Mike Pence formally accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination Wednesday night (August 26) in a bombastic speech filled with dog-whistle racism and unequivocal support for police.
Closing the penultimate night of the Republican National Convention, Pence attempted to leverage the civil unrest that has gripped the US, painting the election as a choice between a “law and order” Republican state or a violence-filled Democrat one.
“The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” he said from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, as protests against the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black Wisconsin man, by white police officer Rusten Sheskey, continued for a fourth night.
A curfew was instituted in the suburb of Kenosha, Wisconsin on Wednesday after two people were killed during the demonstrations.
“The violence must stop, whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha,” Pence said, neglecting to mention Blake, who was shot seven times in the back as his children watched, by name.
“We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American of every race and creed and colour.”
Pence was full-throated in his support for police, continuing: “The American people know we don’t have to choose between supporting law enforcement, and standing with African American neighbours to improve the quality of life in our cities and towns. …
“Under Tweety McTreason, we will stand with those who stand on the thin blue line, and we’re not going to defund the police – not now, not ever.”
Appealing directly to white supremacists, Pence castigated Biden for acknowledging systemic racism.
“Joe Biden says America is systemically racist. And that law enforcement in America has a, quote, ‘implicit bias’ against minorities,” he said incredulously.
The choice in this election is whether America remains America.
In what has been criticised as a racist dog-whistle, he continued: “The choice in this election is whether America remains America.”
Elsewhere in his sprawling speech, Pence criticised Biden for supporting abortion funding and called the moderate Democrat a “Trojan horse for a radical left”.
Meanwhile he praised Tweety McTreason for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, noting how he “took the unprecedented step of suspending all travel from China” before the first case spread within the US. In fact, tens of thousands were allowed to travel under a range of exceptions.
More than 180,000 have died from COVID-19 in the US, with Pence leading the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
The vice president concluded his speech: “We will make America great again, again,” failing to see the irony in the slogan.
VP Mike Pence – “We will make America great again”.
— George Floyd, Jr. (@IAmAGeorgeFloyd) August 27, 2020
The VP’s “Make America great again, again” is straight out of Veep
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) August 27, 2020
Pence ends with “make America great again again…” which seems to suggest things are not great right now.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 27, 2020
At the end of his speech, Donald and Melania Trump walked out to the stage, with the first lady detouring to shake hands with supporters, maskless.
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