Thursday, April 28, 2016

A real life adventure at a Trump rally

Last week I took my boys and went to a Trump rally.

I just had to.

I really don't 'support' any of the candidates running for office.  I have often said I would vote for my wife and I am seriously thinking about it.  I went because I had to see the spectacle that is Trump.  What I got was an eyeful . . . and a lot of questions about who we are as a people.

First off - we have to remember that the Trump phenomenon is part of a larger global undertow that is taking place.  Friends of mine from Germany are wary of the charismatic leaders that are popping up attracting otherwise intelligent people to a way of looking at foreigners that is both overly simplistic and unhealthy.  Same thing is happening in France.  A couple of terror attacks in a few years does that to you.  In fact, all over Europe the threat of radicalized Islam is causing oversimplified and nationalistic personalities to seem very attractive.  And it is more than just Europe and America.  This semester I was teaching over twenty grad students from Uganda online and I heard the same complaints from them.

Low-brow humor and personal attacks.

Candidates saying the things we all wish we could say . . .

And apparently people are very taken with it:

This is what Trump rally looks like.  Well actually - this is what the line for the Trump rally looks like.  There were easily 10,000 people waiting to get in.  We never did.  Very poorly run.  He spoke to about 700 people and there were thousands outside who never got in because the security processing was so slow.

But we saw lots of this:

And really, that is the cleanest I can show you.  A lot of F-words printed on T-shirts and thrown around from the people hawking them.  Pictures of certain parts of the male anatomy and the idea that Donald Trump has the 'guts' to be president.  I was really shocked that the older people in the crowd were laughing at it all.  I explained to my kids that when I was a kid older adults told people like that to 'watch your mouth.'  But they just laughed along.

Honestly it was really sad to see people surrounded by a lot of filth and think that this is what we need to make our country great again.

Not to mention that a friend of mine almost got punched in the face inside the auditorium.

I didn't see racism and I didn't see bigotry - what I did see were a whole lot of people who are just fed up.  People wearing shirts with "We the People" and then underneath "are p-ed off."

Frustrated enough to exchange goodness and decency for swagger and anger.

As my mother says: "be careful what you wish for because you just might get it."

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