A good friend of mine convinced me to go to a Trump rally with her this last weekend. She knows I’m not a fan, but she also knows I’m a sucker for history in the making, and I’ve never had a problem experiencing things that most would consider off color. I had worked the night before, so getting up at 5:30 in the morning was a bit of a challenge. My eyes were so red rimmed I looked like I had been hot boxing.
Now, I’ll be honest here. I told my friend to bring beverages of the adult variety. There was no way I was going to cope without something to take the edge off. We’d picked up orange juices at a Dunks, along with some nifty coffee mugs, made some strong cocktails at the car (yes, after we parked) and took these with us to our place in the line. A grown up sippy cup, if you will, or what another friend calls ‘road sodas’. I don’t normally start drinking so early, but I think you, dear readers, will forgive me this once.
We arrived about 7:15 or so to the event location (a Toyota Dealership of all places. I guess it makes sense: lots of asphalt, easy to cordon off, open sight lines for the Secret Service…yeah my mind thinks like that) and after a brief hesitation I said, “Fuck it. In for a penny and all that,” or something to that effect, and joined the queue.
I made notes on my phone of things I observed, which will be in italics. I took pictures, too, and I sent texts and messages to another friend and to my brother as the day moved along. I’m glad I did, because I would have forgotten some things. It’s also fascinating that my POV was so different from my friends’, what we observed and what we saw.
Guy in Camo lock her up while he’s stroking his cock. He’s in the volunteer line
Yes. Really. That was around 7:30am. He didn’t have it out or anything, but there was no mistaking what he was doing. Someone, might have been him, started the chant and he started doing his thing while screaming loudly enough I’m surprised he could talk later. (We met him that afternoon, and I got a picture. You’ll see it later in the post.)
Otherwise, the crowd was pretty polite. Individually, I really enjoyed the people I met. There was a lovely older lady, an organic gardener, and we chatted about seed saving, the drought, and how she had a Romney bumper sticker on one of her carts at her nursery and a customer saw it and started screaming at her. She’s 70+ years old, and some strange woman started calling her names in her place of business. She was terrified she said. She told me she’s refused to put any political signs on her property because she knew of others who’d had their property vandalized, and she couldn’t afford to take the chance. But she hates Hilary, oh yes she does, no mistaking that. She doesn’t think anything violent should be done to Mrs. Clinton, but she sure should be locked away. She wouldn’t be terribly sad if Hilary had an accident though.
I haven’t followed every article and detail of this election because I just don’t have the time, and I like what little sanity I can hold on to. People have made up their minds and now it’s just a bunch of mudslinging I figure. Anyway, my friend was well engaged in conversation with two men about minute details of various WikiLeaks and I’d tuned them out. I felt a little sad, because one of the men was kinda cute, and in normal circumstances I’d have flirted a bit. Unfortunately, the few times I paid attention to what he was saying I got an overwhelming urge to punch him. I took a walk instead.
Lots of biker people
They weren’t wearing their vests, but if you live around here, you know how to spot ‘em.
Surprisingly a lot of people older and vets
This really did surprise me. The age of the crowd felt predominantly 50+, and the vets I saw were all older, Vietnam, etc. One gentleman I spoke to was a total sweetheart. A Vietnam Vet, proud of his several grandkids, he is sick of the political system as it is, the lying and greed and pointless wars, and he feels Trump being a political outsider is the best option for America. He said that was how the country was started, by businessmen, and now we just have a bunch of pansies in Washington sucking everyone dry. Hilary should be put in front of a firing squad for selling America, she’s gotten away with too many crimes, and Trump says it like it is. He shouldn’t have said that stuff about women though, that was more than a little disrespectful.
Passing out boxes of munchkins
Lots of joking about the names they’ve been called
I thought the munchkins and coffee were nice. People took one or two from a box and passed it down, joking about how “deplorable” they were for sharing. I don’t know, I thought, maybe it’s because we’re in New Hampshire and people have always been a little less wackado up here, but this might actually be fun, and not get gross like some of the other rally footage I’ve seen.
Hey, what can I say? I’m an optimist.
Guy walking around talking to women to get on tape female supporters
I got the idea from a few conversations I overheard that the sex scandal stuff with Trump was enough of a concern that extra footage of women supporters was being asked for. There were no shortage of women willing to speak their minds, so this guy was busy.
Deplorable is their new “catch phrase” tons of promotional stuff
It was finally time to go in to the stage area.
lines grown significantly
Walk through metal detectors had been set up inside the dealership. We’d already taken our (now empty) sippy cups and extra stuff back to the car, streamlining for the main event, and the line started moving. This was a little after 9am. There was a palpable excitement in the air, but the energy was friendly. We got wanded by an extremely nice looking Secret Service man and were through.
When I said we were near the front of the line I wasn’t kidding. There were at least a thousand more people behind us waiting to get in. Yep, that’s the stage. I saw the footage on YouTube the next day and was impressed. It looked nothing like that in real life.
