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Opinion | Republican Convention: Best and Worst Moments From Night 1

Will Wilkinson The cultlike air of the proceedings, the constant lies about the catastrophic Covid-19 pandemic, the night’s motif of incendiary anti-urban fear-mongering showed us that the president and his party are in such profound disarray that they fear they’re losing their own voters, feel they need to double down on their most distasteful themes to nail them down, and can’t afford to waste a moment reaching out and appealing to wavering independents and Democrats.

About the authors

Gail Collins, Jamelle Bouie and Bret Stephens are Times columnists.

Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) is a playwright, lawyer and contributing opinion writer.

Elizabeth Bruenig (@ebruenig) is a Times opinion writer.

Linda Chavez, a former Reagan White House director of public liaison, is a political commentator.

Michelle Cottle (@mcottle) is a member of the Times editorial board.

Nicole Hemmer (@pastpunditry) is an associate research scholar at Columbia University and the author of “Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics.”

Matt Labash, a former national correspondent at The Weekly Standard, is the author of “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader.”

Liz Mair (@LizMair), a strategist for campaigns by Scott Walker, Roy Blunt, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and Rick Perry, is the founder and president of Mair Strategies.

Daniel McCarthy (@ToryAnarchist) is the editor of Modern Age: A Conservative Quarterly.

Melanye Price (@ProfMTP), a professor of political science at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, is the author, most recently, of “The Race Whisperer: Barack Obama and the Political Uses of Race.”

Mimi Swartz (@mimiswartz), an executive editor at Texas Monthly, is a contributing opinion writer.

Héctor Tobar (@TobarWriter), an associate professor at the University of California, Irvine, is the author of “Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free” and a contributing opinion writer.

Peter Wehner (@Peter_Wehner), a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center who served in the previous three Republican administrations, is a contributing opinion writer and the author of “The Death of Politics: How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump.”

Will Wilkinson (@willwilkinson), the vice president for research at the Niskanen Center, is a contributing opinion writer.

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