PBS NewsHour Extra
Analyzing Trump's Speech
The Republican National Convention had its fourth and final night on Thursday, August 27 with a nomination acceptance speech by President Donald Trump. The themes for the week included appeals to restoring “law and order” against a backdrop of protests against police violence, which have in some cases turned violent, and a spike in crime in some cities. Speakers also emphasized the strong economy that existed before the COVID-19 outbreak and Trump’s foreign policy initiatives, including trade deals. Read the summary, watch the video, and answer the discussion questions. To read the transcript of the video above, click here.
- Trump’s speech was the longest nomination acceptance speech in modern history. Click here to watch the speech in full.
- Speakers during the final night also included President Trump’s longtime counsel and political ally Rudy Giuliani, who stressed themes of law and order, and the top Republicans in Congress — Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Senator Mitch McConnell — who emphasized Trump’s trade and economic initiatives.
- What is a party nominating convention, and what purpose does it serve as part of the election cycle?
- What is different about the nominating conventions this year than normal convention years?
- Focus question: How do you think the Republican and Democratic parties are appealing to voters in this election?
- Media literacy: How do the reporters in the video above provide context to the appeals of the Democratic and Republican tickets? What information do they add to help you understand the themes of the Republican Convention?
President Trump’s speech was given on the lawn of the White House and the week included other administration staff using their offices for political purposes, which many argue is a violation of the Hatch Act. What is the Hatch Act? Read this article, then answer the following questions.
- Do you think the White House should be available to use as a stage for political conventions and rallies? Why or why not?
- Why do you think the Hatch Act was originally signed into law?
- Do you think it’s possible to draw a clear line between normal government activities and political activities? Why or why not?
- Do you think using the powers and entitlements of any office for political gain is fair? Why or why not?
Republished with permission form PBS NewsHour Extra.