RNC : Donald Trump Jr, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley Speeches : The NPR Politics Podcast President Trump and his allies portrayed Democrats as "radical" and decried "cancel culture." The first night of the Republican National Convention attempted to rewrite history on the pandemic response while softening Trump's image with stories of compassion and empathy. Overall, though, the night felt gloomy, highlighting a key point of agreement with Democrats: the stakes of this election are existential.

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Trump, Or Else: Speakers Laud President As 'Bodyguard Of Western Civilization'

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Trump, Or Else: Speakers Laud President As 'Bodyguard Of Western Civilization'

Trump, Or Else: Speakers Laud President As 'Bodyguard Of Western Civilization'

Trump, Or Else: Speakers Laud President As 'Bodyguard Of Western Civilization'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/905734374/905745113" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) stands on stage in an empty Mellon Auditorium while addressing the Republican National Convention on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) stands on stage in an empty Mellon Auditorium while addressing the Republican National Convention on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr., Tim Scott, Nikki Haley — the first night of the Republican National Convention was anchored by speeches from the party's rising stars. Early in the day, before festivities really began, the party took care of the official business: nominating Donald Trump and Mike Pence for re-election.

Here's what you need to know:

  • It felt pretty dark. Speakers like Kimberly Guilfoyle, a one-time Fox News personality, painted an apocalyptic vision of the United States under a Democratic president. Trump was regularly described as the thin line between peace and chaos.
  • There was a really rosy vision of Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, as the nation creeps toward two-hundred thousand lives lost to the disease.
  • South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott gave what was perhaps the most optimistic speech of the night, describing America through his personal story —a country where a family can go "from cotton to Congress in one lifetime."
  • Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said Trump had "earned four more years." In her speech, Haley referred only obliquely to her decision to remove the Confederate flag from South Carolina's statehouse when she was governor of that state.

Listen to our full analysis of the night on The NPR Politics Podcast at the top of this page. While you're at it, we've got a newsletter and a live blog, too.

Connect:
Email the show at nprpolitics@npr.org.
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