I Went To The Jacksonville Trump Rally ~ and had a blast

 

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Terrible at taking selfies, I gritted my teeth.

Disclaimer: I’m a yuge Trump supporter, so everything written here has to be viewed through that lens. The rally was held tonight at 7pm in the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. I was supposed to meet author Linda Wood Rondeau and her husband Steve. In fact I never would’ve printed out a ticket if Linda hadn’t said she was going. They were scheduled to leave  at 4pm. I’m new to Jacksonville and unsure of driving downtown, so I left at 3:25 and arrived just after 4pm. There was already a line and people were being admitted into the arena. Street vendors sold a variety of Trump paraphernalia. A bottle of water cost $3.00. I decided I didn’t need hydration right then.

The line moved quickly and folks were admitted right away. What totally amazed me were the number of supporters who chose to stand for the entire event just so they would be under the podium. My friends Linda and Steve hadn’t yet arrived. I suspected it would not be easy to meet up with them in that crowd, so I looked for a seat. The very best ones were already taken, but I did manager to get one with an excellent view of the podium half way up in the bleachers.

There were plenty of red “Make America Great Again” hats in evidence around the arena. The crowd was much more diverse than is reported in the media. To be sure, white working class males were in evidence. However there were also quite a number of blacks, Latinos, women, as well as teenagers and college kids. Two twenty-something guys ran around in homemade ‘Trump-capes’ like super-heroes.  I found the people around me to be friendly. Active cross-conversations were taking place. Supporters not only spoke to the persons on either side of them, but leaned forward to talk to those in front of them and turned around to address those behind.After all, there would be at least two hours to fill before the opening speeches. The arena holds 16,000 and it was packed solid. My earlier suspicion was correct. I never did find Linda and Steve, though we texted each other for a while.

The opening speeches were rousing, though the crowd didn’t need much pumping up. Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry didn’t run away like John Kasich did at the RNC Convention. Mayor Curry warmly welcomed and addressed the crowd. The local chair of the RNC and Sharon Day, co-chair of the national RNC spoke, the dynamic Florida senator Ted Yoho, as did Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The bottom line seemed to be jobs, national security and personal safety, and the Supreme Court. There was an obvious law enforcement presence and all of the speaker lauded them, as well as giving accolades to first responders, and the military. This was always accompanied by loud cheering from the crowd…and I clapped and cheered along with everyone else.

I was a bit surprised by the pounding music which seemed to favor songs by the Rolling Stones, although there were a few arias by The Three Tenors tossed in. And odd combination to say the least, but also emotionally moving.

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Finally Donald J. Trump arrived with Secret Service agents preceding and following him.

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Naturally Trump spoke about building the wall and having Mexico pay for it. He decried how heroin and crime were coming across the border, saying a nation without borders is not a nation. He said jobs that had been outsourced to foreign countries would come back to the United States. That the American people would win-win-win so much, they’d get sick of winning. He instructed each supporter to not only vote on November 8th, but to bring five people to the polls with them.

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When the crowd left it was dark outside and the atmosphere had changed. Protestors shouted at us, but the police had the situation under control. What shocked me was the number of vendors had astronomically increased and they were hawking tee shirts bordering on the obscene. They yelled at supporters to get our attention focused upon what was printed on the shirts. I won’t repeat any of it here, but many of the blurbs on the shirts involved Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton and were graphic. I hurried to my car without incident. There were few police in the parking lot and few were needed. I got out of the lot relatively quickly…then got stuck in the traffic jam rally goers were creating.

And I kept having the sense that I’d become part of American political history. That sitting there waving my ‘Trump sign’, standing and cheering over and over, I’d become part of a phenomena that had never before occurred in American political history. A phenomena that didn’t’ pay attention to the political rules, and it felt good. Of course this phenomena occurred because the average (and that cuts across all categories of those voters, not just HS educated white males) had been lied to by their politicians for decades. Trump couldn’t do this with out us, and we couldn’t do it without his leadership. It felt real good. And I have to admit, yelling “Lock her up,” is fun.

