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It is the midpoint of the Republican National Convention 2020 (RNC) and, while the event is following the online format of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) last week, in many ways it couldn’t be more different. A key point of contrast is the preference for live speeches, rather than pre-recorded segments – which United States Studies Centre (USSC) Non-Resident Fellow Kim Hoggard referred to as “performances” in our DNC Wrap-up discussion on Friday. Where presidential candidate Joe Biden met with frontline workers virtually last week, President Donald Trump met with some in person, standing a few feet apart. 

Donald Trump Jr, former Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and campaign strategist Kimberly Guilfoyle all spoke from the Andrew W Mellon Auditorium in Washington DC. Guilfoyle made waves with her impassioned condemnation of the Democratic ticket as socialist and dysfunctional and pointed to Democrat-run California becoming, “a land of discarded heroin needles in parks, riots in streets and blackouts in homes.” Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz echoed similar sentiments, warning that a Democratic government would "disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home" and the "defunded police aren't on their way." Read more on how law and order looks under a second Trump term in the analysis section below. Other speeches throughout the night included Donald Trump Jr and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, both of whom responded to calls from liberal activists to defund the police and the push from Democrats to legislate widespread police reforms.

Looking beyond politics, the USSC published its latest report last week, The role of US innovation in securing Australia’s economic future by Senior Advisor Jared Mondschein. Notably, he points out the Australian over-reliance on goods industries rather than service industries, leaves the economy at particular risk of being left behind more advanced economies in the years to come.