The second night of the Republican National Convention (RNC) was filled with inspiring stories of people who have achieved the American dream, including a former felon given a full pardon and a group of five individuals who took the oath of citizenship in front of President Donald Trump.
The event began with a prayer and the pledge of allegiance, followed by Myron Lizer, the Vice President of the Navajo Nation, who spoke about President Trump’s support of the Navajo and other Native American communities.
Jon Ponder, a former convicted felon, shared how God changed his life while in prison. Ponder said, “As I laid on that stainless steel, I heard God utter into my spirit, ‘Son, I honored what you asked me to do.’ He said, ‘Never forget the promise that you made to me.’ And ever since that day, I’ve gotten off that floor and my life did a 180 degree turn in the other direction.”
In a particularly moving moment, President Trump officially offered Ponder a full pardon.
Abby Johnson, a former employee of Planned Parenthood, made history by being the first former member of the abortion industry to speak at the convention. She said, “For most people who consider themselves pro-life, abortion is abstract. They can’t even conceive of the barbarity. They don’t know about the Products of Conception room in abortion clinics, where infant corpses are pieced back together to ensure nothing remains in the mother’s wombs—or that we joked and called it the ‘Pieces of Children’ room.”
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Johnson continued, “For me, abortion is real. I know what it sounds like, I know what abortion smells like. Did you know abortion even had a smell? I’ve been the perpetrator to these babies, to these women, and I now support President Trump because he has done more for the unborn than any other president.”
In a speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Nicholas Sandmann, the infamous former Covington Catholic High School student, spoke about how the media smear campaign against him impacted his life. “Together, I believe we must all embrace our First Amendment Rights and not hide in fear from the media, the tech companies or from the outrage mob either. This is worth fighting for. This is worth voting for,” said Sandmann.
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Tiffany Trump, a recent graduate of Georgetown University Law School, shared her perspective on how media bias is negatively impacting the country. Trump shared, “People must recognize that our thoughts, our opinions and even the choice of who we are voting for may and are being manipulated and visibly coerced by the media and tech giants. If you tune into the media, you get one biased opinion or another and what you share, if it does not fit into the narrative that they seek to promote, then it is either ignored or deemed a lie regardless of the truth. This manipulation of what information we receive impedes our freedoms, rather than allowing Americans the right to form our own beliefs, this misinformation system keeps people mentally enslaved to the ideas that they deem correct, this has fostered unnecessary fear and divisiveness among us.”
She continued, “In short, our nation suffers by hindering our diversity of thought and inclusion of ideas. Working, together outside our political comfort zones, will accomplish so much more. Some cynical politicians do not seem to believe in the miracle of America, well I do. As Maximo Alvarez said so eloquently last night, ‘If freedom is lost in this country, there is nowhere else to go.’”
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Ryan Holets is a police officer who had a seemingly random encounter with a drug addict that changed his life when he agreed to adopt her unborn child. He shared, “When Crystal said that she was looking for a family to adopt her baby, God showed me exactly what I had to do. Without hesitation, I told her that my family would welcome her baby through adoption. Today, our beautiful daughter Hope is a thriving two-year-old. Crystal is fast approaching three years of recovery. She is a dear friend and a constant inspiration to me and others.”
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In a unique moment of the evening, President Trump presided over the naturalization ceremony of five individuals from five different countries.
After the swearing in, President Trump said, “With the rights and freedoms each of you now enjoy as citizens, there is no dream beyond your wildest reach, because Americans can do anything. Today, you have also accepted the profound duties and responsibilities that come with American citizenship. By swearing the oath of allegiance, each of you have entered into a sacred and unbreakable covenant with our nation. You have pledged your undying loyalty to the American people, the American Constitution and the American way of life. The history and heritage of the United States is now yours to preserve and pass down to the next generation.”
Eric Trump, the president’s second son, said, “The Democrats want an America where your thoughts and opinions are censored when they do not align with their own. President Reagan said, ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for. It must be protected.’”
In a historic moment, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the RNC from Jerusalem. He shared how the policies of the Trump administration have made the country, and the world, safer.
In the newly renovated Rose Garden, First Lady Melania Trump addressed the nation for the second time at a convention. “Growing up as a young child in Slovenia, which was under Communist rule at the time, I always heard about an amazing place called America. A land that stood for freedom and opportunity. As I grew older, it became my goal to move to the United States and follow my dream of working in the fashion industry. My parents worked very hard to make sure that not only could my family live and prosper in America, but also contribute to a nation that allows for people to arrive with a dream and make it reality.”
The First Lady then thanked her parents.
“I studied for the test in 2006 and became an American citizen. It is still one of the proudest moments in my life because with hard work and determination, I was able to achieve my own American dream. As an immigrant and very independent woman, I understand what a privilege it is to live here and to enjoy the freedom and opportunities that we have. As First Lady, I have been fortunate to see the American dream come true over and over again…The past three and a half years have been unforgettable. There are no words to describe how honored, humble and fortunate I am to serve your nation as your First Lady…It is my greatest honor to serve you.”
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“Donald and I are inspired by the millions of Americans who wake up each day with a simple, yet courageous goal, of providing for their families and keeping them safe. You are the backbone of this country. You are the people who continue to make the United States of America what it is and who have the incredible responsibility of preparing our future generations to leave everything even better than they found it.”
Mrs. Trump also discussed her work as First Lady and shared her concerns about how technology is impacting young Americans.
Day three of the RNC will feature Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, Lara Trump and Kellyanne Conway.
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