Guess who’s invited to the GOP convention?

The Democratic National Convention featured presenters from Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who has twice finished as runner-up for the nomination, to Republican John Kasich, a former Ohio governor who sought the GOP presidential nomination four years ago.

Racial and ethnic, gender and ideological diversity were apparent in each night’s headliners.

The convention was not without missteps. For example, some will question whether it was an indication of tone deafness to give Bill Clinton a prominent platform following the MeToo movement and revelations of the former president’s connection to alleged serial rapist Jeffrey Epstein.

But mostly the DNC convention was a well-organized, diverse event that actively sought to appeal to unity and decency in the nation. The fact that Sen. Kamala Harris became the first Black and Asian woman to be nominated by a major party as vice president cannot be overstated in its importance in showing the nation’s growing diversity.

Now it’s the Republicans’ turn.

Similar to the Democrats’ event, the GOP convention will largely be a virtual event with remote speeches taking place next Monday through Thursday. The similarity will probably end there.

Will the GOP display the same kind of ethnic and ideological diversity or will they focus on hard-line Trump supporters only?

At press time, the Republican National Committee had not yet publicly released the convention’s prime-time lineup of speakers, but some of the people reported to be invited to speak should give voters reasons for concern.

 

According to published reports, Patricia and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who went viral after they were filmed brandishing their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in June, have been invited to speak at the Republican convention. Nick Sandmann, a teen who was falsely accused of harassing a Native American protester while attending a conservative rally, was also invited to speak.

The focus of the mostly virtual convention will be rallying Republicans around the re-election of President Donald Trump. That’s to be expected.

But will the convention have speakers acknowledge the issues that the nation is facing, including the coronavirus pandemic and the issue of police brutality and racial inequality? Will speakers seek to ignore the nationwide protests that have been going on for months?

Will the GOP expect to win over the moderate Republicans and independents who will be watching by pretending that everything is fine in the nation when it’s undergoing a pandemic, economic downturn and civil unrest over police brutality and racial inequality?

The highlight of the convention will be when Trump accepts the nomination live from the White House in an unprecedented move. We can expect attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Harris and prominent progressive Democrats, but will the GOP offer solutions to the nation’s problems?

Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune.

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