The first night of the Republican National Convention was, all in all, sensationally effective — and effective in ways that the mainstream media and its Twitter chatterers clearly found it impossible to understand.
America’s opinion leaders loathe Donald Trump so much that it remains a great puzzlement to them how he can retain the support of even 42 percent of the population, rather than, you know, zero.
The implicit theory they share is the “deplorables” theory — that anyone who wants Trump to be and remain president is, at root, a bad person or someone too easily tempted by false promises and evil lies.
If they had ears to listen, they might be able to understand it better after tonight. The message of Night One was twofold.
First, the case was that Trump has done many things to help individual people in extremis — working to release hostages, deregulating certain types of medical treatments, fighting entrenched interests, and leading a strong economy until COVID came along to kill it.
Twitterati laughed at the supposed awkwardness with which Trump interacted with frontline COVID workers and hostages, but what they missed was Trump’s good cheer as he talked to them. These exchanges were actually less weird than the ones last week in which Biden talked to party activists over Zoom.
And second, the case was that Democrats are supporters of urban chaos and socialist policies that will make American lives less safe and will help immiserate the American middle class.