Despite some images and reports coming from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the party is coming together and healing after a divisive and contentious primary, according to Carla Young, a Sedalia resident and alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention.
“Especially after the first day, I think the party is trying to heal and get back together as one,” Young, who also serves as the chairwoman for the Pettis County Republicans and the Fourth Congressional district, said by phone Wednesday morning. “The dynamics have changed so much after the first day and now the movement and focus is on getting behind Trump and working even harder to ensure that Republicans retake the White House this November.
“A great deal of this is because we are actually getting to know who Trump is as a person and not the images that have been seen and heard so far,” she added. “I think that we are seeing the character of the man and who he is and what he stands for.”
According to Young, some of the most reveling aspects of Trump’s character and personality are being provided by the candidate’s family.
“Whenever one of the family members is at the podium the audience takes notice,” Young said. “After his son (Donald Trump Jr.) spoke Tuesday evening, a lot of us were commenting on how he could be a possible presidential candidate himself in the future.
“I liked Mrs. Trump’s speech as well, I think she truly spoke from the heart and did a great deal to humanize her husband,” she added.
Young said the delegates were aware of the controversy regarding Melania Trump’s speech and First Lady Michelle Obama, saying that even though two portions of the speech were similar Trump’s remarks came from a wife who was heartfelt as a person and not as a politician’s wife.
Another defining moment for Young was Trump’s first appearance on the stage when he introduced his wife Monday evening.
“It was an electric moment when he walked out,” Young said. “The applause was so loud it was deafening.
“In those five minutes I think he showed that he is a gentleman and a person of character,” she added. “He could have upstaged her but he didn’t. I think that speaks volumes.”
Another lasting image Young will take with her from her time in Cleveland is that of the Trump children standing at the microphone at the moment their father officially received the nomination.
“It’s become a tradition to have the home state of the candidate be the one that puts them over the top in the delegate count,” Young explained. “I don’t know that anything like that has happened before in convention history and it was a special moment to see the children there in that manner; it was a picture of very well-raised and poised children.”
Young said she feels she has been given a unique perspective to many of the events because of the location of her seating at the convention.
“I’ve been seated about three arms lengths from the VIP seating on the floor,” Young said. “Not only have I had the opportunity to see many of the politicians who have attended but I’ve also seen many of the celebrity figures, actors and broadcasters who are there either in attendance or covering the convention.
“All of the guests and alternates from the state have been given time on the floor which has been very nice,” she added. “I’ve had the opportunity to speak to delegates from 20 or more states and it has given me a good sense of what others in the party across the country are thinking and feeling as well.”
The Missouri GOP has done an extraordinary job of ensuring that their delegates have been given opportunities that other state delegates have not had, according to Young.
“We pay for the majority of our expenses as delegates at the convention ourselves and do not receive money from the party to attend,” Young explained. “The state party has gone out of their way to schedule events for us to attend as we wait to go to the convention.
“While other state delegations are at their hotels the entire time we have been given the opportunity to see Cleveland and visit some museums and places of interest firsthand,” Young said. “We have gone through some protests and demonstrations but we have never been in harm’s way.
“Everything has been incredibly nice, and the city has done a great job of hosting the convention,” Young added. They are to be commended and thanked for all they have done this week.”
In the remaining days of the convention, Young said she was anxious to hear Trump’s speech Thursday night and the remarks from Trump’s running mate Mike Pence and Ted Cruz on Wednesday.
“I’m hoping for a unity speech from Cruz that helps to further heal us as a party,” Young said. “There are still some divisions but I feel that a great deal has been done in the last two days to bring us together.
“In his appearances at the convention so far Trump has seemed very presidential and I know the delegates are looking forward to hearing him on the final night.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.