We’ve made it through one full day in Cleveland now, and I have to admit, it wasn’t as scary as I would have thought. When I was traveling up here, everyone told me to be safe, and to watch myself in the unfamiliar climate. I even had thoughts in my head about how unusual this may feel and wondered what could happen. Playing multiple scenarios through my head. If you want an ideal FOIL to a Trump supporter, you wouldn’t have to look much further then me. I’m a proud African-American, come from an educated background, and uhhhh in case you forgot, I’m liberal. The only thing Trump supporters and I tend to have in common are our loud, (maybe sometimes obnoxiously) passionate personalities. I’ve seen that most people tend to be courteous though. Let’s hope that maintains. The individuals may have inherently different world views than I have, but I think that’s what makes the United States special. I didn’t go to Wake Forest or join Wake the Vote to be surrounded by like-minded individuals. I think having discourse across world views is increasingly meaningful, especially in the environment we’re in today.
In terms of expectations, I think this week will set the tone for how effectively the Republican Party will unify as we move towards November. Through one day, it seems like there’s a lot of division and hateful rhetoric, similar to what we saw during the Republican Primary. There was an attempt to vote on a rule to unbind the delegates, which led to the storming out of multiple state delegations. And Steve King gaffed about how white people have contributed more to civilization than anyone else in the world. I want to say that the GOP convention is going to be incredibly unpredictable. Unpredictable- True, but the rhetoric and division has remained consistent. We only wonder what and when the next shoe will be to fall.
The day started by being awakened by a huge crack at 5:45 AM, much earlier than I find pleasant to be awakened. I hope that’s more of an omen for the GOP’s chances as we go towards November than an omen of the trip ahead. Here’s to meaningful learning from the other side again.