[OPINION] The 2020 Republican National Convention reveals how the party of Abraham Lincoln and true conservative values have been hijacked by Donald Trump

Photo courtesy of History.com

THE Republican Party was once known as the party of Abraham Lincoln; the party of true statesmen fighting for true conservative values and in the service of the American people; the Grand Old Party.

But it has been hijacked by this reality star named Donald Trump.

He has taken over the party, while its members have been complicit in abandoning the very principles the GOP had been fighting for centuries just to ride in the fanaticism.

The members of the GOP warned the American people about the danger of electing Donald Trump to be the nominee of the Republican Party. In 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz said, “he lies all the time.” Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley pointed out that “Donald Trump is everything I taught my children not to do in kindergarten.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Donald Trump needs to carefully select a running mate to bolster his inexperience, adding that Trump doesn’t know much about “the issues.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio warned, “Guys, we have a con artist as the front-runner of the Republican Party.” Sen. Rand Paul asked about Trump: “Aren’t people eventually going to say, ‘Does the emperor have any clothes? Or does the emperor have a brain, frankly?’ We have seen them say these then, immortalized in videos we can watch now on social media. Lindsey Graham declared, ‘I think he’s a kook. I think he is lazy. I think he is unfit for office.’”

These people, once sounding like fierce hyenas, have morphed into meek lambs when Trump was elected president. Riding on the popularity of the reality star among the base, these members of the Republican Party, in cahoots with Fox News, have been singing praises in support of Trump’s rhetoric and actions they were criticizing before. They have been justifying and even glorifying Trump’s moral corruption.

For fear of falling out of Trump’s grace, and thereby putting their own political interests at risk, these Republicans have failed to do their Constitutional duty to provide checks and balances and hold the president accountable. They have become complicit in Trump’s failure to live up to the oath he took as president “to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America.”

The Republican leadership has, without shame, condoned and normalized Trump’s behavior, rhetoric, and policies that: sowed division among the American people; enflamed a culture of hate – “them” versus “us’; discriminated against people of color; bent the truth that did not fit his narrative in his alternate universe; spread lies, falsehoods, misinformation, and conspiracy theories that have compromised the safety, well-being, decency, dignity and unity of the American people and the nation.

The 2020 Republican National Convention showcases this failure and betrayal of the GOP to put the interests of the American people above the Republican Party’s political expediency.

This year, the Republican Party decided not to write its convention platform that would have informed the American people the direction to which Trump, the nominee seeking re-election, and the party propose to steer the country to, and the policies and programs to help us get there given the enormity and gravity of the challenges we now face as a nation.

The GOP is reusing its platform from 2016, which was written by the party even before Donald Trump was sworn into office.

What has Trump and the GOP accomplished in the last four years? Killed many regulations put forth by the Obama Administration to protect the environment, and those that protect the ordinary hardworking Americans from abusive business practices. Tried to kill Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) even during the pandemic without any viable alternative. Threatened the Social Security, Medicare and other safety nets that ordinary Americans have paid for from their paychecks.

Trump and his cohorts in the Republican Party gave huge tax breaks to billionaires and millionaires and just scraps to the middle class, causing even a greater disparity in income inequality and caused our national debt and deficit to balloon instead of being wiped out as promised by the demagogue Trump. They provided more money to the military while sacrificing the basic services like health, education meant to invest in our human resources. They Killed the Dream Act, separated families, demonized persons of color, empowered the racists.

Trump antagonized our allies while cozying up and singing praises to dictators while coordinating with our geopolitical adversaries like Russia to interfere in our democratic process, undermined the free press, the judiciary, and the U.S. intelligence agencies, local government officials, scientists and health officials, the Democratic Party who dared to call him out for his lies and transgressions against the rule of law.

The delegates of the Republican Party would therefore not go through the usual thoughtful and intentional process of deliberating over policies and principles to determine what the party stands for in 2020, as Democrats recently did, so the American people can make an informed decision on election day.

Instead, the RNC has become a showcase of the party’s undying love, reverence and allegiance, not to America and the Constitution, but for and to Trump — venerating, adoring, hailing Trump and echoing all the politically motivated falsehoods and conspiracy theories he has been peddling without bases in fact.

Never mind the continued threat of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 177,000 Americans under Trump’s watch; the economic hardship the American people and nation now face; the ballooning of our national debt from $19.57 trillion when Obama left office in 2017 to $24.95 trillion as of May 1, 2020; the threats to the sovereignty and democracy of the nation by foreign and hostile powers like Russia and China.

Never mind the rise in the division and hate crime in the past four years; the need for a health care system that truly covers all Americans; the broken immigration system; gun violence; economic inequality; race and ethnic inequality; climate change and energy issues.

Instead, the party of Trump wrote this resolution on the Republican Party platform for 2020:


WHEREAS, The Republican National Committee (RNC) has significantly scaled back the size and scope of the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte due to strict restrictions on gatherings and meetings, and out of concern for the safety of convention attendees and our hosts;

WHEREAS, The RNC has unanimously voted to forego the Convention Committee on Platform, in appreciation of the fact that it did not want a small contingent of delegates formulating a new platform without the breadth of perspectives within the ever-growing Republican movement;

WHEREAS, All platforms are snapshots of the historical contexts in which they are born, and parties abide by their policy priorities, rather than their political rhetoric;

WHEREAS, The RNC, had the Platform Committee been able to convene in 2020, would have undoubtedly unanimously agreed to reassert the Party’s strong support for President Donald Trump and his Administration;

WHEREAS, The media has outrageously misrepresented the implications of the RNC not adopting a new platform in 2020 and continues to engage in misleading advocacy for the failed policies of the Obama-Biden Administration, rather than providing the public with unbiased reporting of facts; and

WHEREAS, The RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policy positions of the Obama-Biden Administration, as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee today; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda;

RESOLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention;

RESOLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention calls on the media to engage in accurate and unbiased reporting, especially as it relates to the strong support of the RNC for President Trump and his Administration; and

RESOLVED, That any motion to amend the 2016 Platform or to adopt a new platform, including any motion to suspend the procedures that will allow doing so, will be ruled out of order.

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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at [email protected], or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos.

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com and www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

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