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My review of 10/27 Trump rally: Murphysboro, IL
Self | 10/30/2018 | Me

Posted on 10/30/2018 1:22:18 PM PDT by Paul R.

Finally, here are my more extended observations and comments from my family's attendance at the Trump rally in Southern Illinois, on 10/27/2018. I'll hit a few high points, but not spend a lot of time on what the President said -- here is a link where you can watch, yourself:

My intent is more to let people who've not been to one of these rallys "see" what they are like, or for those who've attended in the past, maybe see how they have evolved or in what ways this rally may have been a bit unique. I also take the local Republican Party to task.(!)

We were delayed in leaving for the rally due to church activities my wife was involved in, and we were 1-1/2 hours away, so I knew the chances of getting a good "spot" to see President Trump directly were zero. I also knew the parking lot being set up in a field @ Southern Illinois Airport could only accomodate 1200 cars, and media had reported a shuttle service to offsite parking would be provided. So, prior to heading out to the rally, I kept checking online and media sources to find out what those offsite parking provisions were, so we could head directly there. To my mild consternation, no such information was ever made public. This was my first clue that the efforts made by local Republican organizations would be pretty pathetic.

SO... We ran past what I thought might be a couple likely offsite parking locations, on our approach to the airport. I also imagined we might see some signs on the way "in" to help provide direction to said parking. There was... nothing. This route slowed us unnecessarily a bit -- as it turned out we should have just driven directly to the airport: Approaching "Airport Road" we saw a couple police cars at the intersection, and it was not blocked, so at least we knew the reports it was the preferred way in were correct. (There are actually several routes "in" -- media had indicated they would be closed.)

Driving in we saw a few small groups (handful's of people here and there) out protesting. Half (at least) looked like druggies, the signs were crude and unimaginative, and all in all, the protest effort was much weaker and less than what I expected. Past the airport entrance (still on Airport Road) we saw groups of cars parked in scattered areas. One had small buses nearby, but the makeshift lot appeared to be full. Going further the numbers of cars parked off to the side decreased, so we turned around. Recognizing that our AWD and good ground clearance would let us park where many cars could not, I found a spot pretty much IN a ditch and parked across from the buses. We hoofed it over to the buses and took one into the airport. The bus dropped us off, oh, maybe 1/4 mile from the helicopter hangar where security was processing a still impressive line of people. This was a bit after 4 pm, so we worried we might not get through security before Trump began speaking. We were still in line when AF-1 came in, and at that point, even though the line was moving well, we thought "oh, dang!" However, evidently the President spoke to the press for a while, so we got through security and up to the jumbotron out in back of the hangar, well before the President made it to the stage.

While walking that 1/4 mile in, another group of protesters, maybe 15 or so, went by (going out?) chanting protests, and again mostly looking like a miserable bunch of people. They were followed by a lone guy ranting about "riot police" being present. Well, yes, there was one group of 20 or so police gathered together who must have been the source of his complaint. They did not have shields, but were well armed. I guess he's never considered what kind of security a POTUS needs! If he'd been a bit more observant, well, there were snipers up on the control tower. From our vantage point they looked about 1/3" tall. It's a bit spooky to realize that from that distance, they can take you out if they see the need to do so.

Security's check of incoming rally attendees was very professional, efficient, and, reasonable. I'd taken along a big old red coat I had, assuming it'd be chilly as dusk fell, and at the last minute before getting scanned I discovered a small flashlight in an inner pocket. I figured it'd be confiscated, but, I took out the battery, left the flashlight "open" and put it in the tray with my wallet and cell phone. The security guy gave it a close look and put it back in the tray, even reminding me as I picked up my "stuff", "don't forget your battery". Well, by golly! After the rally, in the dark, that flashlight was handy.

Once through security, it was on to the big hangar, or, should I say, the jumbotron @ the rear. After a few minutes, my wife split off, and unbeknownst to us, around the side of the hangar found a bigger jumbotron, as well as a small podium that President Trump stopped at to address that part of the overflow crowd, for a few minutes. Nice touch.

One thing I noticed was that, in addition to the freelance vendors outside the venue, a food and drink concession, and a large "official" Trump-Pence merchandise booth were set up a few hundred feet away from the main hanger. However, none of the local candidates, nor the local Republican Party had ANYTHING set up, that any of our group saw, to distribute anything, sign up volunteers, promote local candidates, etc. There were not even, really, a decent number of candidates' signs on the way in. This seemed to me to be a huge opportunity missed. Sad to say, I'd have to rank the local Republican Party and candidates' efforts as even more pathetic than the scraggly few protesters. I still find myself shaking my head over that one.

