I went to a Trump rally held at my institution in January because we get a lot of candidates coming through there and I thought it would be a hoot. It kind of wasn’t, and I just realized today that I posted the story to my facebook but forgot to put it here. So sorry for the two month delay!
First of all, the man let me down. It was the same old rhetoric I’ve heard from every candidate. He’s going to fix the social security problem, the immigration problem, the healthcare problem, blah blah blah. You and everybody else. I did think it was funny when he started talking about Mexico and said “I love the Mexican people – a lot of them work for me.” He had zero explanation for how he would implement any of his plans.
I walked there and I’m so glad because the line of cars and line of people was amazingly ridiculous. (In fact, while in line I learned that our 6,500 seat coliseum actually seats 14,000 and 20,000 tickets had been claimed. Our facilities folks told me Trump’s people would never tell them how many tickets they had given out.) If only our basketball team drew that many supporters into that building. I was the only one not freezing in line because I was wearing all my fluorescent winter running gear – and a sock monkey hat – because you know me. I like to blend in. While in line, I could have shopped for many delightful items including a Trump scarf, t-shirts and buttons that said “bomb the shit out of ISIS”, bumper stickers proclaiming that if Hillary can’t please her husband she can’t please the country, another that simply said “Trump that bitch”, and oddly enough, Trump underwear (white briefs).
It was clear that Trump feels really threatened by Hillary judging by those stickers and the number of times he disparaged her. Other than that, the only remotely interesting thing was the instruction given to the crowd in case of protesters or hecklers. We were told to immediately begin chanting TRUMP and point towards the person until the police could grab them. No other candidate I’ve gone to see has started off their event with a plan to have attendees shut down dissenting opinions. To see it happen several times tonight and see how excited everyone got about doing it was kind of chilling.
They stopped letting people in a little after 7 and then let a few more in at some point. There were still at least 100 empty seats during the event in my section alone. People who couldn’t get in were beating on the windows and cussing out the secret service guys. The attendees of this freak show were far crazier than Trump tonight.
The Muslim woman standing silently while Trump talked about Syrian refugees? That’s all she was doing and it made someone mad so the crowd around her turned into a pack of jackals. I’m amazed she wasn’t injured on the way out. At the time, I had no idea why she was being escorted out until after I saw the CNN report, but the police sure hustled to get to her. There were several times the crowd would turn on a person and start pointing and chanting TRUMP – which is what the audience was instructed to do if there were any protesters. It happened so quickly and loudly I couldn’t tell you what any of them said or did.
I got so bored (and frankly a bit spooked by the crowd mentality – it’s like I was in the Milgram experiment or the Stanford prison study) hearing the same old same old that I gave up and left but as I did he finished up and it was that little incentive I needed to jog all the way home because I couldn’t get away fast enough from all those normal looking crazy people. Kudos to our campus police and facilities folks that have to deal with all the headaches of hosting all these candidates.
P.S. Because someone was wondering – the music playing when he walked out was “Eye of the Tiger”. I am also sharing a photo someone at the university took which shows not only the woman who was eventually escorted out when she stood to represent peaceful Muslims and Syrian refugees, but a nice homemade sign next to her that someone snuck in accusing Trump of liking Nickleback. LOL