I Went to a Donald Trump Rally (This Isn’t What You’d Expect)
This first appeared in The Havok Journal May 25, 2016.
I had my ticket and was standing in line for an hour and a half before the event started. Everyone started getting turned away due to capacity just before 7pm when the rally was schedule to start. (Mr. Trump’s social media and the news were claiming 31,000 people there, but it only holds 18,000 and at best there were a couple thousand people turned away.
They issued WAY too many tickets to the event, most likely for the purpose of making this look like a scene and so people could be turned away, this was not an accident. But onto why I’m writing this, our fellow Americans I met in line. The gentleman in front of me proudly displaying his self-proclaimed “knock off” Make America Great Again hat upon his head, the nice Asian lady along his side, and four hyper-religious twenty-somethings that have life all figured out and no one will instill any doubt in them that they don’t.
There were a bunch of Latino people walking up and down the line selling bumper stickers, buttons, and shirts in broken English, and people were buying them up as quick as they got to their spot in line with zero disregard to where they were made nor the nationality of the source that was selling them their new treasures. The line was your average looking “normal” cross section of middle to upper class people. A few people vaping, guys covered in tattoos with flat bill hats and stickers still on them, and a few what some would consider rednecks, but honestly it looked like the normal crowd at a Target on any given day. Not overwhelmingly white trash or the bottom of the barrel society that everyone is being led to believe attend these things.
Let’s start with the gentleman in front of me. There were a few religious groups there handing out pamphlets up and down the line as they tend to do at events, and they gave one to him. He looked down at it, and said, “YOU CAN KEEP YOUR <freaking> KIKE LITERATURE, <screw> YOU”, and threw it on the ground…. and this was okay. This was encouraged and applauded by others that threw theirs on the ground as well. Everyone was ok with it.
It took everything I had not to jump all over him and his newly found friends, but, in a line of a few thousand people that are on his side, you keep your mouth shut if you know what’s good for you. He then went on a racist/anti-Semitic tear, and surrounding people were quick to get on board and back his rhetoric. He looked like any regular middle aged white guy that probably works in an office in Irvine.
His friend, the very nice lady of Asian descent in front of me was busy taking selfies with the drunk, cute, barely dressed 16yr old blonde Newport Beach girl running up and down the line with her flag that she just purchased in the parking lot for $1 shouting, “Are we going to make America Great Again or what!?” The lady in front of me, and the crowd, were loving it and couldn’t get enough and were talking about how proud they were of young people getting involved. Everyone was. And they were serious. As a bit of humor though, she kept saying that we should make America Grape again, but her English is better than my Mandarin will ever be, so yes fellow human, let’s make America Grape again… hashtag selfie.
On to my favorite people of the evening… the religious group directly behind me. One is a teacher at a local Christian high school (despite proudly bragging about not having teaching credentials) and were possibly the most hateful four people I saw there. Probably some of the most closed minded, naive, overconfident things I’ve heard come out of people’s mouths in a while.
Honestly, if you were to write a treatment for a tv show with ridiculous people that could in no way exist in 2016, it would be them. After one suggested they “just give $100 to somebody closer” to skip the line and told a girl “that they hope her half shirt only cost $4 instead of it probably costing $8” and condemning literally everyone that wasn’t them, it was becoming difficult to stand there. It was a group of 3 guys and a (I will use the term loosely) a lady. All in their early to mid-twenties. They were talking about going on missions, doing shots, getting drunk after the event, and how one broke up with his girlfriend, but just changed his screen on his phone to Jesus.
Every time they’d spout off something ridiculous, people would be on board. There was a guy with a “gays for trump” sign walking the line (honestly, it looked like he was just trolling, and this morning, found out that he was from a radio station was indeed trolling) and they didn’t say a word. They just kept circling back to “I love everyone because the lord tells me to”, but then would immediately condemn anyone they were discussing like witches to the fire in Salem. Preaching love and Jesus, but talking about getting wasted, deporting immigrants, and that any non-Christian was evil and destined to hell. I’m not sure if I was more impressed that one of them was teaching kids, or that one of them works at a Mexican restaurant but vocally outwardly hates Mexicans. Maybe he meant Hesus and not Jesus. I’ll get back to you.
Those are the 3 sets of people immediately in line in front and behind me in line. This was already out of my comfort zone without exploring further. I went with the intention of absorbing what this movement is, not engaging with anyone, and blending in. What has been created is an environment where you can be outwardly racist and it’s ok. You can encourage drunk ignorant attention-seeking half-dressed 16yr old girls. You can be a total hypocrite and people will not only not challenge you, but actually celebrate you. The level of pure hate and ignorance there was amazing. And real hate. Not, “I don’t like them” hate. Hate as in, “You’re a Kike, and you’re going to hell, <screw> you”.
There is now an acceptable environment for bullying, sexism, and religious persecution. It’s not about making America great again. It’s about turning it back into the 1950’s. I wasn’t expecting much, and I don’t believe you have to accept and agree with everything in life. You do have to tolerate things in order to live in a society. But, I don’t think asking people not to call people Kikes (and other people cheering it) is too much to ask for humanity.
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