Last November, on the same day that Republicans lost the governor's race in Kentucky, relative unknown attorney Daniel Cameron was elected over a Kentucky state senator to become the first black attorney general of the entire state. On the second night of the Republican National Convention, the nation finally got to find out why.
Cameron, a millennial who became the state's first Republican attorney general in nearly a century, stood out as the night's breakout star. Cameron is no RINO, nor did he spew pro-Trump talking points. Instead, Cameron expertly threaded the needle between the severe overpolicing seen in the horrific police killings of unarmed black people, such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, with the severe underpolicing of our urban centers. In short, Cameron understands that law and order means as much as protecting the private property of small-business owners riddled with rioters as it does protecting black folks who fall prey to injustice in our justice system.
"But even as anarchists mindlessly tear up American cities while attacking police officers and innocent bystanders, we Republicans do recognize those who earnestly strive for peace, justice, and equality," Cameron said.
"In fact, it was Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, a future Republican president, who said democracy is a system that recognizes the equality of humans before the law. Whether you are the family of Breonna Taylor or David Dorn, these are the ideals that will heal our nation's wounds."
Cameron notably went off script from the transcript released to reporters by the Trump campaign prior to his speech, intentionally mentioning Taylor, whose case could fall under his jurisdiction should he choose to adopt it at a state level.
In star-studded fashion, Cameron refused to cower to the false binary of standing for the status quo of the justice system or for those unfairly persecuted by it. Instead, Cameron framed the failures of law enforcement against victims like Taylor in the terms of American justice, a national legacy of standing for what's right rather than what the rules explicitly say.
Tonight, it's safe to say that a star was born, and I doubt this is the last we'll hear from him.