The first night of the Republican National Convention was extremely light on policy talk. The party put together no platform this year, opting instead to draft a simple resolution declaring its intent to support whatever Donald Trump decides he wants to do. So, instead of mounting an argument in favor of a sweeping policy agenda on Monday night, the convention’s cast members spent most of their time painting Trump as an empathetic leader who loves Black people—but will also keep Black people from moving to the suburbs where you, white voters, live.
One of the few exceptions was the topic of school choice, which was raised by almost every speaker on Monday’s docket. California public school teacher Rebecca Friedrichs, who has been fighting for years to prevent teachers unions from compelling members who oppose their union’s politics to pay union dues, appeared at the beginning of the evening. In her speech, Friedrichs accused teachers unions of “trapping so many precious, low-income children in dangerous, corrupt, and low-performing schools” by opposing policies that divert money from public schools to charter, private, and parochial schools. Friedrichs praised Trump for “empower[ing] kids to escape dangerous, low-performing schools” with a proposed tax credit program that would encourage funding for private and home-school education.