Tanner Goldsmith, an 18-year-old Columbus resident, helped represent Georgia at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as an alternate delegate. Here is his report about the activities from Thursday, the event’s fourth and final day.
“I viewed the final night of the RNC as Donald Trump's opportunity to appeal to independent voters,” Goldsmith wrote in an email Friday to the Ledger-Enquirer. “Before he took the stage, Ivanka did a fantastic job of appealing to women voters by introducing her ideas to increase support for mothers. Ivanka's proposal and her characterization of her father contrasted the often-publicized media narrative that Trump is against women.
“Quite frankly, it was encouraging to see Republicans applauding attempts at equality, and I believe her speech marked a pivotal change in the Republican Party. Trump even acknowledged the thunderous response by the crowd after he insisted on keeping the LGBT community safe against dangerous ideologies. Both Ivanka and Donald combined to appeal to demographics not adequately represented in the Republican Party.”
Although he liked the way Trump conveyed “a real contrast” with Hillary Clinton, Goldsmith said his speech was too long.
“Trump became somewhat redundant towards the end,” Goldsmith wrote. “One of the positive points I gathered from the speech came when Donald Trump branded himself as the law and order candidate; furthermore, he did so in such a way that acknowledged nuances in the fight to return America back to order.
“Trump's speech marked the pinnacle of the convention for me, and I realized that I was witnessing something that will be studied in history books for generations. Trump's speech concluded with the cascading of balloons, which created my favorite imagery of the entire convention.”
The only drawback about the RNC, Goldsmith said, was the lack of sleep.
“Delegates often attend nighttime events, such as concerts and parties, which may last until 2 or 3 a.m.,” he wrote. “In order to attend our Georgia Delegation breakfasts, I had to wake up at 6 a.m., which provided for extremely exhausting days. Upon boarding the plane the day after the final day of the RNC, I took my seat and immediately fell asleep; however, my exhaustion was a minuscule price to pay for the immense fun I had this past week.”
Goldsmith called it “probably one of the best weeks of my 18-year-old life.”
“I learned invaluable information, met wonderful people and enjoyed every minute of the convention,” he wrote. “The RNC has furthered my desire to spread conservative principles and actively work to make America better for everyone. Whether that is through politics or some other outlet, I have no idea; however, attending the RNC has given me hope for the future of the Republican Party and, more importantly, hope for the future of America.”
Click here for Goldsmith’s Day 1 report, when he opined about the Melania Trump controversy.
Click here for Goldsmith’s Day 2 report, when he expressed the “unbelievable” feeling of being in the convention arena during the roll-call vote that resulted in Trump clinching the nomination.
Click here for Goldsmith’s Day 3 report, when he criticized Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for not endorsing Trump while speaking from the convention stage.
The Ledger-Enquirer previously reported about the path Goldsmith took to reach this point, as well as Columbus High classmate David Smith, 18, who will be a delegate at the Democratic National Convention next week in Philadelphia.