Thankfully, Trump Support is Not Congenital
If you count the protestors, not everyone at the rally was white.
By John Miles, Santa Fe College
Last Saturday, I had the privilege of attending a Donald Trump rally at the University of Central Florida with my family, all of whom are die-hard Trump supporters.
The official numbers: 10,000 in attendance, 10,000 turned away and 2,000 RSVP’d to an anti-Trump protest. Every seat was filled, the media was sprawling and the line might have stretched half a mile.
I had several friends who were protesting outside, but being a college student away from my family, I decided that it would be better to spend the afternoon with the people who raised me and enjoy their company.
Political differences can be put aside for kin.
So without a trace of self-consciousness, we parked the car, my brother and father proudly donned their red “Make America Great Again” hats and we started the trek to the back of the line.
Here are a few things I learned about attending a Trump rally with your family.
1. Not everybody at the rally was white.
There were plenty of other ethnicities represented. Granted, they were all outside of the building protesting, but still, it would be unfair to Mr. Trump and his followers to suggest that everyone at a Trump rally is white.
2. Your family will give you strange looks for not pledging to vote for him.
I was surprised that the media didn’t flip out more this past Saturday, seeing as Donald pulled a dictator move and had the crowd literally pledge to vote for him.
I have never felt more isolated than in that solitary moment where I was possibly the only person in the building who didn’t raise a hand for the Supreme Leader.
I won’t lie, part of me is worried that he’s already tracking me as a potential dissenter. Which leads nicely to my next point.
3. Trump doesn’t need to practice political intolerance because his crowd will not tolerate others for him.
Before he screeches his signature “GET ‘EM OUT!” the crowd has already pointed out the offending protester to security/event staff.
The lesson learned is that a good tyrant should always have a massive crowd that will do the dirty work for him.
4. Donald’s playlist is terrible.
I kid you not—you will hear the same five songs for hours while you wait for the rally to start up. And they’re all relatively mellow songs.
If the hyper-nationalism and occasional racism didn’t already make you want to leave, the pre-speech playlist will do the trick. If you decide to attend one, do yourself a favor and bring a pair of headphones.
5. You will find out where all of your college tuition has really been going.
Trump merchandise. Bumper stickers, hats, pins, you name it. If your family is at all like mine, Trump merchandise will be a much higher priority than books.
6. Some protesters wait on the floor for seven hours before getting their chance to inaudibly interrupt Mr. Trump’s speech.
To be fair, this is really the only version of protesting that makes sense. All in all, Trump was interrupted a total of twelve times throughout his speech. The thing is, at least ten of those interruptions were really lame and poorly planned.
Some protesters stayed in the upper balconies and were seemingly afraid to get any closer. Some protesters started leaving as soon as they started screaming. The problem with these people is that 1) Nobody will respect you, and 2) Nobody can hear you.
If you’re going to get kicked out, go out in a storm of hellfire. In one instance, when someone did go out in a storm of hellfire, even Trump himself mentioned to the crowd, “They had guts.”
7. People are still overly optimistic (delusional) about some of Trump’s plans.
Case and point in this dialogue:
Trump: We’re going to build a wall alright. And who’s going to pay for it?
*erupts in loudest cheer of the day*
8. Things will turn violent.
Probably the best group of protesters came about midway through the rally, when a group of African American kids—who looked like college students—walked down the bleachers located behind the podium.
They started screaming, getting as close to him as they could, ripping up some sort of paper and throwing it at him. Trump turned to stare them down, but they didn’t cower. They just kept yelling. But referring back to point #3, The Donald really didn’t have to do anything about this situation.
Right as he turned around, an old white man, roughly seventy years old, grabbed one of the kids from behind and flipped him to the floor. The crowd erupted in applause.
Now, I am not a proponent of violence. I think it was a bad thing to do, and I feel bad for the kid who got thrown. But hear me out.
There is nothing more incredible than seeing an elderly person pick up another person and throw them to the floor. It was awful, but it was impressive. It was a terrible beauty, the kind of thing that you didn’t think was aerodynamically possible.
The retired pro wrestler was asked to leave the event and went out willingly. He appeared to give one last wave to the crowd, and then he motioned to his elderly wife (who was clapping and smiling hysterically throughout the whole spectacle) that he would meet her outside. I’ll bet that man is the big bad bully of his retirement village..
All this aside, the day was really not so bad. It was educational. Populist and/or nationalist political figures like Donald Trump have always been bullets in the meat of humanity, so it’s interesting to be a part of what may be considered history one day.
Whether you like the man or not, movements like this can’t be ignored. They may be troublesome, but like the old man, they’re also impressive in their own way.
If he comes to your state, I highly encourage you to attend a rally, even if you hate his guts. It is a strange, once-in-a-lifetime political atmosphere. Let’s just hope that it remains once-in-a-lifetime.