Once the President made it to the main stage, the crowd roared its approval, and the President began his remarks. I posted a couple of my reactions here:

Beyond that, I thought the President looked and sounded good; he did not berate the media too much, probably realizing that the locals do not hate their local media quite so much as the national media; he was very sincere about the horrible attack in Pittsburg; and he spent a lot of time focusing on local topics and concerns. To be fair, while he got to repeating himself a bit oddly about steel, he did hit the mark on coal, which is much more important to S. IL. That said, he also addressed the national security aspect of steel, which is no small matter, and he addressed the problem of unfair tariffs other countries put on our agricultural products. The lady who said "WHAT?!" about Canada's 275% tariff on dairy products from the US is probably typical of 95% of US residents.

Immigration and the "caravan" were big topics too. The President made his points well, but I do wish he'd make the point that if this attempt at mass illegal entry is allowed to succeed, literally millions more will follow. Separately, he could also point out that nations that lose control of their borders do not survive for long.

The President spoke of the urgency of having the crowd get their friends & families out to vote for Republican candidates: I hope everyone really took his words to heart.

Once the President concluded his remarks, my daughter and I tried to hunt down my wife. Between night falling, my wife's confusing directions and the cell service cutting out (probably overloaded), it took a while. We found her near that little podium beside the hangar, where people were gathered hoping President Trump might swing past again. While waiting in the increasing chill, someone started singing the national anthem, and we all joined in. :-)

Finally, the President came out & headed to his car. He did not swing past us (it would have been rather out of his way), but I think he heard us, as he stopped, turned, and waved over his car at our group, before getting in the car and heading to his plane.

At that point, then, we headed out, passing back through the security hangar (no "checks", just limited access to exit), and walked the 1/4 mile or so to the shuttle pickup, where we had to wait quite a while before traffic cleared enough that the shuttles could get to us. I was glad I'd stopped at a porta-potty before we left the hangar area! That chilly air...

Finally the shuttles arrived. Loading took a while too, but some of that was loading up a couple elderly vets in wheelchairs (I was honored to assist slightly) -- nobody minded. Then it was off to the outlying parking via a very roundabout route. Getting close we had to wait for more traffic to clear, which produced a memorable moment as someone looked out a window back toward the airport and exclaimed, "They're walking out through the cornfields!" Sure enough, a number of people had decided not to wait for the shuttles, and were hiking across a couple miles of muddy fields, in the dark, to get back to their cars. I could not resist making a crack: "Well, just so they are not Zombies", which elicited a round of chuckles.

Eventually the bus moved up to a point where we could disembark, which turned out to be close to our car. I "AWD'd" it out of the ditch, and we headed home, detouring slightly on the way for a brief visit at my Mom's. She and her sitter had watched the rally on TV, and were watching the evening (local) news on the Station out of Cape Girardeau. Coverage seemed reasonably objective, other than giving those few protesters altogether too much air time, and camera angles making them look more numerous than they were... We then continued on home, I checked coverage here, made a couple comments & called it a night!!!

I suppose my summary would be: I'm glad we went, it was a good appearance by the President, and the local pub campaigns sure blew a great opportunity to make the most of it.

TOPICS: FReeper Editorial; News/Current Events; US: Illinois; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: 2018midterms; aar; il2018; illinois; rally; trump; trumprally
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There is one last thing I want to add. Most FReepers might think it unnecessary for me to include it, but I am so fed up with the people who assail Trump, or even more so assail those who support Trump or attend Trump rallies or (in the past) Tea Party rallies, as racist, or some sort of "Nazis", that I AM going to say it: You (attackers) are either vile liars of the worst sort, ignorant beyond belief, as biased as that accursed REAL psychopath who mowed down helpless Jewish people in Pittsburg, for whatever reason(s) willfully misled, or are simply stooges of those who given the chance would be tyrants rivalling any in history. Oh, I left one out: You might be aspiring tyrants yourselves.

You see, I have direct, personal experience to refute your ugly meme. My wife is a petite, quite brown skinned woman who appears more Hispanic than Asian. (Technically, she is a Hispanic-Asian Pacific Islander legal immigrant.) We live in the Mid-South: Generally, it is a quite "red" region. While at this rally, my wife "split off" from my daughter and me, to find a better vantage point, and we ended up being separated in the crowd for almost 2 hours. I asked her, the following evening, if at any time she felt uncomfortable, did anyone behave inappropriately toward her, etc. She said no, not at all. She even said she felt very much as "one" with the crowd. As we discussed this, she went further and said that in the 18 years she has been here, she has NEVER felt unwelcome or disliked or discriminated against for her race or sex, except in two instances, by, get this, black women. (There may be more to that, but, it is a somewhat irrelevant side issue. Our relationships and friendships with other black men or women are good, even great, in a few cases, including a black ex girlfriend of mine.)

