Someone Let A Cartoonist Into A Trump Rally


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Yesterday I attended Donald Trump’s rally in Fredericksburg, Virginia, my hometown.

The Trump campaign announced the event on Thursday and I immediately went online to get a couple of tickets. I also applied for press credentials but for some reason they denied me. They didn’t like my “Naked Trump” cartoons? It was OK not receiving press credentials as I wanted to mingle among the freaks, I mean, Trump supporters. The first thing you want to do when going into a snake pit, a lions den, or a giant flaming outhouse, is bring a friend.

So I asked a friend, then another friend, then another friend, and then another friend. I couldn’t understand why none of my friends wanted to go. I put out a feeler to my friends on Facebook. None of them wanted to go but some had really good excuses, like they had to stay home and manscape that day. Several people who fled the city said they would have gone with me if they were in town. It’s like I sent out invitations to visit a leper colony.

Finally a friend wanted to go, but it was more like I was leaving him a ticket which meant I was still going alone. Then, someone I had asked previously changed her mind and we went together.  And it was perfect as not only is she one of my favorite people, but I got to go to a Trump rally with a liberal Jew named Hilary.

We expected to have a lot of fun and unleash our sarcasm and mockery. Hilary wanted to used a pseudonym. We didn’t intend to cheer, boo, or protest. We wanted the experience. We wanted to give the Trump fans respect. We also didn’t want to go in announcing we were not voting for Trump.

The line was pretty long and it was in the heat. We didn’t see many signs or screaming people at the beginning. There were some individuals collecting signatures to steal your social security and the Trump team was recruiting volunteers while people sweated in line. Then the salesmen came.

The people selling Trump schwag were not with the Trump campaign. If we were smart we would have bought umbrellas and written Trump on them. We would have made a killing.

The people were very nice. Well, nice for hating Hillary Clinton and President Obama. They were talking about their views in line, like Clinton should be in prison, Black Lives Matter is a bunch of racists, and Northern Virginia will go for Trump. What?

We didn’t see any protesters until we left and they were a small group down the street. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a photo of them as were moving and they were standing by a stop light at an intersection. We did see a lot of man buns. What’s up with man buns? When is that going away?

We ran into a few people we knew, who were Trump people. We took photos of those in shirts and outfits we found interesting and I asked permission each time. Everyone said yes. They were proud.

None of them could give us a good reason they were supporting Trump. All we heard was that he’s rich, successful, going to make American great again, and that Hillary Clinton is a liar and should be in prison.

The Expo Center, where the event was staged, can hold 3,400 people according to its website. To be honest, it was about half full. Security staff said 3,600 people were admitted and hundreds more were outside (and when we left there were people still in line). There weren’t any chairs except for a few to the side for the elderly and handicapped. Many people chose to sit on the floor and we joined them for a while as we got tired of standing around for several hours. I was surprised the campaign wasn’t selling pins, buttons, shirts, inside. There were two vendors selling BBQ sandwiches, pretzels, chips, candy, and soda.

Everyone we encountered was friendly and though we rolled our eyes a bit at what they said, and found some of it hateful, we didn’t find it an atmosphere with negative energy…and then Trump came out. The mood changed really quickly.

Remember the third Indiana Jones movie where he and his dad end up at a Nazi book burning in Berlin? I’m not saying it was that hateful but it did come to mind when the “lock her up” and “build a wall” chants started.

Trump, who many in the crowd described to us a genius, came out and said to the Fredericksburg crowd “So Fairfax, on Nov. 8, you’ve got to get out and vote.” At least he didn’t think he was in Michigan, which is where the campaign had put Fredericksburg a few days before.

He told the seven black people in attendance that he wants the GOP to be home for black voters again. He complained about Obama’s “ransom” to Iran, “Crooked Hillary,” and that Tim Kaine was never popular as governor which I found interesting since Kaine was elected to the senate afterward. Currently with Kaine on Clinton’s ticket, Virginia is giving them a double digit lead over Trump in the polls. Which polls? All of them.

And then we left. After about five minutes of Trump barking and the crowd sounding kinda like a Nuremberg rally, we knew we didn’t fit in and it was time to go.

I spent the rest of the feeling dejected, disappointed, and kinda nasty. Hilary wanted to go home and soak her entire body in sanitizer. Trump is going to lose this election by astronomical numbers. The problem is that those people at the rally will still be around hating. And they’re in my community.

trumprally22This was the first group we encountered with a banner. They were more than happy to pose for us.

