We didn’t cover the first night of the Republican National Convention ‘live’ last night because our expectations were so low.
Wow, was I surprised at how good it was.
I agree with Sean Davis’ assessment:
Granted, it’s only the first night, but the RNC so far has been shockingly compelling and emotionally moving. I didn’t know the modern GOP was capable of putting together something like this. It’s disorienting how good it is.
There were so many great speakers, but the winner of the night in my estimation was Maximo Alvarez, whose famly fled communist Cuba, and who had the line that drove home what is at stake:
“There is nowhere else to go.”
Maximo Alvarez a Cuban American made me cry.His family lived through communism & became free after making it to America. You sir are a true blessing.Highlight of tonight’s RNC by far was @kimguilfoyle & #MaximoAlvarez????America heard you!God bless The United States??Of America pic.twitter.com/4XZBhFpALq
— Kaya Jones (@KayaJones) August 25, 2020
I don’t know if the younger generations raised to believe Castro is cool and communism is fairer and more just than capitalism will understand it.
Here’s his full speech and some key lines:
To start, Alvarez detailed the experience of his father, who only had a sixth grade education, he said.
“I know all about the past. I’ll never forget my own,” Alvarez said. “My family has fled totalitarianism and communism more than once, first my dad from Spain and then from Cuba. But my family is done running away.”
“By the grace of God, I lived the American dream, the greatest blessing I ever had,” he added. “I’m speaking to you today because my family is done abandoning what we rightfully earned.”
He went on to praise President Donald Trump as “a successful businessman, not your average career politician. Our president is just another family man, a friend, most importantly our elected commander-in-chief who puts America first.”
Alvarez then drew comparisons between Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and the communist regime from which his family fled.
“Keep in mind the other guy running for president is mostly concerned about power,” he said. “I’m speaking to you today because I’ve seen people like this before. I’ve seen movements like this before, I’ve seen ideas like this before, and I’m here to tell you we cannot let them take over our country.”
Recalling his experience with Fidel Castro, he continued: “I’ve heard the promises of Fidel Castro, and I can never forget all those who grew up around me, who looked like me, who suffered and starved and died because they believe those empty promises. They swallowed the communist poison pill.
“If you have a chance go to the Freedom Tower in Miami, stop and listen. You can still hear the sounds of those broken promises. It is the sound of waves in the ocean, carrying families clinging to pieces of wood, families with children who can’t swim but willing to risk everything to reach this blessed land. It is the sound of tears hitting the paper of an application to become an American citizen.”
Turning to the upcoming election, Alvarez went on: “Free education, free healthcare, defund the police, trust a socialist state more than your family and community. They don’t sound radical to my ears. They sound familiar.”
“When I watched the news in Seattle, Chicago, Portland and other cities, when I see the history being rewritten, when I hear the promises, I hear echoes of a former life I never wanted to hear again. I see shadows I thought I had outrun.”
Alvarez also described his parents’ wishes for him.
“My parents only wanted one person to decide my fate: me, not some party member, not some government official, not some bureaucrat. In America, I would decide my own future. I’m so grateful to America, the place where I was able to build my American dream through hard work and determination.”
Trump, he continued, “knows that the American story was written by people just like you and I, who love our country and take risks to build a future for our families and neighbors.”
Turning to his own identity, Alvarez stated: “I may be a Cuban-born, but I’m 100% American. This is the greatest country in the world. And I said this before: If I gave away everything that I have today, it will not equal 1% of what I was given when I came to this great country of ours, the gift of freedom.”
He went on to encourage voters “to choose freedom over oppression.”
“I still hear my dad (saying), ‘There is no other place to go,'” he concluded
Those who fled, and the children of those who fled, understand.
Maximo's story is my family's story. It is the story of every immigrant that has escaped communism, tyranny, and oppression to find freedom and prosperity in America. We are eternally grateful for finding America and increasingly terrified of losing it. https://t.co/5Dx3kNwvvz
— AG (@AGHamilton29) August 25, 2020
Arguably one of the best speeches from a non-politician last night. Maximo is like a lot of our parents who fled socialism and totalitarianism. Some people erroneously think these stories are dated and irrelevant; I strongly disagree. Lots of stories like this yet to be heard. https://t.co/Gt9DGym7DL
— Gabriella Hoffman (@Gabby_Hoffman) August 25, 2020
Maximo Alvarez Powerful speech speaks to me, because my parents escaped socialism, poverty, oppression, and corruption from Brazil. They escaped and have raised me to be proud of my nation. #RNC2020 https://t.co/wsBS27Fb6b
— Alex Finch (@JaidenMcabe) August 25, 2020
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