My own observation beyond the above was that everyone seemed to be polite, friendly, and of good humor. The crowd was predominantly white, but there were a few blacks, a number of Hispanics, and Asians, and we even ran into another Pacific Islander acquaintance of my wife (who's husband and she had driven almost as far as we.) EVERY indication was that NO ONE in the crowd was valued or accepted as more or less than anyone else -- except for a few old disabled vets in wheelchairs who were, well, just "loved" is the best way I can put it. (I got the chance to assist a couple of the disabled fellows in a minor way, and got a couple "God Bless You's" from other non-disabled rally-goers, as a reward!) Everyone followed the rules and was basically a "good neighbor". Also, much as happened in the old Tea Party rallies, there was not even any trash left scattered around, so far as I could see. These are decent, responsible people.

Now, I am under no illusions. I have witnessed racism in person, on occasion, and that does not even count one of my Grandmothers, who was just awful about it. Certainly there are far "louder" than their actual numbers odious examples of human excrement on YouTube and the like, spewing their filth. And sadly, a very few (words I cannot use in public) individuals do more than talk. But... they are a tiny (under 1%?) minority, and certainly matched by just-as-bad people on the far left. Not every racist displays their racism in stereotyped ways, or fits into only certain political groups.

That is however, a different discussion. What is true here is every conservative I know, and I would claim over 99% of the people who went to President Trump's S. IL rally, have NO tolerance for racist based violence against anyone. Most, I think, would even try, if they could, to stop such if they saw it happening, even at risk to themselves. Kudos, I might add, to the WHITE GUY with a concealed carry permit, who took on that bastard in Louisville, back on Oct. 24. He may well have saved additional lives. THAT is who almost all of us would want to be.

1 posted on 10/30/2018 1:22:18 PM PDT by Paul R.
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To: Paul R.

Thank you for posting. Did you capture any photos from the event?

2 posted on 10/30/2018 1:32:28 PM PDT by PJBankard (Heaven has strict immigration policies. Hell has open borders.)
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To: Paul R.

Thank you for posting. Illinois GOP is really pitiful! Shame they did not take advantage, because he went there for THEM, for those candidates.

Any idea of crowd size? I had wanted to go but just waaay too much traveling this week!

3 posted on 10/30/2018 1:34:58 PM PDT by Freedom56v2 (#KATE'SWALL Build it Now)
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To: PJBankard

No, I just have a flip phone. My wife may have pics, but I don’t think we presently have a good way to post. (I’m pretty sure she would not want to use her Facebook acct., which she keeps private.) A couple other forums I belong to allow posting from HD, but, they are non-political forums. We never got in the rally hangar, anyway...

4 posted on 10/30/2018 1:37:18 PM PDT by Paul R.
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To: Freedom56v2

Chiraq makes IL Blue.

The downstate counties are Red but they’re outvoted.

5 posted on 10/30/2018 1:39:41 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Freedom56v2

Well, the airport management said 3k could fit in the hangar, and RSBN said 5k were inside. I had no way to get above the considerable “outside” crowd, and it was split into those beside the hangar and those on the side where Pres. Trump briefly spoke. So, I don’t really know. Maybe 6-7k — not bad for a modest pop. area, and (nearby) Carbondale itself is fairly lib.

6 posted on 10/30/2018 1:42:00 PM PDT by Paul R.
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To: Paul R.

Thanks for the report.

7 posted on 10/30/2018 1:45:15 PM PDT by libertylover (2016 was a mini-revolution. Keep it going.)
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To: Paul R.
I experienced much the same thing at Tea Party rallies.

Perfectly safe, the Tea Partiers were a good bunch of people. Only ones that caused trouble were liberal disruptors. One that stood out in particular was some fool in a hood and robe yelling about the NRA and KKK. The cops hustled him out.

8 posted on 10/30/2018 1:47:02 PM PDT by wbill
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To: Freedom56v2

My beef would be with the local candidates’ organizations and the Jackson Co. Republican Committee in particular. It was as if they were non-existent. Bost spoke well, as did (local State House Rep.) Terri Bryant, but, damn, it takes a lot more than just short speeches at events like this!

9 posted on 10/30/2018 1:49:25 PM PDT by Paul R.
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To: Paul R.

Great report - thanks for taking the time.