Camera crew. Mostly freelance. Camera guy 1 yr working with network. Doesn’t care about politics. Job, kids, wife. Job!
Only a few of the cameras belonged to networks, the rest independents and freelancers. I don’t know why this surprised me, but it did a little. I spoke to an awesome guy, one of the camera men, who’d been on the trail for a while. He missed his wife and kids, but he’d finally gotten hired by the network a year before after a long spell of unemployment. He was a little worried about what would happen after the election furor died down, but has zero political leanings either way (or at least that’s what he told me. He probably can’t really take a position, to maintain impartiality).
I wandered around and just watched and occasionally talked to miscellaneous people. The place filled up fast. We met some kids from New York, I met someone from Iowa who has been going to every single Trump rally he can get to, and so many more. It was a party atmosphere, for sure. If you listened close you could hear something, but it wasn’t loud or brash, more like the occasional off key sound you hear when someone is playing an instrument, but hasn’t fully learned the song.
Then the speeches started. The next few hours are hard to describe, because it built and wasn’t a sudden thing.
Old guy, senator, ran against dick sweat, everyone around is losing it
This still makes me giggle. That was the last time I laughed. (Well, until the Secret Service pulled me off a fence, but that’s later.)
Lock her up
Accusations of general content against h
All against h pro T
Guillani came on stage
(apologies for teleprompter)
Respect for what he did in ny
He argues against emails deleted
4 days to write a report
She’s too stupid to be in position or lied
The crowd had now been verbally whipped into an almost frenzy of hate
Foreign lady next to me. Not nice. Bitchy about personal space. Calling for H’s head. Death, torture. Kind of scary. Def not American born, polish/russian accent
People I had been talking to an hour before, normal everyday people, were suddenly shouting “cunt” “bitch” “death” and a whole lot more. I could feel myself go on high alert. The adrenaline and fear made my heart pound so loudly I could barely hear the speakers. I felt surrounded, and from experience I knew I was in extremely dangerous territory.
The place went nuts, but not in a batshit crazy way, just in normal cheering, clapping “yay! Our guy is here!” kind of way. I still felt hyperaware and on guard, but the not insane welcome calmed me a little. I thought, “Ok, these aren’t bad people, I’m OK, it’s all good, I can do this.”
The following are brief highlights of the speech, mixed with random observations. Too much happened for me to parse it all out, so just go with the stream of consciousness thing, k?
Press doesn’t cover
Chain of known sell outs to state dept. e/o agrees
Crowd kind of witch trial passion, emotional
He’s the savior, better because h didn’t do what they did
3x attendance. Murder highest ever. Stop immigration stop bad education stop obama care jobs down taxes down
Companies going to Mexico we haven’t heard of
H crim corrupt
Bitchy woman is Albanian
Roman bread and circuses
I wrote to a friend later, “I felt all of the tension of waiting for it to turn violent, like a powder keg with a fuse that could’ve gotten lit by the smallest spark.”
Not one of my more eloquently written descriptions, but it got the idea across.
Pulled the tom and belichick friends
Long rant about h and evil mexico
Yes will build a wall. Will stop heroin and drugs. And they will pay for it
…and I had to leave the crowd. I have two subjects I will not give an inch about, both deeply personal – sexual abuse and heroin. If anyone opens their mouth about those two subjects and stupid comes out, I get very not nice. I make no apologies.
I actually don’t remember exactly what he said, (and I was plenty sober by then) but the gist of it was so clueless and generalized it just pissed me off. The crowd was screaming back responses: RIGGED! LOCK HER UP! CRIMINAL! OBAMA SUCKS!
It created this infinite feedback loop of crazy.
I left the crowd and went around the corner of one of the buildings where it was quieter.
A few people were leaving and the Secret Service guy at the barrier opening let everyone know that if they walked out, they’d have to go through security all the way around the other side to get back in.
A local police officer was also there and he informed me of the same. I said, “No problem, but can I just stand here next to the fence and get myself calmed down?”
“Sure! Of course.”
I leaned against said fence – and proceeded to go ass over backward as the entire thing fell down, me on top of it.
No fewer than 5 Secret Service and 2 officers came running.
It was too much. I started laughing as they pulled me off and made sure I was OK.
I asked, “So, do I have to go through security again?”
I wanted to take a picture of my rescuers, but they asked me not to. You’ll just have to trust me that it happened.
The rally ended not long after and my friend and I hung out until the crowd cleared a bit. That’s when we met and spoke to wanker boy from earlier in the morning. Here’s the promised pic:
I’m not sorry that I went, though it was emotionally exhausting. I met a lot of nice people, with some great stories, and I got a good one out of it for myself. Overall I was proud of how my fellow Granite Staters behaved, though I still find it difficult to reconcile the nice people I spoke to one on one with the nearly bloodthirsty mob I witnessed while he spoke.
And that ended my adventure, and my first political rally.