Skip to comments.Unlikely Bedfellows: What a Sanders Supporter Learned from a Donald Trump Rally
Posted on 06/02/2016 1:38:14 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
About a week ago, a friend and enthusiastic Trump supporter invited me to go to a Donald Trump rally. As a Bernie Sanders supporter, my initial reaction was to reject, but after giving it some thought, I came to the conclusion that the millions of Trump voters deserved respect and had earned the right for their voices to be heard.
With that in mind, here is my experience from the Donald Trump rally in San Diego, California on May 27, 2016:
I was dropped off a few hundred feet away from the convention center. As I walked toward the venue, I immediately felt the presence of law enforcement. Officers stood 10 feet apart forming a human barricade; it was overwhelming. I tried to peek over the mass of officers to look for protesters, but they were far away, and could not even be heard.
All week the media had warned of potential anti-Trump protests, but all I could see were cameras and reporters. It was a little disappointing. As I walked in the front gate, I told myself that I was early, and I would see them on the way out.
As I stepped inside the building, I was confronted with a security line of about a thousand people. I took this opportunity to study the people around.
Instantly, I noticed the sea of red, white, and blue. Everyone in line was either wearing a shirt in honor of the United States, or wearing some kind of Trump merchandise. I looked at my own outfit, and noticed that I was wearing red, white, and blue.
It suddenly became clear to me that Trump had successfully sold himself as the America lover; that the perfect outfit for a Trump rally would simply be an American flag.
I got through security and found a spot not too far from the stage. To my left was a widowed veteran with her 11-year-old son, and to my right was a proud African-American veteran with his wife. Everyone in attendance seemed very familial and patriotic.
I did not see the hate and discrimination that the media had led me to expect.
The rally began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a rendition of the national anthem. Veterans and politicians took the stage, one after the other, to endorse Trump. It was very professional, organized, and nationalistic.
With every cheer, hundreds raised their red, white, and blue signs, Veterans for Trump. With every boo, someone yelled, Hillary for Prison, and the audience laughed. With every silence, the crowd chanted, USA, USA, USA! The pattern was predictable and repetitive. This is exactly how I envisioned the Republican Party.
Unexpectedly, Sarah Palin appeared. The crowd erupted, as children ran to the front to get a better vantage point. This was the surprise the crowd was hoping for.
Her speech was classic Palin, filled with creative insults directed at the media; a speech that only she knows how to deliver. To my surprise, it was entertaining, comical, quirky, and effective. As she walked off the stage, it became clear that Trump and Palin belonged together. She was a natural fit.
As the music grew louder, we were informed that Donald was in the building. The crowd was anxious. Old American songs played on repeat. People began to sit on the floor as their legs grew tired. Five, ten, twenty, thirty minutes went by.
Finally, it happened; Donald was on stage. Showtime. Every phone in the room was raised. It was madness.
Donald was Donald. No notes, no organization, no restraints. Most of his speech was directed at the media, and the New York Times in particular. Besides a few one-liners about the Clintons, he spent most of his time discussing the Trump University case.
The highlight came when Trump yelled at a protester, Get em out! Surprisingly, the crowd was mostly calm, and uninterested, until the final minute where he unleashed his usual rhetoric.
The quote speaks for itself:
We are going to start winning again big league. Were going to win with our military. Were going to knock the hell out of ISIS. Were going to win for our great vets; they have not been treated properly. Illegal immigrants get better treatment in many cases than our veterans, and thats not gonna happen. Its not gonna happen. Were going to win on education no more common core. Were going to win with health care. Were gonna win at the border. Were gonna win at trade. Were gonna win so much that you people are going to be calling your president and youre gonna say, Please, Mr. President, we dont want to win anymore. Youre wining too much. Youre driving us crazy. And Im going to say, I am very sorry, but we are going to keep winning, and we are going to win, win, win, and we are going to make America great again! I love you San Diego!
The music roared, and Donald Trump left the stage.
The rally was over. I followed the massive crowd of red, white, and blue out of the convention center. As I exited the building, I immediately searched for protesters. To my disappointment, there was little going on, as the few protesters were hundreds of feet away. In fact, most people were busy buying or selling Trump merchandise. I felt safe.
Desperate for adventure, I walked a few hundred feet to where the protesters were located. When I arrived, a handful of people were displaying anti-Trump flags while others were arguing with Trump supporters. There was no violence but the protesters definitely seemed heated.
I watched for a few minutes and realized that the protesters were the ones inciting violence, often insulting, or provoking police officers. On that note, I called it a day and walked home.
Later that night, I turned on CNN and the headline read, 3 Arrests at Trump Rally in San Diego. I listened to the journalists as they blamed Trump for the violence, and implied that his supporters were racist, hateful, and violent. I was shocked. The media suggested that his rally was dangerous, yet it was the complete opposite. I was there, and I can guarantee that it was beyond safe. It was familial and patriotic.
In the end, Donald Trump did not convince me, but his supporters did. They were unified, friendly, and respectful. His supporters did not fit the stereotype I had been picturing, and for that, I must apologize.
