With a nominee like Donald Trump, this election cycle’s Republican National Convention was highly anticipated with a mix of fearful trepidation and voyeuristic delight. As a queer, liberal woman who’s feeling a little of both, here are my picks for the top four most iconic moments thus far:
Melania Trump’s plagiarization of Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC speech
Melania Trump was proud to announce that she had written her own speech for the highly televised event with “as little help as possible.” It seems that the little help she did accept was from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention. Two paragraphs of Trump’s speech reads almost phrase-for-phrase like Obama’s, and it even has astrophysicists engaged in what constitutes as plagiarism and the probability of accidental plagiarism. If only the Trump campaign had invested in turnitin.com.
Third Eye Blind’s pop rock activism
The band Third Eye Blind, famous for late 90s hits such as “Semi-Charmed Life” and “How’s It Gonna Be,” gave a semi-charmed performance in front of RNC crowds. With plenty of snarky and pro-LGBT commentary from frontman Stephan Jenkins, the band played their most obscure songs peppered with questions such as, “Who believes in science?” When the band finally offered a hit to the crowd, their song “Jumper,” Stephan framed it with a pro-LGBT message and appealed to the GOP to accept LGBT individuals into the “American fabric.” “Jumper” is about Stephan’s gay friend who committed suicide by jumping off a ledge. Not even late ’90s nostalgia should have been worth the risk of inviting a band whose frontman penned a 2012 piece criticizing the party and its policies after declining an invitation to play at that year’s RNC.
The norovirus outbreak that’s made for an explosive convention
On Tuesday, about a dozen California delegation staffers fell ill with norovirus, which is an extremely contagious illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Fortunately, none of the delegations or their alternates have shown any symptoms. Still, because of the nature of the disease, Ohio health officials are reminding convention attendees to use sanitary products and avoid shaking hands. The sick staffers, in the meantime, will spend the convention in their beds at Kalahari Resorts, which has worked and is currently working with health officials to ensure their facilities meet sanitation protocols.
Mutiny on the convention floor
In an unusual and potentially embarrassing display of no confidence, a group of states attempted to question the rules of the convention via a state-by-state roll call. The individuals leading the rebellion were party officials who weren’t sold on Trump as the nominee and were out to change the rules as a last ditch effort to prevent him from reaching the general election. The ruckus occurred after the convention chair put the rules up to a voice vote, and ignored the objections that arose from anti-Trump delegations before announcing that the motion passed (essentially securing Trump’s nomination since the standard rules would apply.) Then chanting (with half chanting for a roll call vote and the other, louder, half chanting Trump’s name) commenced and the chair walked off the stage. Eventually, the chair did return, announced a new voice vote, and declared (again) that those in support of the rules won. Although this time complaints were lodged and states petitioned for a roll call vote, they just didn’t enough votes in favor to achieve one. Although they lost out on the roll call vote, some are speculating that the rebellion on the convention floor was just a stunt to lay the groundwork for a 2020 Ted Cruz nomination. Regardless, this shows that not everyone is on board with a Trump presidency, and that has implications for the future of the Republican party.
Although the 2016 Republican National Convention hasn’t concluded yet, it, much like this election cycle, will leave a lasting imprint that is sure to amuse and terrify future generations of AP US History students.