an amazingly successful and impactful event for me.
But you would never believe that was the case if you were not at the convention. I woke up Tuesday, excited to share my experiences with the world, only to be immediately disgusted by the rhetoric that was splashed across my twitter feed. Almost every headline covering the RNC described the first day as disastrous, embarrassing, or filled with vile negativity. This only solidified my distrust in the media.
As the week went on, it became evident that the media had already decided what the outcome of the RNC would be, and wouldn’t shine a light on the beautiful and positive experience the convention turned out to be for so many. For days, the media hyped the delegate revolt and the potentially threatening protests, so much so that I was second guessing attending for fear of being in danger. Except the protests, many of which I live streamed via Periscope, were small and peaceful, with more than half of those surrounding activists being members of the media. It appeared the talking points had been distributed, and Trump’s “dark” speech was the icing on the cake to the purported “disastrous” convention.
It is easy to find things to complain about when you are looking to complain. The media, including many conservative outlets, have stopped hiding their bias and it is disturbing. What Willie Robertson said on that first evening rang even more true with me as the week went on. He said,”I have a theory about how they [the media] missed the Trump Train. They don’t hang out with regular folks like us.” And that’s exactly it.
The people who attended the convention, and those who are excited about Donald Trump, are not over-all wearing hill-billies, who want the South to rise again. They are not brainless nationalists, they are not racists bigots. The people who attended the Republican National Convention and the people who support Donald Trump are people who truly love their country and feel it is going in the wrong direction. Many attendees that I spoke with were not necessarily huge Donald Trump fans, but were proud to see someone standing up for their belief in country.
Of course the media would paint these folks and their event as negative, because it’s clearly something they are struggling to grasp. The patriotism and passion at the RNC was incredibly inspiring. Regardless if you agree with the candidate or the solutions set forth, it was life-changing to experience the energy of the convention and to interact with those there. But of course, the media would only depict the convention as flawed. The real irony will be watching a truly potentially disastrous Democratic National Convention this week, with the #DNCleaks and the ouster of DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. We’ll see how unbiased the media coverage truly is this week.