On Saturday, my wife Carol and I attended the Trump Rally. The night before we were speaking to our son Matt, who lives in New York City. He was concerned about us attending the event, thought it may be dangerous. He didn’t think it was a very good idea.
The day of the rally I printed my tickets and posted them on Facebook. I proclaimed that we would be in attendance! Two friends also sent words of caution. I will admit, I was starting to wonder what we were getting into.
We left early, zipped into the parking lot with no problem and waited in line for about 45 minutes before the doors to the Coliseum opened. While in line, we spoke to the people around us. There were old people, young people, Hispanics, teens, babies, bikers, long hairs, short hairs, and no hairs. In general a pretty diverse group.
There was a husband and wife from California along with their daughter who lived in Phoenix. “I watch the news, and it looks like California has a lot of challenges,” I said. The wife, who is Hispanic and spoke with a slight accent stated “It’s worse than you know. The roads, the taxes, even the garbage collection is terrible” “As soon as we can sell our house, we plan on moving to Arizona.” I told them they were welcome.
Once inside, we got great seats right on the rail off the floor. A couple sat next to us. We introduced ourselves and settled in for the four hour wait until “The Donald” arrived. They were immigrants? Go figure, I thought immigrants hated Trump? They went on to tell us they had come to the USA twenty years ago, got their green cards and after a five year wait became US citizens. They were there to support Trump because they were very concerned about the direction of “their” country. Mike was from Scotland (now has dual citizenship) and wife Bente is from Norway. Bente had to relinquish her Norwegian citizenship. Their concerns were the economy, security and the porous border. They don’t own guns but believe in the Second Amendment. Bente even took a conceal and carry class! Since the rally we have already corresponded and plan on getting together again soon.
To my left was John, a professor at the University of Phoenix?! I asked why he was at the rally? I thought all academia was Liberal? His reply was “Some of us still have common sense.”
As we got closer to Trumps arrival, the volume of the loud speakers began to increase and the Stones & Creedence filled the auditorium. Heck, I was at home!
Joe Arpaio entered and was a media Rock Star. The crowd of 6,000 loved him. Candidate Kelli Ward was there, pressing the flesh and showing her support, along with Governor Brewer and State Treasurer Jeff Dewit. However, missing were McCain, Flake, Salmon, Gosar, Schweikert. I was very disappointed that these politicians were not there to show any kind of support. I wonder how they will react should Mr. Trump win in November?
Trump arrived and was engaging, sometimes repetitive, but came off as sincere. We heard a little about Crooked Hillary and Crazy Bernie, but most of the dialogue was about making America great and giving opportunity back to all Americans. I didn’t feel he was an out of control wack job. I didn’t get the impression he was blowing smoke up everyone’s skirt. I didn’t hear the hatred in his tone. I saw and heard concern. The audience responded in a positive manner.
When we left the arena, we saw no protestors, Mexican flags, or race bating signs. We returned to our vehicle, turned right at 19th Ave. and went home. On the way home we turned on Mike Broomhead who was covering the rally. While Broomhead covered Trumps message, another reporter was with the protestors. We saw nothing.
Years ago I was in the publishing business in New York. Rolling Stone Magazine ran a great marketing campaign centered on Perception vs. Reality. As I was driving home this campaign popped into my mind. What I experienced at the rally was Reality. 6,000 Americans gathered together, listening to a message delivered by potentially the next President of the United States. 6,000 Americans actually standing and singing the National Anthem. People gathered together with a common concern for the future of our nation. I saw no hate, no violence, no racism, or other phobias. Once home, and watching the news, I saw the Perception presented by the media. The Perception of hate, racism, and intolerance. I would urge everyone to attend a rally. Any rally for any candidate. Learn for yourself what the candidates stand for and how sincere they really are in the real world. Don’t believe everything that is fed to you on the tube.