10 posted on 10/30/2018 1:58:25 PM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: Freedom56v2

So is Tennessee GOP. Especially the big cities Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville. DEM owned.

11 posted on 10/30/2018 2:00:40 PM PDT by GailA (Wife of RET. SCPO, GET OVER IT, DONALD TRUMP IS PRESIDENT!)
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To: Paul R.

My experience at the Murphysboro rally wasn’t that different than yours.

One thing that you missed, that we didn’t, were the dozens of Bost campaign volunteers who were everywhere while we were in line. Since you didn’t arrive until 4, I’d guess that they had already entered to hangar by then. They continually walked the huge line, talking to everyone, and providing a means to sign up to volunteer for his campaign.

I’m happy to hear that the President stopped and spoke to the outside crowd. They actually opened the gate, and started screening folks at noon, instead of the advertised 1:30. I’ve heard estimates of 7-10,00 in attendance. I’m glad you were able to make it out of that ditch, we saw quite a few cars parked down there when we were on our way out.

12 posted on 10/30/2018 2:01:07 PM PDT by SelmaLee (MAGA!)
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To: Paul R.

Two other minor points:

The audio guys are not good enough. Yes, sound was clear right in front of the jumbotrons, and seemed ok inside the hangar when I got to it’s back entrance, but not much further, as security had a rear area blocked off. But, there was a considerable area between the rear jumbotron and speakers, and the rear hangar entrance, where there was a nasty effect almost like a single “slap echo”. This could be minimized (I won’t go into details here!): As it was, there was a large area near the rear of the hangar with people driven out of it because not much could be seen from there, and the sound (echo effect) was highly annoying and almost unintelligible. This had the effect of further splitting up the crowd / non-continuity, which tends to mute a crowd.

Also, that rear jumbotron needed to be mounted higher, so people in the middle and rear of the “rear-of-hanger crowd could see it better. The angle relative to the sun did not help either.

13 posted on 10/30/2018 2:02:25 PM PDT by Paul R.
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To: Paul R.

Thanks for this report. It occurred to me that possibly the MSM was involved in the poor communications about routes, parking, etc. Not that the area GOP might not be wholly responsible, but could have been sabotaged by the media.

14 posted on 10/30/2018 2:05:42 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: SelmaLee
One thing that you missed, that we didn’t, were the dozens of Bost campaign volunteers who were everywhere while we were in line. Since you didn’t arrive until 4, I’d guess that they had already entered to hangar by then. They continually walked the huge line, talking to everyone, and providing a means to sign up to volunteer for his campaign.

Ah, well, that's good to hear! Too bad they didn't set up a little booth or something, where even post-rally people could stop in. Provide hot chocolate after the rally and they'd be swamped!

Was any effort for other local candidates visible, earlier on? P.S. We have an Outback w/ good snow tires on it: I think it'll go through just about anything if you don't exceed it's ground clearance. :-)

15 posted on 10/30/2018 2:08:57 PM PDT by Paul R.
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Well, KFVS (Cape Girardeau TV) and the airport manager said they were waiting for more info - my guess is that they never got it. KFVS reporter is very young / inexperienced - may not have thought to ask!

OTOH, MSM would have nothing to do with whomping up a few signs: That’s another place where the local pub committee should pitch in, IMO.

16 posted on 10/30/2018 2:12:28 PM PDT by Paul R.
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To: goldstategop

LOL I live in CHicagoland...I am aware

17 posted on 10/30/2018 2:14:09 PM PDT by Freedom56v2 (#KATE'SWALL Build it Now)
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To: Paul R.; All

Hi, All - Thanks for the replies!

I have some work to take care of — will check back late this evening / possibly tomorrow early a.m. to answer any questions and such, later.

I’m very curious as to what recruitment for volunteers, dissemination of campaign materials for local candidates, etc., has been like, at other rallies.

18 posted on 10/30/2018 2:16:41 PM PDT by Paul R.
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To: Paul R.

I have been to 2 rallies...Had hoped to get to another—this one would have been good from crowd standpoint...I regret not going, but maybe next year :)

19 posted on 10/30/2018 2:18:01 PM PDT by Freedom56v2 (#KATE'SWALL Build it Now)
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To: Paul R.
"Was any effort for other local candidates visible, earlier on?"

Not that I saw, it seems like everything was geared toward Mike Bost. They put out a call for volunteers early last week, and I'm pretty sure he was the only one mentioned. Lot's of folks were wearing Bost/Trump t-shirts.

20 posted on 10/30/2018 2:34:47 PM PDT by SelmaLee (MAGA!)
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