By far and away the best experience that I have had so far at the Republican National Convention was attending the Conservative Pit Stop. Destination: White House event with the American Conservative Union. The event featured two panels that focused on the policy and Trump and the conservative movement.
In an election cycle where the GOP candidate’s conservatism has been questioned, this event had fascinating insight into the concerns of the Republican base that has shifted the 2016 RNC platform so far to the right. Everyone was so passionate about their values that even when I did not agree with them I was excited to hear them out.
Many of them are afraid because the country that they have always known and loved in changing, and they are resistant to that change due to a fear of the unknown. For many, they fundamentally disagree with the policies of the Democratic Party, and prefer to unite around someone that they do not support in the name of preserving the status quo.
While walking on the streets of Cleveland, a delegate from Texas gave me a pin that I think sums up the mentality of many unhappy republicans in this cycle:
“Let us agree,
And that there be no division among us, but that
We be united in the same mind
And the same judgement.
1 Corinthians 1:10
United we Stand
Divided we Fall”
Many of these fears, however, are being dissolved for conservatives by Pence being added to the ticket as the prospective Vice President. For me, I personally cannot support any individual who uses fearmongering to win over poise and policy.
That does not mean that I did not enjoy when secret security ran into the ACU event, followed by Mike Pence himself. It was incredible experience to be within 100 feet of the man who may become the next Vice President of the United States. Everyone in the event was so excited to hear a true conservative speak and calm their fears about the future of their party. If the VP speech resonates at the Convention as well as the practice run did at ACU event, Conservatives will feel calm and ready to support Trump. It will be interesting to see if the party unites or further splinters as the race continues.