Last week President Trump visited the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa for a rally and Vets For Trump attended.
President Trump visits his constituents throughout the US on a regular basis. This is a somewhat unique phenomenon, other elected officials have done so in the past, but it seems President Trump does it more often than most. There are many reasons why he feels compelled to visit with his supporters, and I’ll discuss that a little herein.
Let me establish a picture in your mind’s eye. The Giant Center in Hershey, PA is a venue used for concerts and other events and is the full-time home of the Hershey Bears, a minor league Hockey Franchise that plays in the American Hockey League (AHL). The venue has a stated seating capacity of Ten Thousand five hundred patrons. The day was gray, overcast, cold, wet and raining. Altogether a day you wanted to stay home, stay inside, and get warm with your favorite beverage. The doors for the venue were announced to open at 1500 Hours. (3:00 pm for you civilians reading this). The line started at about 0800 Hours. I say again, the line began to build at 0800 in the rain and cold for an event that was scheduled to begin at 1900 (7:00pm) with the doors not opening until 1500.
Doors opened as scheduled and the line began to move into the venue. Thousands of Trump supporters standing peacefully in the rain and cold, with smiles on their faces, happily chatting with those who were in line around them. The Giant Center added some additional seats, and the also opened the floor for standing room only (the hockey ice is covered). My uneducated guess about the size of the crowd inside the arena exceeded twelve thousand. There were a couple thousand who were denied access because the venue was filled to capacity. Those not gaining entrance were given the opportunity to watch the event on a large TV screen mounted on a trailer outside. In the rain. In the cold. Imagine waiting hours to get in, only to be told when you literally can see the door a few feet away, “There is no more room”!
There were a few protestors, a Trump flag was burned by one of them, but there were no confrontations. The protestors, once filmed for the evening news quickly dissipated, as the protestors likely were disappointed by the small number of protestors and the bad cold/wet weather. Inside, during President Trump’s remarks, one lone female staged a one-person protest. It was comical. Thousands of people reacted as you might expect. I was actually afraid for the young woman’s safety, as she had to exit the venue walking past the crowd of ardent supporters who didn’t appreciate the protesters’ remarks and her hand gestures indicating that she thought President Trump and the collective crowd were “Number 1”!
The crowd was amazing for both the size and behavior. There were many Veterans in attendance. If you are one, you can pick them out, as I can. More than just opinion however was the scattering of Branch of Service coats, shirts, hats, and signs of support. I spoke to several Veterans and I asked the questions, where were they from and why he came to the event. There were attendees from all over the east coast. The responses were all similar, and typical was one Marine Veteran named Josh. Josh was a Vet of both Iraq and Afghanistan, and his answer to why he was there was; “Because President Trump is F*cking AWESOME”. After discussing the awesomeness that is Trump, I pressed him further on his view of President Trump to which he replied: “Best President EVER”. I suggested that that took in a lot of pretty great Presidents, and mentioned President Washington. I managed to gain agreement from Josh the Marine that President Washington was pretty great too. To which my new Marine friend stated unequivocally “President Trump is the BEST President in my LIFETIME”! That was the consistent attitude and opinion of the Veterans I spoke to in attendance at the event.
I don’t know for sure, but my opinion is that many Veterans are drawn to President Trump because of the way he acts and speaks. Usually, at the national level of politically elected officeholders, we see individuals who have been trained to speak in word and tone that eliminates any conflict. They say a lot of words that too often don’t mean anything, or the meaning is so obfuscated that their meaning is not discernable. President Trump doesn’t have that style. When he speaks, or tweets, his meaning is usually quite clear, and in fact, is pretty direct and often somewhat “earthy”. Well, if you’ve served, you know that this is typical of the language used in the military. Direct. Salty. Sometimes vulgar. There isn’t any room for misunderstanding. Not only does President Trump speak plainly about what he’s going to do, but he also DOES it. In the military, MISSION is the MOST IMPORTANT goal. Veterans understand the mission. They have lived it. They respect it. They understand it. So does President Trump.
President Trump speaks a language that Veterans understand. He tells them what the MISSION is, and then he goes about completing the mission, without allowing anything to stand his way. Veterans respect this, understand this, and value this. This is the military code. Complete the mission, and leave no one behind. In my opinion, these factors are prime reasons why Veterans LOVE President Trump.
The event was a huge SUCCESS! 10-12 Thousand people inside, and a couple more thousand people outside (in the rain and cold!) applauded loudly and cheered vociferously the President’s remarks. As the crowd watched and listened to President Trump, I watched the crowd. I’ve been to large and important events, sporting events, movies, plays, all of the major league sports and been in crowds in every kind of event. Never have I witnessed such admiration and adulation. Never have I been in a crowd with that much energy. The crowd hung on every word. Cheered as appropriate, booed when warranted.
I mentioned at the opening of this blog why I think President Trump is compelled to schedule and conduct these rallies across the nation. Imagine. Just imagine for a moment what President Trump experiences every single day in his job as President. The stress of the “world affecting” decisions he must make, and the attacks he faces on a daily basis, surely only exacerbates the stress of his daily demands. Now contrast that stress and constant attacks with the love and affection of the rally that I just witnessed. How must that feel to receive confirmation from the “regular” folks who support him, admire him, and yes, LOVE him. Not only for who and what he is, but what he represents. Again, in my opinion, those thousands of people in that event last week believe that President Donald Trump is their last best hope to preserve the America that they grew up in, and the America they hope to pass along to their children and grandchildren.
President Donald Trump NEEDS these rallies. He needs them to help balance the difficulties and pressures he gets from every other direction. Moreover, he DESERVES the admiration and adulation he receives from these audiences of people who have watched as the powerful and the elites of the political class have failed to deliver on the promise of America. President Ronald Regan spoke of America as the “shining city on the hill”. The political class has failed to deliver on that vision, but those people in the Giant Center believe in the promise of that “city on the hill”. And more than that, they BELIEVE that President Donald Trump will preserve, honor, and DELIVER on that PROMISE.
I’ll leave you, my brothers and sisters, with this thought. If you get a chance to go to a President Trump rally, GO! Just GO! Experience it for yourself. Enjoy the crowd. Feel the excitement and the love. Experience the atmosphere that surely must recharge President Trump in those difficult moments when difficult decisions must be made.
As Josh the Marine said “BEST PRESIDENT in my LIFETIME”!