Several members of the 603 Alliance served as alternate delegates to the GOP Convention in July. 603 Alliance co‑founder Diane Bitter offers her personal recollections of attending the convention in Cleveland:
How so? The atmosphere was electric. The energy level was so high that it was palpable. It was well-organized, professional, and planned to precision. The speakers were selected purposefully — they made us laugh, but they also made us cry.
What was NOT there?
Violence: There was none. In that massive hall with all of those different points of view, with thousands of Republicans from all over the nation, the respect for each other was powerfully evident. Opinions were strong, but civility prevailed.
Everyone was given a voice and we all expressed our approval or rejection — in keeping with our principles. But EACH voice was respected.
Dissension: Those with different points of view were given an opportunity to voice their principles, but in the end, all united for the common good.
What impressions will I always keep with me from this Convention?
- The SECURITY. A feeling of total security was with us the entire time. The many police officers who patrolled the area were so reassuring. Although it was a bother to have to go through the many levels of the security necessary to enter the convention hall, the friendly, warm way in which each officer handled his job was a joy to us. We thanked them often — sometimes with our loud applause as they rode by.
- The extreme friendliness of the people of Cleveland. They welcomed us and urged us to enjoy their city. They genuinely made us feel at home. (Especially the uber drivers.)
- The Delegates, Alternates, and Guests at the Convention. Without fail, everyone I met — many for the first time — was open and positive and upbeat. Tired as we were, there was always a spirit of camaraderie among the attendees. Everyone was ready to lend a hand when needed or to stop for a brief chat. Exchanging stories AND pins with delegates from different states was a favorite activity. And, of course, the opportunity to connect with friends from past lives in other parts of this great nation was a big plus.
- The Candidates. All of them! The losers and the winners. Men and women of great integrity and principle. We are very blessed to be among such principled, like-minded Republicans. May we be blessed enough to see our leaders sworn into office in November and to witness the rejuvenation of America.
The 2016 RNC Convention is one that I will always remember and I am so happy that I was able to attend to experience this new wave of national spirit. It gave me a fresh insight into the future and I look forward to the 2016 election with courage and high expectations.
– Diane Bitter