On July 16, 2018, the Charlotte City Council voted 6-5 to host Trump’s 2020 Republican National Convention that will be hosted to declare his re-election race. This decision was also supported by Democratic Mayor of Charlotte, Vi Lyles, and according to the Charlotte Observer, she said that this was “the most difficult decision of my career.” Mayor Lyles is not entirely responsible for this decision; however, this effort caused some backlash. There are two problems with this conclusion: One, Polarization and Two, Confusion.
The Republican National Convention decision caused polarization, not only between liberals and conservatives in Charlotte, but in the entire state of North Carolina. This effort sparked a movement called #OurNC. According to the Charlotte Five in early July 2018, “local printmaker Evan Plante logged onto Facebook after the city’s recent decision to host the Republican National Convention, he was shocked to see his typically good-natured friends and neighbors involved in divisive and fruitless arguments. Upset by the negativity he was seeing across the normally supportive and open-minded Charlotte community, Plante designed a shirt with the text “OurNC” combined with a ‘fill-in-the-blank’ phrase that describes Charlotte in a positive light.” #OurNC is a bipartisan movement preventing the state from becoming divided like our country during the 2016 elections. It explains that we all have our differences politically, but we should not argue with others over a decision that was not made by them; we should be peaceful and respect other opinions. This movement has been effective in bringing people together through a common interest, which is the well-being of our home in North Carolina, and has been promoting more proper discourse.
Although this movement is effective, we must not forget that it is not meant to affect our views and opinions. Liberals and conservatives of the area are slightly agitated yet confused with this decision. Liberals feel as if they have been underrepresented by their elected council for going against their own views while conservatives are delighted with the decision; however, both political strands ask themselves one question and that is: why would a majority liberal panel agree to the Republican National Convention decision?
This decision seems to be made with all politics aside. According to WSOC-TV Charlotte, “The 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte had an economic impact of $163 million.” Just from observing the positive economic impacts of what the Democratic National Convention gave to the city of Charlotte, we can expect to generate a large sum of revenue from hosting the Republican National Convention in 2020. We could use that money to fund certain underfunded entities of the government or parts of Charlotte and help the city grow even more. Even though this may just be an economic decision, it will have some political consequences, especially for the Democrats on the Charlotte city council. Because democratic leaders have gone against the wishes of their supporters, in the next election cycle, they are expected to be voted out of office and replace with other democratic candidates.
There are positive and negative consequences to this decision. #OurNC is blowing off the heat between citizens and their view on this decision. So, we should ask ourselves that because this seems to be a non-partisanship decision, should we as citizens be non-partisan about this effort as well? Objectively, this Republican National Convention decision affects us positively, not just the members of the council. Do we just stick to our beliefs and become more polarized, or do we follow #OurNC and allow the council to take a nonpartisan stance? At the end of the day, as North Carolinians, we are looking forward to one common goal, and that is the betterment of North Carolina.