Bigly Crowds


Donald Trump has an obsession with crowd sizes, probably because there’s so much to him that’s tiny. So very tiny.

His press secretary’s very first assignment was to boast about Donald Trump having the largest attended and most viewed inauguration in the history of American inaugurations. Of course it wasn’t true, but it illustrates Trump’s obsession. It makes him feel important and that maybe something about him is truly huge because there’s so much about him that’s tiny. So very tiny.

I attended a Trump rally during the 2016 presidential campaign. And sure, there was a large crowd but it wasn’t as large as Trump claims. He often cites numbers that are greater than the venue can seat. He yells about standing room only and that there were people lined up outside who couldn’t get in. He might believe that because his coordinators make sure to have people lined up outside. That’s probably so when Trump pulls up to the venue, he can feel all juicy that there are so many people wanting to hear him bark racist chants, that they can’t all get inside.

At his Fredericksburg rally in 2016, the room was half empty when he started to speak. Maybe it would have been full if they hadn’t left about a thousand people in line outside the venue. Why were these people still in line? When I went through security to get in, it only took about five seconds. Trump’s team doesn’t respect his supporters by forcing them to stand outside for hours in order to feed Trump’s ego. They probably don’t mind making that sacrifice because they’re in the cult.

It’s like the guy Trump fat-shamed at his latest rally. In New Hampshire, Trump started yelling at a protester, hurling several insults about the man’s weight. The man was escorted out of the building. As it turns out, he wasn’t a protester but a supporter. His response to being fat-shamed by the president, who later called him but didn’t apologize? He said Trump was the best thing that’s ever happened to America. Along with ethics and principles, Trump supporters have shed all dignity.

Trump tweeted about his New Hampshire hate rally’s crowd size at least three times. He tweeted, “Placed was maxed out, totally packed, with thousands coming to the arena floor at start.” He then tweeted out a photo and with, “Look at the tremendous overflow at packed arena in New Hampshire last night.” Twenty-five minutes later, he tweeted, “Biggest crowd EVER, according to Arena people. Thousands outside trying to get in. Place was packed!”

As it turns out, it wasn’t packed (surprised), but there was an actual important detail about the crowd that attended a recent Trump hate rally in Pennsylvania.

There was a rally at a Shell plant in Pennsylvania that wasn’t supposed to be a rally. It was an official presidential event, which means we paid for it, but it turned into a campaign event. Part of the explanation for the attendance is that employees of Shell were forced to attend by their company, and were ordered not to protest or do “anything viewed as resistance” during the event.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, union members were told, “No yelling, shouting, protesting, or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event, An underlying theme of the event is to promote good will from the unions. Your building trades leaders and jobs stewards have agreed to this.” Later, it was revealed that several union leaders had not agreed to it or had even been consulted.

Workers were told their attendance wasn’t mandatory, but if they didn’t attend then they wouldn’t receive payment for the day.

The Post-Gazette reported, “The choice for thousands of union workers at Royal Dutch Shell’s petrochemical plant in Beaver County was clear Tuesday: Either stand in a giant hall waiting for President Donald Trump to speak or take the day off with no pay.

‘Your attendance is not mandatory,’ said the rules that one contractor relayed to employees, summarizing points from a memo that Shell sent to union leaders a day ahead of the visit to the $6 billion construction site. But only those who showed up at 7 am, scanned their ID cards, and prepared to stand for hours—through lunch but without lunch—would be paid.

‘NO SCAN, NO PAY,’ a supervisor for that contractor wrote.”

I’ll bet a golden nickel Donald Trump didn’t skip lunch.

This isn’t new for Trump. He paid actors to pretend to be supporters at his campaign announcement. Was that ever reported as a campaign expense?

Since the Pennsylvania rally wasn’t an “official” campaign event, the payment to their employees to attend was not a campaign expense for Royal Dutch Shell, but it should be. We should also be informed of how often this occurs for Trump hate rallies. Maybe it should be mandated that each time Trump boasts about crowd size, that there be an asterisk noting how many were forced or/and paid to attend. But then again, Trump lies about his crowd sizes anyway.

Forcing people to attend a rally to give the impression there’s more support than actually exists and to soothe a leader’s ego isn’t the practice of a Democracy. It’s the kind of thing Fidel Castro would have done and did. It’s a dictator’s move which suits a man who dreams of being a fascist.

From now on, when Trump brags about crowd sizes, reporters should ask how many were paid or forced to attend. If nothing else, it’ll give something else for Trump to lie about.

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