Leslie Marshall: Republican Convention speakers falsely claim Biden would turn US into a socialist nightmare

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Speakers at the Republican National Convention this week seem to be in a competition to see who can make the most alarmist, wild and frightening accusations against Democratic presidential nominee and former vice president Joe Biden and his Democratic Party.

On the third night of their convention Wednesday, Republicans spared no effort — and didn’t let facts get in their way — to demonize Biden as a pawn of radical socialists and violent mobs out to transform America into a failed state.

Under the Republicans’ nightmare scenario, America under President Biden would be a nation where no one is be safe from dangerous criminals, the federal government would wage war on religion and God, our economy would be destroyed, taxes would go sky high, and we’d all be living in darkened homes because fossil fuels would be made illegal.

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The Republican caricature of Biden and the Democrats is so extreme and detached from reality that it could pass for a sketch on “Saturday Night Live” or a story In the satirical news site The Onion.

Faced with the tragedy of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 179,000 Americans, wrecked our economy and sent unemployment soaring, Republicans obviously have an almost impossible task trying to convince voters that Trump has ushered in good times. They face the same problem with the issue of racial justice, as Trump seems to be doing everything he can to divide Americans and make the problem worse.

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Since they can’t convince voters that things are great under Trump (although they are trying mightily), Republicans appear to have settled on a strategy of claiming that as bad as things are today, they’d be far worse under Biden.

Because the horror show Republicans are conjuring up to scare the bejesus out of the American people is so extreme and exaggerated, I doubt it will have the intended effect on independents, moderate Republicans, and moderate Democrats whose votes Trump needs to be reelected.

Sure, the horror show will make Trump’s base happy, but he has their votes already. He and Republicans are doing little at their convention to try to broaden their base to get enough votes for a second term in the White House.

Republicans have trotted out Trump family members (including daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, who hold high White House positions thanks to nepotism) and federal officials (who are legally barred from involvement in partisan politics) to sing Trump’s praises. Unbelievably, they even had Secretary of State Mike Pompeo address their convention from Jerusalem while on a diplomatic mission.

And Trump, who seems to be unable to go for a day without appearing on TV, keeps popping up with all sorts of stunts to be the focus of attention every night of the convention — including swearing in new citizens, pardoning convicted bank robber Jon Ponder (an action I support), summoning freed hostages to the White House to sing his praises, and more.

Attacks on Biden at the convention have been about as dishonest as you can get,

The portrayals we’ve heard Republicans give of Trump and his accomplishments would be impressive for anyone who has been living in a cave since January 2017 and has no idea of what has transpired under Trump’s incompetent leadership.

For those of us living in the real world, the claims that Trump has brought about Middle East peace, has done an absolutely wonderful job dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, scored a foreign policy triumph with North Korea, and on and on were laughable.

Attacks on Biden at the convention have been about as dishonest as you can get, questioning whether he is suffering from dementia (he’s not), whether he hates God and people who are religiously observant (he doesn’t) and even whether he wants to improve opportunities for people of color (he does). These attacks are absurd.

To be fair, there have been some good things at the Republican Convention, in the moments when Trump was not basking in the spotlight.

The personal testimonials of ordinary people speaking at the convention were terrific. The videos showcasing these people telling their stories were well-produced and effective.

Despite Trump’s involvement seeking to be the center of attention, I liked the swearing-in of new citizens at the White House naturalization ceremony, especially the diversity I saw among that group. This was a reminder that America is a nation of immigrants, and that immigrants are an asset, not a liability. And the diversity was something we don’t often see at Republican conventions.

As a New England girl from Boston, I absolutely loved Jason Joyce, the Maine lobsterman; not for what he said, but for his accent, which made me homesick for my family and for “lobstah.”

And first lady Melania Trump did as good a job as anyone could do trying to humanize President Trump and give him a warmer image, as she made a clear appeal for the votes of women. Her speech Tuesday night was notably free of the angry attacks on Biden and Democrats that characterized the tirades of most other speakers at the convention.

Mrs. Trump was part of concerted efforts Republicans are making to appeal to female voters, a group her husband is not doing well with in opinion polls.

Mrs. Trump said she had a “special message for mothers of this country.” In addition, Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who no longer approves of abortion, spoke against a woman’s right to choose.

Billy Graham’s granddaughter, Cissie Graham Lynch, spoke about bathroom bills and attacked transgender rights. “Democrats pressured schools to allow boys to compete in girls’ sports and use girls’ locker rooms,” she said. This a clear appeal to conservative women who don’t like Trump’s behavior but are worried about Democrats going too far to the left on social issues.

And Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., was part of a video that highlighted the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

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But while both Democrats and Republicans have put on impressive shows at their conventions, which are unlike any that have come before due to the coronavirus pandemic, I don’t think either convention will have a decisive impact on who comes out on top in the presidential election.

I’ve always said that the conventions are kind of like tailgate parties before the homecoming game. The upcoming Trump-Biden presidential debates and what happens with COVID-19, the economy and other major issues between now and when voters cast ballots will have a bigger impact.

And, as with every election, turnout will be a key factor. That’s particularly important this year, since Trump seems to be doing everything possible to slow down mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Service and badmouths mail-in ballot with false accusations of fraud almost every day.

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If the election turns out to be a referendum on the state of the nation today, Trump will likely lose. That’s why he and Republicans are trying so hard to make it a referendum on the socialist nightmare they falsely claim Biden would bring to our nation if he winds up as our next president.

My advice to voters: don’t buy the horror story Republicans are trying to sell you.

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