Your life isn’t defined by singular events, so they say. Rather, it’s a series of events that chips away at your erstwhile beliefs and notions.
A sudden tsunami can’t destroy a rock, but a constant stream most certainly can.
Shift in Political Paradigm
While the above sophism may be true, I believe there’s still a singular moment that encapsulates everything that led to your unexpected paradigm shift. It’s the moment the spark, running along the mile-long wick, finally hits the tip of the dynamite! The moment which brought out that Earth-shattering explosion.
For me, folks, for yours truly…I had my KA-BOOM with conservatism almost 6 years ago. At the time of this writing, it genuinely feels like it was last night. Fun fact: I’m typing this post in the same bedroom the KA-BOOM took place.😄
The First Republican Presidential Debate
So anyway, it was August 6, 2015. It was 3 days after I turned 24 and barely a week after I cut ties with a toxic, manipulative “friend.” My wide-eyed, impressionable self was coming to an end. It was on a collision course with reality. With destiny!
One of the greatest television events in the history of the world could not have come at a better time. It was the first Republican Presidential debate that took place in Cleveland, Ohio. What better network to host it than Fox News? What better hosts/moderators than Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly, and Brett Baier?
(Hey, Chris and Megyn were pretty cool at one point. You die a hero or live long enough to become a Leftist wolf in sheep’s clothing)
The event had all the ingredients to be a smashing ratings success. The country went through 8 years of Barack Obama. Now, Obama wasn’t a terrible President but independent voters were curious to see what new ideas the GOP could bring to the table. What did Jeb Bush have in mind to fix America’s image? Or Marco Rubio?
Or Donald J. Trump?
Trump: The Center of Attention
Let’s be honest, Trump literally taking center-stage cemented the evening’s success. People didn’t want to see the GOP, they wanted to see Trump. They knew The Apprentice star would turn Presidential debates on their head. In the months that followed, their presumptions were proven correct.
Hell, all they had to do was wait for his first question.
“Mr. Trump,” Miss Megyn began, “People like that you don’t use a politician’s filter. But you’ve called women you don’t like ‘pigs’, ‘dogs’, ‘slobs’, and ‘disgusting animals.'”
In the face of an expected “gotcha,” Trump was ready. Adjusting his microphone and raising his finger, he quipped, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.”
The crowd roared in laughter, breaking the still of the summertime Cleveland night.
Yup, Trump delivered. In all of his bombastic showmanship, he delivered.
But enough fawning over Big Don. He’s not (solely) what made that night such a spectacle.
It was all the candidates that took the stage with him. It was all the candidates to his right and left, in a manner of speaking.
The candidates dominating the stage made the night (at least for me). All those candidates of different stripes, and from different walks of life.
There was Trump, the business magnate. Jeb Bush, the heir to a political dynasty. Ben Carson, the black neurosurgeon. Rand Paul, the libertarian constitutionalist. Mike Huckabee, the puritanical preacher. Ted Cruz, the Tea Party guy. Marco Rubio, the youthful Cuban-American and popular Senator. And finally, John Kasich, the longtime political insider who was Governor of a purple state (Ohio).
The event showed me, the former wide-eyed young adult, that your skin color and background really, genuinely don’t have an effect on your real-life success. You just need to work hard and apply yourself. What’s more, your background actually makes you more valuable in the eyes of the electorate.
As schmaltzy as it sounds, I imagined myself up there on that stage, the Deaf guy with all the other guys. The Deaf guy that offered his own take formed by his background experience. I imagined this was what our Founding Fathers envisioned their country becoming: candidates using discourse to inform the electorate. A wide-ranging discourse to help ensure informed votes.
This is what the Greek philosophers and politicians did in Athens, thousands of years ago. They got together and discussed pertinent topics through different prisms. This is what men like Jefferson and Hamilton did at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Federalism or Confederacy? Equal representation among states or proportional representation? Decisions, decisions!
Ideas are beautiful, man…
That August night was the night the Republican Party connected with millions of different folks. It was the night the GOP stopped being the monochrome party. Man, I can be such a dopey romantic.
It was the night they became the Party of diversity at long last. I mean, what did the Democrats have that year? A woman and a few old white dudes? Yeah, keep preaching that diversity crap, hombres!
Where we are Now…
At the time of this writing on March 31, 2021, we’re all languishing under the Biden administration! I wish we can relive that good old patriotic magic again. We could use another spectacle to give our Party, our ideals, a shot in the arm and revive what we had going over 5 years ago. That night…
Oh, what a night…*twinkles eyes* 🦅
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