By Samir Shukla
Charlotte will host the Republican National Convention in 2020, leading up to what is sure to be the most heated and divisive election in American history. The Charlotte City Council narrowly (by vote of 6-5) approved the convention at their meeting in mid-July.
My hats off to Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. An African-American, female, Democratic mayor of a progressive city went out on a limb to host the convention of an opposing party whose most powerful politician is a decidedly amoral man, to say the least. Barring unforeseen political storms, the 2020 convention will be Donald Trump's coronation to seek a second term as President.
It is the Mayor's job to showcase her city and help bring conventions and businesses for its citizens. Making an effort to bring such an event to one's city, batting for someone as divisive as Trump, while putting one's reputation at stake takes guts.
Mayor Lyles won no political points with her Democratic base while pursuing the RNC. Some Charlotte City Council members had a change of heart at the last minute but after much ping-ponging back and forth, a slim majority gave the green light to the convention and preparations are now well under way.
Sure, large protests and potential for violence will be there. But democrats, progressives, NeverTrumpers, Conservatives and Republicans looking to stop Trump (yes they are out there) and others should take a deep breath, welcome the RNC, be good hosts, take the money spent around the city and use it for their own political gains. That would be the smart thing to do.
The stupid thing would be to not serve Republican attendees or leaders when they come to your restaurant in an effort to make some kind of point. That type of self-backpatting doesn't further your cause. Of course, we are still two years away from the event. Let's see what transpires. I will write more about RNC 2020, DNC 2020 and other political matters as they unfurl in detail later.
Right now the lights are on and the fights are in full swing for the 2018 election in November. Once that is over, and the new makeup of Congress is established, we can pretty much expect the 2020 election to gear up almost immediately.
Charlotte also hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012, where President Obama officially accepted his nomination for the Democratic Party to contest for his 2nd term. That event brought international spotlight to Charlotte. The city has grown considerably since then and will continue to grow. A true world-class city welcomes all.
The location for the Democratic National Convention for 2020 is yet to be finalized.
Let the games begin.