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She was very happy.

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Five bucks for a button. I think the hats were $20 and these entrepreneurs were selling them from a car which allowed for a quick escape each time security came around.

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I actually know this kid. He was a student of mine ten years ago when I taught a summer class at a local elementary. I didn’t realize it was him until after I took the photo and he called me out. Hi, Colin. Good to see you again. You grew up.

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This very pretty girl really hates Hillary Clinton.

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This gentlemen was serenading the line with a tune about freedom, eagles, and waving flags. He as playing a Fender. Geeks like me notice things like that.

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These very young ladies really want a president with balls. I hope they didn’t see those statues.

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This was near the stage and yet they were able to pop a squat.

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Others chose to lean against the wall. As I said before, there weren’t any seats.

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The media pit. The journalists at the right end of the first table are from my former newspaper, The Free Lance-Star. That’s Jeff Branscome seated and Suzanne Carr (exceptional photographer) standing. I totally forgot the name of the other reporter as he was hired after I was laid off. I couldn’t find Hallie Jackson from MSNBC so I didn’t do any stalking.

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I did find Betsy. I asked to take her photo and she insisted I be included. This is the first photo I’ve posted of myself in a few years. I’m really anti-selfies. It’s not a selfie if someone else takes it. If 3,600 people got into the event, then Betsy was photographed 3,600 times. She even took a pic with FLS photog Peter Cihelka. I didn’t get Betsy’s number but I think Pete might have.

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Hilary took this photo. These shorts were really tight. Be glad we did not take a photo from the front. OK, this is the only person who wasn’t asked if we could take his photo.

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Another Clinton fan.

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The campaign was handing out these signs. The idea is everyone will wave them and it’ll be seen on the news stations. We took one but after a couple minutes we had to give it back as our hands were burning.

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I could not get a good pic of Trump (can anyone?) and Hilary captured this one. As you may see, we got teleprompter Trump.

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Here’s another photo taken by Hilary. Now if anyone wants to argue crowd size, here’s proof. This was not taken before Trump started speaking. This was taken WHILE Trump was speaking. You could have had a basketball game simultaneously. Half empty building yet there were still people in line. Trump spoke for about 40 minutes and I hope everyone waiting outside got to see him for a second. See how much empathy I have? I hope the hateful got to see their fascist hero.

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28 comments

  1. While reading this, besides the rallies from 80 years ago that you’ve alluded to, this is what else kept going through my mind… The prescient words of Roger Waters:

    Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb?
    Mother do you think they’ll like this song?
    Mother do you think they’ll try to break my balls?
    Mother should I build the wall?
    Mother should I run for president?
    Mother should I trust the government?
    Mother will they put me in the firing line?
    Mother am I really dying?

    Hush now baby, baby, dont you cry.
    Mother’s gonna make all your nightmares come true.
    Mother’s gonna put all her fears into you.
    Mother’s gonna keep you right here under her wing.
    She wont let you fly, but she might let you sing.
    Mama will keep baby cozy and warm.
    Ooooh baby ooooh baby oooooh baby,
    Of course mama’ll help to build the wall.

    Mother do you think she’s good enough — to me?
    Mother do you think she’s dangerous — to me?
    Mother will she tear your little boy apart?
    Mother will she break my heart?

    Hush now baby, baby dont you cry.
    Mama’s gonna check out all your girlfriends for you.
    Mama wont let anyone dirty get through.
    Mama’s gonna wait up until you get in.
    Mama will always find out where you’ve been.
    Mama’s gonna keep baby healthy and clean.
    Ooooh baby oooh baby oooh baby,
    You’ll always be baby to me.

    Mother, did it need to be so high?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Good for you, Clay! A brave man and true. Had I been in Fairfax or Fredericksburg, I’d a gone with you. (Just a little classy poetry to mark the day.)

    Especially like the photo of the YUUUUGE crowd. Trump must have been totally overwhelmed with joy at the turnout. Well, of course he deserves it. He’s YUUUGE too. (I think he’s wrecked that word, in my mind, at least, forever.)

