An evening with Trump and his supporters

An evening with Trump and his supporters

Amelia Ryan, Contributing Writer

When I learned that our president was going to be at the Target Center, I joked about going. Then, I realized that nothing would prevent me from witnessing the dumpster fire that is one of his campaign rallies. I felt an obligation to witness it because I had the opportunity and was also very curious.

So, I went to the Trump rally. It was a parody of itself. 

In this world, people compete to see who has the most original Trump merchandise. The most controversial thing you can wear is a Brady jersey.

While waiting for the guest of honor, supporters gladly danced off beat to songs from the infamous  “songs that get white people turnt” playlist. I couldn’t decide if the irony of their unsettlingly enthusiastic rendition of the YMCA was lost on them. 

We’ve all heard Trump’s nonsensical rants. However, few of us have listened to it for nearly two hours. Here are some highlights: 

He gave a list of shout outs to his friends at Fox despite his anti-Fox tweetstorm from earlier the same day,  in which he said “[Fox News] doesn’t deliver for US anymore [sic].” He inflated his already tall son’s height. He said that Joe Biden “was never considered very smart” and that “he was only a good vice president because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.” He told some student protesters from Mac to “Go home to mommy.” He also declared he “didn’t need Beyoncé” to win the presidency. 

Personally, I must assert that nothing tops his nose rant in regard to sheer absurdity. A quick summary does not do it justice.

Trump narrated his interaction with a veteran at Walter Reed Medical Center.

“I said, ‘What’s your problem?’ ‘Sir, my face was blown apart. My nose was absolutely just blown apart.’ He said, ‘Sir, it’s incredible.’ And I looked at him, I said, ‘That’s the most beautiful nose I’ve ever seen. What do you mean?’ He said, ‘A doctor worked on my face for 10 hours in the field. He said there were a thousand fragments.’ Now I don’t know if that’s right, but well, a lot. He meant a lot. ‘He said there were a thousand fragments. He rebuilt my nose with glue. He glued the bones together. He rebuilt my nose.’ I say, ‘You have the most beautiful nose I’ve ever seen,’ and it’s true. And his father came over to me, he said, ‘Sir,’ father was crying, he said, ‘Sir, honestly, my son looks better now.’ He said, ‘My son did not have a good looking nose. Now look at it, it’s beautiful, it’s beautiful.’”

It is important to document his amusing rants. However, recording his disturbing and dangerous diatribes is more consequential. They illustrate the threats he poses to collective and individual freedom. 

He railed against “the media” several times. Each time, he pointed to the press area, call them “crooked writers,” and claimed that they are “so bad for our country.” The crowd’s antagonistic response was immediate and booming. We know that he derides the press as the “enemy of the people,” but seeing it in person brought forth the gravity of this mob mentality and its potential consequences.

A similar reaction came when the president invoked Ilhan Omar. The jumbo-tron — which was previously only used to display the words “Keep America Great” — lit up with an unflattering photo of the representative. The entire crowd booed even louder this time. It was terrifying. Regardless of what esteem you hold her in, it was clearly immoral. Trump then railed against Somali refugees. There was no coded language. It was simple: refugees, especially those of color, are not welcome here. His supporters went wild as they celebrated their racism and xenophobia. It was truly deplorable

No one is safe. 

I felt unsafe, but not so unsafe that I had to leave. When I texted a friend, discreetly and on the lowest brightness, that I was scared, a man behind me somehow read it and yelled “TRUMP 2020, BITCH!” at me. I did nothing. I said nothing. I was not there to provoke anyone. Otherwise, I am sure that I would have been attacked — verbally or physically. When I sat down, I wasn’t met with hostility because I could feasibly be “one of them.” However, when I didn’t stand for Mike Pence, I was scolded because standing is “a sign of respect.” That is true. However, I do not respect someone who, among other things, believes in torturing gay people. I said nothing. 

Someone who is not me, a white, blonde haired, blue-eyed, cis female, would not be remotely safe. I set out to observe the rally to try to understand what this whole phenomenon is and report back to my community. We need to be aware of both the entertaining and ludicrous nose rants, and more importantly, each threat he makes to our democracy. It is easy to become desensitized to his hateful rhetoric. It can be a matter of self preservation. There is merit to attending these events. We intellectually understand that this presidency is not normal, but it is easy to get used to. We must not allow ourselves to become apathetic. Going to a Trump rally may not shock you, however, it will likely disgust you. This outrage can motivate us to take some kind of action.