I’ve never been so scared for a case of mistaken identity in my life. As the Donald Trump campaign has shifted from humorous slideshow to legitimate contender to horrifying prospects, I haven’t been able to shake the simple thought of, “who exactly are these people who are supporting the things he says?” and I had to see for myself.
So with the Donald making a stop in my home town of Kansas City this evening, I decided to take the chance to see. Not to protest, as so many did, but instead to experience the rally, observe what happens, and relay it to others who might share my bewilderment. So I headed downtown, and found myself in a line wrapping around the block from the entrance to the theater. I clearly wasn’t the only non-supporter in the line, but I was determined to stay quiet, and, unlike most of the others, leave the rally without the help of the police.
We do that to one of their rallies and it’s front page news.
We’re going to take our country back from these people. These are bad, bad people.
One by one members of the crowd would point at anyone who they thought wasn’t supporting Trump, primarily younger audience members, particularly black or less conservative looking people, and cheer as a member of the Secret Service or Kansas City’s finest would unquestioningly pull them from their seats and escort them to the exits.
…And I say it in front of these lying, thieving reporters…
We have a first amendment right to free speech and we’re not allowed to do it because of this garbage right here.
The second half of the appearance continued to draw the occasional stoppage for a protester, but most had been weeded out, and Trump was able to get through more of his rambling stream of consciousness. He bragged about not reading speeches. He just stood up and said whatever came to his mind, interrupting himself as often as the protesters did.
He’s ISIS related. You can tell by his name he’s ISIS or ISIS related.
The entire event led to a crescendo in much the same way that Springsteen builds until he can tear the roof off, but instead of a chorus of “Born to Run” the crowd was treated to a chorus of “Build the wall!” and all the reasons that Mexicans need to stay out of America.
At one point in the evening, Trump read a poem about a woman who saw a snake who needed help. The woman in the poem brought the snake in, and was immediately bitten. When she questioned the snake as to why this was the case, the snake replied, “You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.” Trump provided no context for the story, but the crowd gave it a standing ovation – clearly missing the irony that we know damn well that there’s a snake in our midst.
- I’m not saying that a political speech should be a free-for-all. Clearly that’s not the case. But the tension here was thicker than anything I’ve ever experienced on this big of a level. Under different circumstances, seeing this devolve into a riot wouldn’t have been shocking. [↩]
- the actual name, doesn’t sound that way at all. I’m intrigued to know if Trump was knowing lying about it, or was given incorrect information. [↩]