The Great Man Cometh: What I Saw At The Trump Rally
Donald Trump cancelled four events last week, causing some to wonder about the 70-year old’s health. I can say that, from my table on the second row, The Donald looked healthy when he spoke at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe last Friday. Trump’s remarks were a part of the Republican Party’s Battle Born dinner, which happened to roughly coincide with the start of Burning Man, being held roughly three hours away.
By the look of it, our packed flight from Las Vegas had many more Burners than Trumpians. And the Reno airport was filled with neon-colored hair, dreadlocks, and all sorts of eccentric attire.
He, of course, never really answered a question directly, but instead would answer questions by digressing into something else.Donald’s crowd was mostly old and well-dressed other than those who proudly insisted on wearing their “Make America Great Again” hats, or, for instance, a gentleman named Bob Zmuda who sat at our table, sporting a light blue “Rhino Records” bowling shirt.
Bob, an ardent Trump supporter, happened to be Andy Kaufman’s writer and produced the movie “Man on the Moon” starring Jim Carrey. If you didn’t believe him, he wrote a book about it all, “Andy Kaufman Revealed!” and just happened to have a copy with him that I now own.
The charming proprietor of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch Brothel and Nevada State Senate candidate Dennis Hof also saw no reason to dress up, wearing jeans and a blue paisley dress shirt. Mr. Hof graciously invited our group back to the Ranch after the event. For some reason my wife was not interested.
The Donald is famously a germaphobe, but he must also be a securityphobe. Yes, this tame crowd of regular folks (mostly) had to empty their pockets or hand over their purses to pass through metal detectors manned by (your tax dollars at work) TSA employees in their bright blue uniforms. No shoes came off, but a government agent confiscated my wife’s tiny can of hairspray.
“I’m not boarding a plane, just going to dinner,” she told the woman from the TSA.
“Aerosol is not allowed,” was the curt reply.
Something tells me that rule didn’t apply to the night’s keynote speaker.
When Trump spoke, a dozen or so security personnel scanned the crowd from behind the barrier which comfortably separated the crowd from the stage. Also, a sniper was perched a floor above, no doubt ready to take down anyone who might threaten the candidate.
The Donald’s remarks were short, there was no teleprompter, and only local press (so much for me seeing Katy Tur in person). Nevada Republican party Chair Michael McDonald promised an unscripted Trump. But, this crowd clearly got a less bombastic Donald. He was almost folksy, didn’t say anything too crazy, and then, he opened it up for Q & A.
All thoughts I had that attending this shindig was a pain left when the questions started. Sure, there was the usual stuff, like, “My issue is the 2nd Amendment, what will you do to make sure the government doesn’t take my guns?”
Ah, but then, a woman stood with her husband and attempted to make the point that Muslims mistreat their animals and more attention must be paid to this. The crowd was collectively nonplussed. She started to press on, but her husband took the microphone.
“Is she your wife?’ asked Trump.
“Congratulations,” a straight-faced Donald replied as half the room laughed and the other half wanted to.
Later, a young woman earnestly stated her name and asked the candidate what he was going to do about “The Bildaboarges.” While I knew exactly what she was asking about, Trump and the crowd didn’t seem to have a clue. She repeated “Bildaboarges” and said Hillary was a member and the people should know about it.
Bilderberg contributes to directly undermining democracy, while further institutionalizing technocracy – the “rule by experts” – at the national and international level.
When it comes to the secretive meetings of the world’s financial, corporate, political, and technocratic elites at the annual Bilderberg conferences, a common criticism is that the group pre-selects major politicians – choosing presidents and prime ministers in private before populations have a chance to vote themselves.
I was on the edge of my seat hoping to hear Trump’s take on the Bilderberger Group. What was his plan to deal with this evil insider cabal? Maybe he would build a wall around them or somehow ban them. However, he didn’t take the bait, and only said, “Who’s next?”
Near the end, a gentleman, nearly as wide as he was tall, in full dress uniform of some sort, obtained the mic and started a full-fledged, high-volume rant that the voters had spoken and “Donald J . Trump” (lots of emphasis on the “J” at this event) is the leader of the GOP, but that (many nasty but not quite profane adjectives) Carly Fiorina was claiming she is the party leader, so on and so forth, and that she must be stopped.
The true believers soaked up Trump’s magnetism and left with a glow that the election will be his (and theirs).This seemed to be news to most everyone in the room and left The Donald to not really reply but say how great Reince Priebus is and how close they are (who knew?). As it turns out, Carly, indeed, may be angling for the job .
The Donald clearly enjoys himself at the microphone. He said, “Last question,” at least a half dozen times. He acted like he could go on and on, not like someone in poor health. He, of course, never really answered a question directly, but instead would answer questions by digressing into something else. Or he would say, “We’ll look at that.”
Trump fans clearly aren’t interested in specifics. All I heard from Donald’s zealots was that the polls were wrong and Julian Assange had a bombshell to drop on Hillary right before the election. No one (including me) left disappointed, except maybe the woman who asked about the Bilderbergers.
The true believers soaked up Trump’s magnetism and left with a glow that the election will be his (and theirs). The failures of past candidates and the unwieldy intransigence of government bureaucracy are completely forgotten. This time, they have found a truly Great Man, who, single-handedly, will make America great again , molding the country into what they want it it to be: a land where everyone looks like them, prays to the same God, and salutes the red, white, and blue.
Douglas French is an Associated Scholar at the Johnson Center at Troy University and adjunct professor at Georgia Military College. He is the author of