RNC Speech brings discussion to a UF class

Two students share their reactions to Vice President Pence’s RNC speech

By: Leah Alsept


The University of Findlay’s Political Communication class took time to watch some of the key speakers from both the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention and discuss some reactions to the things both sides had to say.

Senior public relations and theater performance double major India Miller says she’s found her beliefs lie left of the political spectrum, but it hasn’t always been that way.

“I was very much in the middle for a very long time because I grew up in a very conservative community and my parents did a great job of not telling me their views, and teachers in high school, they also would not [tell Miller their views],” she said. “I think the older I get and the more people I surround myself with, I wanted to be more informed because I’ve was kind of tired of only relying on my emotion or only having to politely shake my head and listen to everyone else.”

The RNC ran from Aug. 24 through Aug. 27. Beginning Day One with a prayer from Cardinal Timothy Dolan in New York City, and wrapping up the last night with Donald Trump accepting the party’s nomination.

Miller has not seen much of the RNC outside of class, but she feels strongly “riled up”  about Pence’s Wednesday night speech, jotting down notes from the almost 40-minute address.

“[Pence] was talking about how Trump has kept his word, and I do believe some of his policies and some of the work he’s done has benefited the country—I do, I think every president has good and bad—” she said, “But one of the things he said was [that Trump is] a proud defender and he unites people and doesn’t divide them.”

Miller thinks that contrary to what Pence says, Trump only unites like-minded people and are “speaking to what they already know and believe” because of his background in business and brand building

If senior public relations major Rowan Gnepper threw her dart on the political spectrum, she’d fall somewhere on the opposite side of Miller.

“The only interest I really had before [the 2020 election] was to be a lobbyist because I like to debate things,” she said “However… I know it would be awful to be in any type of government position, especially with all the ridicule you get.”

Although Pence’s speech in class was the only RNC speech she’s seen, Gnepper did appreciate the Vice President putting Trump in a better light.

“Now whether everything was factual or not, the way that [Pence] spoke it, without fact-checking [for herself], I thought that Trump and the Administration sounded great,” she said. “I think especially compared to Obama’s speech, he was a lot more respectful than what Obama was.”

Miller sees two sides of politics besides red and blue—governmental and humanistic.

“I think that’s the government politics of it—that end goal, where we want to be—and then I think the human in between is a lot of pointing fingers and blame and drawing lines—” said Miller, “as in ‘my way, or my party’s way, or my candidates way is the only way to get there,’ so I think they invoke some of these fear tactics to say ‘you won’t be safe’ in whoever’s America.”

Gnepper also feels exasperated hearing the same lines over and over.

“It just all feels so repetitive and they’re just going in circles and saying the same things,” she said. “They can promise all they want but it doesn’t mean it’s actually going to happen.”

“That’s what’s best for the country,” Gnepper said, “Is someone that’s going to be honest and isn’t just trying to twist things just for the vote, you know?”

All four days of the RNC can be viewed on YouTube, CBS News, C-Span, PBS, and ABC News.

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