Seeds: Every four years, after the brutal months of campaigning for primaries and caucuses, the Republican Party comes together in Cleveland, Ohio (or in another city that is equally as sexy) to announce the party’s nomination for President of the United States. Usually, the convention’s schedule is littered with Republican A-Listers (you know, Mitt Romney, John McCain, both President Bush’s), and younger Republicans hoping to launch themselves to political stardom (or at the very least gain a bit more popularity for their congressional, senatorial, and gubernatorial races). However, it seems as the unconventional candidacy of Donald J. Trump has led to quite an unconventional convention.
Core: Today (July 18, 2016), marks the beginning of the 2016 Republican National Convention. The list of speakers will not include the usual number of senators, congressmen, and governors, but rather a total of six members of the Trump family, four billionaires (making up more than 1% of the US’s richest men), and two soap opera stars. This unusual group of speakers is a result of many prominent Republicans (many of which believe showing up in Cleveland and supporting Trump is a form of political suicide as Trump’s unfavorability ratings currently hover around 60%) declining to attend the convention. The list of excuses for lack of attendance ranges from “I’m up for re-election.” (Sen. John McCain) to “I’ve got to mow my lawn.” (Sen. Jeff Flake) to, my personal favorite: Senator Ben Sasse will be taking his kids “to watch some dumpster fires across the state, all of which enjoy more popularity than the current front-runners.”
Skin: Currently, all eyes are on Cleveland. Major news networks are holding their breath in anticipation of what could happen over the next four days. The combination of protesters, guns, and, well, Trump, promises to be newsworthy.
Leaves: The lack of attendance at this year’s convention points to the larger problem currently facing the Republican Party: a lack of unity. Trump’s candidacy has exposed cracks in the GOP, fissures that are only deepened by the party’s most prominent members refusing to fully endorse Donald Trump. As of right now, only time will tell whether or not the Republican Party will be able to reunite, or if Trump’s candidacy has forever changed the makeup of the party.
Food For Thought: Do you think the entire Republican Party will be able to reunite behind Trump? Does Trump need the full support of his party to win the election?