And I was there. For the first time in 47 years, Lefty saw the President of the United States in person last night when President Trump held a rally at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium.
It was a glorious evening of patriotism, Americanism, and sharing space with others who see things largely the way I do (i.e., the correct way).
My son and I and a friend arrived on the scene at 12:30 p.m., fully six hours before the president was due to speak and three hours before the doors were scheduled to open. By then, I estimate there were perhaps 2,000+ people waiting in a line that stretched along an entire two blocks of James Robertson Parkway and around the corner onto 5th Avenue. It was cold, but the time passed relatively quickly. Even after the doors were opened, the line moved agonizingly slow. We figured the crowd would filter through the security check at a snail’s pace, and we were right.
By the time we finally entered the arena, it was a little after 5 p.m., and even then the seats were only about 10-15% full.
While the crowd slowly assembled, there were speeches from several dignitaries, including Congressmen Scott DesJarlais and Marsha Blackburn. My state senator, the great Mae Beavers, also addressed the crowd. Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers sang a few numbers, Senator Corker spoke briefly (to tepid applause and a smattering of boos), and Lee Greenwood came on to sing his signature song and then introduced the president.
By the time President Trump finally took the stage, it was a few minutes past 7. He spoke for about 45-50 minutes. It was like a sporting event with the speech broken up by applause and various chants (“USA!USA!,” “Lock her up!,” “Build that wall!”) on many occasions.
The Trump speech we heard last night was a near-replica of one of his campaign speeches, with the added benefit of 50+ days of experience in office. The speech centered on repealing & replacing ObamaCare, tax cuts (bigly!), his just-overturned travel ban & judicial overreach, putting America first, building the wall, rebuilding the military and taking care of our veterans. And he absolutely hammered the #fakenews media, which was especially delicious given that the #fakenews gallery was situated right there just a few yards from the stage.
In spite of attempts by the #fakenews media and Democrat Party to cast President Trump and his supporters as being misogynists and anti-women’s rights, there was a sizable plurality of females in the audience, and several pink “Women for Trump” signs were intermingled with all the rest. Oh well. So much for stereotypes.
The event was interrupted by only two protesters, both of whom were promptly ushered out of the arena. They’re really just bugs on a wall. (The #fakenews media typically play up the protesters at Trump rallies, but when you see them in person, you realize how trite, pre-programmed, and inconsequential they really are.)
The start of the event was delayed by more than 30 minutes while we waited for the arena to fill up. Even after President Trump began speaking, there were still probably a couple thousand empty seats. It’s not that there was a dearth of Trump supporters. It’s that security (Secret Service & TSA) was so thorough that they could not process attendees fast enough. (There was a grand total of 5 metal detectors set up.) Even after the event began, as I understand, there were still a few thousand Trump supporters waiting outside.
When it was first announced last week that President Trump would be speaking at Municipal Auditorium, my immediate thought was, “Why not Bridgestone Arena?” Now I know why. Trump could have easily filled the place up, but it would have taken 6+ hours to process that many people. So he opted for the smaller venue.
I’m not sure how many people showed up, but I heard from the local news — for what that’s worth — that some 30-40,000 people ended up competing for 9,700 seats. Even as we approached the doors at 5 p.m., they were still streaming into downtown. I’m not sure where the cutoff was, but my guess is that if you didn’t show up by 1:30 or 2, you didn’t get in.
I had heard that there were going to be several hundred protestors at the event, and maybe more than 1,000. During the several hours I waited in line, I saw maybe two dozen protestors. I understand that many more showed up after we went inside, but the supposed protest seemed very underwhelming, almost disappointing. (Snowflakes are entertaining, if nothing else.)
As we were leaving, there were a few protestors still outside with their adorable signs. One of them read, “This is what trans looks like.” I couldn’t tell if it was a male or female holding the sign. One gentleman walking beside me noted (probably outside the tranny’s earshot), “That’s not what a transmission looks like. I’ve taken out a bunch of those over the years and that’s NOT a transmission.”
At any rate, was it worth standing in line in the near-freezing cold for several hours to experience a 45-50 minute speech by President Trump? Well, that’s not the right question. A better question is, knowing what I know now, would I do it again? And the answer is yes, absolutely I would. President Trump can work an audience. He is a master. He had us in the palm of his hand the entire time. There was never a lapse or a lag, never a moment when I thought, “My gosh, wrap it up already.”
We patriots are all President Trump has. Unlike President Obama, who had both the #fakenews media and political establishment on his side, President Trump is opposed by the #fakenews media, the political establishment, and even some members of his own party. So people like me who showed up last night are his sole support system. He is trying to drain a swamp that is quite resistant to being drained. He is absolutely hated by the #fakenews media and Democrat Party, which is understandable given that the Democrat Party is the largest hate group in America anymore. So it is extremely important for us to show up and let President Trump know that we’ve got his back. He literally gave up a billionaire’s lifestyle to wade through the sewer of American politics. He has already given so much to his country, so I don’t mind standing in line for half a day to lend him my personal support.
I promise you the #fakenews media do not like these rallies. As expected, the Tennessean, known locally as “Pravda-on-the-Cumberland,” has spun the rally into something it absolutely was not. A Trump rally is simply the president’s way of taking his case directly to the people without the media being able to filter it and spin it. They can try to lie about it after the fact, but they cannot lie to the ones of us who were actually there.
That’s part of the reason I’m writing this blog post. You can at least get accurate reporting here by someone who experienced yesterday’s rally and all its trappings first-hand.