Daily US Times: On the first night of the Republican Party convention (RNC), the president Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, took centre stage and commanded the nation’s attention.
“Trump’s policies have been like rocket fuel to the economy,” Trump Jr said during his speech, praising his father’s leadership. But his most powerful lines were not about his the president; they were swipes at the Democratic nominee for the presidency Joe Biden.
He said: “Biden’s radical left-wing policies would stop our economic recovery cold.” He warned conservatives that Democrats would undo the economic gains that people had made with his father in the Oval Office.
“Biden has promised to take that money back out of your pocket and keep it in the Swamp,” said the President’s son, adding: “That makes sense, considering Joe Biden is basically the Loch Ness Monster of the Swamp. For the past half-century, he’s been lurking around in there.”
A fierce advocate for his father’s platform, Donald Trump Jr’s supporters say he can electrify a room while his detractors accuse him of pouring petrol on the flames.
His presentations are laced with full-throated attacks on liberals, on the media (that’s when the crowd roars) and Hunter Biden – Joe Biden’s son..
Firebrand speaker, big-game hunter and sportsman, Mr Trump is doing everything he can to help his father win re-election. The Republican strategy has focused on energising Donald Trump’s base of supporters, and they see the younger Mr Trump as their ace in the hole.
Trump Jr has an unusual rapport with the president’s supporters, many of whom live in rural parts of the country and also love to hunt. Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist with ties to the White House, explains: “He’s (Trump Jr) viewed as a conduit to the Trump base.”
Michael Kuckelman, the chair of the Kansas Republican Party who is now at the Charlotte convention, says supporters like his “no-nonsense” style.
Many of the president’s base like the way that his son has at times gone even further than his father, supporting, for example, the gun industry’s efforts to have restrictions on silencers eliminated.
He is also applauded for his boldness – he has aligned himself with colourful characters. He appeared at a rally last year for We Build the Wall, a group that was founded as a way to raise funds for the wall.
Founders of the group have recently been charged with defrauding lots of donors across the country.
As the President’s campaign speaker, Mr Trump is often surrounded by signs emblazoned with his father’s name. In these moments, his part seems preordained: when you have the same name as your father, it is natural to slip into the role of cheerleader. And while some men might chafe at the part, he has thrived in his father’s shadow.
At conservative venues, he is treated like a rock star.
Lawrence Levy, the executive dean of Hofstra University’s National Center for Suburban Studies, says that President’s son is an unusually effective advocate for his father on the campaign trail. And it could be a stepping stone to a more prominent role.
He said: “The successful sons of powerful people learn not just to live but to thrive in what may seem like their father’s shadow but will someday disappear and they will be the family’s patriarch.”
In the meantime, he is in many ways just as divisive as the president and is similar to his father.
While the president’s supporters cheer him on, liberals recoil.
Christina Greer, an associate professor of political science at Fordham University describe President’s son “A product of nepotism”.
Jon Reinish, a New York-based Democratic strategist, says that he taps into dark strands of the current presidency, describing him as a “younger, more acidic version of his father”.
“Donald Jr is the gasoline on the fire,” Mr Reinish says.
A bearded man with short-cropped hair, Trump Jr wears open-collar shirts and throws his hands around when he talks. During his speeches, he bounces on his feet like a boxer in the ring. Jack Oliver, a Republican fund-raiser, says: “He energises and electrifies a room. He has a radiant personality.”