There may have been fewer Country Club Republicans and establishment figures in the seats at the start of Donald Trump's nominating convention, but there was plenty of diversity as everyday Americans took center stage Monday night. The only homogeneity was an allegiance to the wall-building, terrorist-ass-kicking agenda of the nominee.
There was a black father and a Hispanic mother who lost children to illegals. An Italian immigrant who rose to be an American soap opera actor. The mother of a victim from Benghazi. A black sheriff from Wisconsin. Even a one-time model from Slovenia, who also happens to be Trump's wife.
Parents who lost children to violence attributed to illegal immigrants speak Monday.
While Melania Trump was the marquee name on the opening night agenda, Trump's advisers carefully scripted the prime-time lineup Monday night to show that Democrats don't have a monopoly on Hispanics, blacks, Hollywood figures, women or even Democrats like Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.
Donning his uniform, the tall, black sheriff from Wisconsin -- a favorite of Fox News and the National Rifle Association -- tore into the Black Lives Matter movement and liberals for failing to respect the work of law enforcement.
No one "can claim privilege above the law. It cannot happen in the United States," he declared.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke speaks to the GOP convention.
Clarke declared that the country, and liberals, need to acknowledge "blue lives matter" too -- and that it was time to restore a law and order agenda to "make America safe again," sounding a favorite line of Trump himself.
Hispanic Republicans were prominent on stage, from the mother of a young man killed by an illegal driving a car to Rachel Campos Duffy, the wife of reality-TV-star-turned Wisconsin congressman Sean Duffy.
Rachel Campos Duffy and Sean Duffy.
Darryl Glenn, a Colorado county official running for U.S. Senate, lit up the crowd with an energetic, biting attack on liberal political correctness that he said had been ushered in by President Obama, whom he called "the divider in chief."
"Where are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.? They don't speak for black America, and they don't speak for me," he declared. "Mr. President, I have a message for you: This this is not about black America, white America or brown America. This is about the United States of America."
Trump made his own cameo to introduce his wife, Melania, the former model. "We're going to win so big," he declared. He called his wife of 18 years "an amazing mother, an incredible woman."
Speaking in her trademark Slovenian accent, she traced her life from the former Soviet Union to the United States, crediting her parents for her "love of family and America."
She stressed the value of working hard, and that it was important "do what you say, and keep your promise."
"We need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow," she said.
Despite the careful stage craft, not everyone was happy. The convention began with a divisive debate over changing delegate rules.
And Ali Akbar, a senior adviser to the Black Conservative Fund, said much more could still be done to give minorities a voice at the table.
"For all Donald Trump's success in diversifying his company and his private organization, we've seen a total lack of that with the convention," he said. "There is a black exodus going on right now in the of Republican Party and conservative movement and it's unfortunate."