GOP Perseveres Despite Day-One Challenges - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Day one of the Republican National Convention session was highly energized in so many ways. The spirit was high amid a brief tense moment when majority of delegates in 9 states challenged a “voice vote” to adopt the report of the committee on rules. The Utah Delegation Chair, Phill Wright, seemingly led the small revolt by these states to push for a “roll call” vote.

The voice vote is a method that uses the distinction of decibels. The majority that is the loudest wins the vote whether yea or nay compared to the traditional “roll call” voting method by state, which is a longer administrative process.

Shortly after the political interlude, the chair announced that 3 states fell below the threshold required under the party rules and deemed the support for a roll call (record) vote insufficient. Therefore, the report of rules committee was ratified by a voice vote and the chair moved forward with the next agenda item.

Delegates from other states viewed the small demonstration as groups of individuals from a few states that used a brief moment as a last stance of support for their original candidate of choice and to show a sense of loyalty before coalescing behind the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

Later that night, when most thought that day 1 of the convention was in the books, another controversy ensued stemming from Melania Trump’s speech. She was accused by the media of plagiarizing First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention speech. Political operatives and media dissected Mrs. Trump’s speech and compared it word-for-word.

Perhaps a case can be made that certain expression and ideas are very similar. I can see how an immigrant woman that speaks multiple languages and is very successful in her own right apart from her billionaire husband who is running for president to “make america great again,” can have an affinity with a black woman that received a great education and worked very hard to achieve success separate and apart from her husband that happens to be the president of the United States.

In any case, the talk of the media and ‘main street’ has shifted away from talking about the brief convention floor protest to the similarities of a few lines of a speech, and that is a good thing.

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John Burnett

John Burnett is a financial services executive with over 20 years of experience at some of the world's top financial services and business information companies. His practical business acumen is matched only by a strong sense of civic responsibility, lending his time to several community-based organizations and advising entrepreneurs of tomorrow. John is an Urban Financial Freedom Fighter, culinary master and strategic advisor to New York Republican State Committee. He is a resident of Harlem, NY. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Leadership and Management Studies from New York University and is the recipient of a Founders' Day University Honors Scholar Award. He also holds an MBA from The Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. To book John for radio, TV and speaking engagements, access his media kit at