    By the way, if you click to see who has hit Like for a comment, you’re often automatically added as liking that comment yourself, which is fine in most cases, but sometimes not what you intended, especially when it’s your own comment and you want to see who likes you. Suddenly you like yourself, which makes you look less than humble.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks so much for your sacrifice. Those of us who didn’t have the courage to go appreciate your efforts. Out of curiosity, it really doesn’t look like 3600 were there. Do you think that number was accurate?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I want to cover up the first word on “Don’t be a chump– Vote for Trump.” Like whoever was cutting the w’s off “Nixon Now” bumperstickers.

    Also can’t help thinking of “Springtime for Hitler”— something like “Be a smarty, come and join the Nazi party….”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I consider myself a politically moderate person who leans liberal on social issues but more conservative on spending. I watched a decent amount of the rally on TV. From what I saw it looked like every other political rally. What portion of the rally caused you to draw comparison to Nazi Germany?

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    1. “Socially liberal, fiscally conservative” is an oxymoron.

      To address your question, it’s the part where a dogmatic “outsider” politician who is campaigning almost exclusively on racial animosity (in this instance, American racism against Mexicans/Muslims).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Most people, even those who don’t like him, SAY HE IS HONEST! So you will vote for the most corrupt family in the History of Elections?????

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    1. Trump honest? Yeah, no. He has a history of failing to pay his bills, and using Bankruptcy “protection” to avoid paying them when the bailiffs turn up.

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      1. Foreign Governments giving millions to the Clinton’s Foundation for a talk with the Sec. Of State, need I say more? Not paying some bills is Nothing compared to this Mob. And yes, the Bushes were no Different. All WHO have been a part of both Parties are Corrupt. Trump may be also, we just don’t know. One thing we do know, all the present Are Corrupt on Both Sides.

        Like

    2. Well, “honest” insofar as he *might* mean what he is saying right now, right now; of course, he might not believe it in a few days, or when he’s deposed about it, or when it’s financially or ego-protectively inconvenient to say it.

      And as for the “most corrupt family in the history of elections” — go look at Rome, for example, and then come back to me. The Clintons haven’t even been *indicted* for corruption, let alone convicted, let alone gotten anywhere near the “most corrupt” definition.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I remember when Sarah Palin came to Fredericksburg in 2008. I went with a few friends to protest. Man, those people were MEAN. When I say “protest”, all we did was stand there with a few satirical signs as people lined up to get it. I don’t think we even chanted. But people would come up and spit on us, say nasty things, and one old lady tried to hit one of us, screaming “baby murderers.” Fredericksburg itself is pretty liberal (it is a college town), but you don’t have to go far out of town into Spotsy and you are in the Virginia backwoods.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m thinking that if I were to go to a Trump rally, I might express some hate towards the press just because they had a place to sit down and I didn’t. Really. Who has a rally without seating?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I found that weird and was surprised by it. Maybe it’s because they organized it on short notice, but you would still think the venue would be prepared. Instead, I don’t think neither the venue or Trump campaign does care. Who makes elderly people sit on the floor?

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Dear liberal stooge….Show us your images from the Hillary events you attended. Oh, that’s right….They wouldn’t let you in because you’re not “eeeeeeevil” enough. Next time, you’d better donate one…..MILLION dollars first. Muah-hah-hah-hah-hah!

    Like

  10. You’re funny dude, in the not quite hip, homosexual way. Share your experiences with the wackos at the Hillary rallies you’ve attended. What’s that? You couldn’t get in because she built a wall around it to keep you out? I guess your $10.00 donation to the ’cause’ doesn’t garner an invite.

    Like

  11. Funny, i do not see TRUMP at he podium in your picture?!?!?! And WHY do they have pictures of the rally with standing room only. I can understand your desire for your candidate but ARE YOU NOT A REPORTER? Do reporters have any morals, Ethics or desire to be true to what a reporter once was!?!?!? This is a sad day because people like you are the reason we will fall as a nation. When you report falsely….do you think you are helping your cause. I do nt care who you are for…..do it right!…for all of us and yourself!

    Like

    1. The campaign handed out signs to supporters and one of those is being waved and blocking out his head. The pics showing a packed house that you refer to are of the crowed near the podium where it was jam packed. That building was half empty during his speech. If our picture was taken before he spoke then the foreground would have shown a line to the snack vendors. It was taken during his speech and I and my colleague can both confirm it. Where you there? I was.

      Like

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