I will not be voting for Donald Trump in the fall, but I urge every single one of you to give Trump supporters the respect they deserve. The political system only works if every voice is heard.
His last statement says it all.
He does not care that the media lies and he saw it, does not care if his fellow travelers are haters. All he wants is his free college tuition and health care. Everything else can go to H**L.
This is a highly surprising and interesting story. Thanks 2ndDivisionVet.
What a shame you didn’t have a little more excitement on your walk home. Of course no one would dare bother one of their own.
A lot of Bernie supporters will be voting for Trump or staying home. The real crisis is within the Democrat party because a huge % absolutely hate Hillary.
The MSM has been trying to spin things that Republicans are headed for a contested convention and chaos. The reverse is true. If Hillary loses California (doesn’t steal it like she did Kentucky), all hell will break lose. She needs the superdelegates to win and if they start to defect, she’s toast.
She also may still be indicted and Obama stick Biden in as a last minute consensus candidate. The Bernie-bots will freak over that as well.
Going to be entertaining to see the Dems implode.
But listen to what Hillary’s media said: Trump was hate-filled and incited violence! Again, again, and again.
They lie. And America dies.
Well, I do not know how old this author is. But it seems to me that he may have embarked on the path of enlightenment and self-discovery that eventually leads him to reject liberalism in all its forms.
One step of that journey is to realize and accept the fact that the media lies. He seems well on his way to that realization.
Yesterday saw a few pundits- Monica Crowley for one, a couple unmemorable on twitter - start to float the idea that Obama knows Hillary will be charged, but will wait until she is nominated to control the process of selecting a successor nominee.
If that happens, and it ain’t Bernie, they’re going to go nuts.
media BS ping
If true, then the entire Dem primary process will have been a charade. That will make for some very unhappy Dem voters.
“Going to be entertaining to see the Dems implode.”
I think they have already, remember twenty four years ago when the Dems had the young, cool, charismatic candidates. Now they have old, worn out, broken down bums. Bill Clinton has gone from national sex symbol to bag of bones in that time. Hillary has gone from relatively presentable to the wicked witch of politics. Their only competitor to the wicked witch is a brain dead old socialist who hasn’t had an original idea in his entire life and he would probably beat her if the primary were not rigged so obviously in her favor.
If I’m wrong and the American electorate is silly enough to vote Dem this time or they find a way to cheat her in there is no place to hide, the end is near. The national forests will be running over with people trying to escape.
Great post: Questioning the media lies leads to a long look down the rabbit hole.
Even the best journalists with the best intentions have a difficult time accurately describing a meeting or gathering. What is important? What is not? Do they have time to check all the facts and get them correct? Often they have deadlines and make mistakes.
Then if you add some liberal bias to the mix you get a toxic brew of propaganda far removed from the actual event.
The author will vote for Trump. He wants to be a part of the crowd which supports Trump.
I’m having a hard time believing that this story is anything but fiction. I can’t imagine a Bernie supporter being this open minded to people who are not socialists. The red white and blue offends them nonstop and they would not find find good things to say about the experience. They would not be caught dead in such a place, especially alone. Where was the friend who invited him?
I totally agree with what you are saying. I did a little digging on that website and came up with a picture of the author Jon Hoff and as both you and I suspected, he is young. You could tell just by the way the article was written. This is a young person on the voyage of discovery. Someone who is a Bernie Sanders supporter but who has an open mind.
I can see by your name that you have probably also made a similar journey. As for myself, when I was young, I was an idealist so naturally I was a little more left of center. Yes, I voted for Ronald Reagan, but at the same time I also was interested in what Lyndon Larouche had to say. As a young person, the ideas of ending world hunger and poverty appealed to me as it usually does with everyone who is of a high mind. However, as the years go on, if we are honest with ourselves, we come to realize the pack of lies that socialism/communism sells. I would be disappointed in a young man who undergoes a complete change after one Donald Trump meeting. In my opinion, he took away the right lesson. Trump is not the be-all/end-all to classical liberalism but his followers are intrinsically. A seed was planted. I would not be surprised if in five years or less this guy is on our side....
Agreed, and it went both ways until Trump wrapped up the nomination. People want an non-establishment outsider, not another political hack.
Call me a cynic but I thought the same thing. No Berner is actually this open minded and I've seen no evidence yet that red white and blue is in their fashion scheme, unless they're stepping on it.
I'd happily admit to being wrong if this piece was in fact true.
I have. I was raised in a very liberal environment, with my head filled with what I call "poverty culture" (which is very liberal). My voyage towards enlightenment took a long time, step by tiny step. I never registered Democrat, but I voted that way. I cast my first vote for Carter when he lost to Reagan. I remember all the fear-mongering from the media over Reagan, and I believed it, at first--until it occurred to me that the plethora of horrible things they predicted never came to pass. The little things kept piling up, until the Democrat party nominated Bill Clinton--and that was the death-blow to my early liberal indoctrination. I've voted Republican ever since.
In order to make such a journey, one must be open minded. Sadly, that quality is fairly rare.
“and noticed that I was wearing red, white, and blue”
How did he NOT know what he was wearing prior to this?
It has an account about Sarah's Appearance in San Diego from last week.
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