There is also what’s going on right around him every day.
Outside the convention hall in Charlotte, N.C., the past week has been an eventful one. Days before the convention began, one of the president’s closest former advisers, Stephen K. Bannon, was arrested on fraud charges tied to an organization that claims to be providing funds for the president’s wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Notably, Mr. Bannon’s name hasn’t come up at the convention.
The coronavirus pandemic, of course, rages on, and the beginning of the school year is weighing on many Americans’ minds. Last night, Vice President Mike Pence boasted that “we are opening up America’s schools,” but polling shows that a wide majority of the country feels that returning to in-person classes would be unsafe. Most major cities have said they will begin the fall semester online only.
On Monday, as Mr. Trump was accepting his party’s renomination, a judge in Florida sided with the state’s teachers’ union against an order from Gov. Ron DeSantis requiring schools to reopen. By denying school boards the right to determine whether it was safe to return, the judge wrote, the order “arbitrarily disregards safety” and violates the state Constitution.
Amid all this, there is also the ongoing protest movement against racial injustice, which got an unwelcome adrenaline boost this week after the police were filmed shooting an unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake, in the back in Kenosha, Wis. The convention has made a point of emphasizing diversity, with a number of Black and Latino speakers who often talked up Mr. Trump’s record on job creation (despite unemployment now being in the double digits) and the need to fight Democrats’ “socialism.”
When mentioning police reform, Republicans tend to extol the First Step Act, a bill Mr. Trump signed in 2018 to lower mandatory minimum sentences and expand rehabilitation programs, implying that it shows Mr. Trump has good will toward calls for reform. When it comes to the protests themselves, Mr. Trump’s allies relished the opportunity to highlight his forceful response, bragging that the president would continue to promote law and order in the streets.