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About NikeChillemi

Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She writes literature that reads like pulp fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad, and her good guys smarter and better. She is the founder and chair of the Grace Awards, a member of ACFW. She has judged numerous literary awards including the Grace Awards, Carol Awards, Inspy Awards, and the Eric Hoffer Awards. View all posts by NikeChillemi

17 responses to “I Went To The Jacksonville Trump Rally ~ and had a blast

  • Patricia Bradley

    I wish I could have been there! I’ve seen one president in my lifetime–and it was one I didn’t vote for, but I rode the bus downtown to see him because I might never get the chance to see a sitting president again.

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  • jtlance84

    Didn’t know you were in Jacksonville. I am so sorry I couldn’t help you with the Grace Awards this past year but I will help you this next year. Would love to take you to lunch at that San Marco deli that you like. All the best, Lanny

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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    • NikeChillemi

      I’m almost unpacked, but not quite. I’d love to do lunch. I’m still confused about where things are and the names of things. I’m not sure which San Marco deli you mean? There’s one next to or attached to a used book store I’ve heard a lot about. But really, anyplace we can sit and talk is great!!!

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  • blueribbonfair

    I love this post. I am glad it was not as crazy as other places have been.

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  • Paula Cappa

    I’m not a Trump supporter. May I say that I think Trump is corrupting our country with his constant lies, hate attacks, and racism. Today Trump claimed that Obama was the founder of Isis. This is another false statement in what fact-checkers have proven is now more than 100 lies over the past year. You can dislike Hillary for whatever reasons, you can be disgusted with Washington for lots of reasons, but Trump fails to recognize truth and honor it. Is no one seeing that this man is the father of lies?

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    • NikeChillemi

      Obviously you’re not a Trump supporter. It is absolutely true that Obama/Hillary fomented and allowed ISIS to grow. GWB’s surge in Iraq had victory. Obama announced he would withdraw and gave the date. He did and ISIS filled the vacuum. We now know that the Americans who begged for help on that rooftop in Benghazi got none because Hillary’s State Dept was running guns to the Syrian Arab Spring which in large part became ISIS. As to lies…Hillary has a 30 year histiry of yuge lies.

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  • Paula Cappa

    Everybody likes to blame Hillary and call her a liar because Repubulicans don’t want to take responsibility. It was George Bush who got us into the Iraq war and Cheney and his lies that opened the doors to Isis, which existed BEFORE Hillary was Secy of state and BEFORE Obama took office.. Honestly, Nike, the information you have is inaccurate and to blame Hillary and Obama is an indication that your being hoodwinked by the angry Republican smears and lies. Trump claims to be a Christian but exhibits no Christian behavior or morals. I wish you well.

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    • NikeChillemi

      I disagree with Trump on GWB going into Iraq. As long as we were keeping them busy there they were not coming here and spreading to Europe. I think Dubbya was right on that. Obama left a vaccuum and ISIS formed. Hillary’s State Dept was running arms through Libya to help Syrian rebels. They are much like the Syrian rebels who are fighting Russia and Assad now, they’re Islamist extremists. Then Obama called ISIS the JV team. I don’t have my facts wrong. The Dems and media are protecting Obama and Hillary.

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  • paula cappa

    Nike, these things are debatable, of course, and my perspectives and facts oppose yours. But these are not the core issues. My real issue is that Trump has been spewing hate, blame, and racism in America. Denying this reality is just playing blindman. Calling women fat pigs and his sexist remarks to Megan Kelly, banning Muslims, disrespecting the Khan family, naming a judge as biased because he’s Mexican descent, refusing to condemn white supremacists, hating LGBT community. Some of his followers don’t recognize this because they are haters, blamers, and racist themselves. I’m not saying you are like Trump in this way (I don’t know you) but supporting Trump encourages these attitudes and actions and will hurt our country and our people. If you believe it’s okay to be racist and encourage hate in our land, then I can see why you or others would vote for him. Essentially I am Christian and reject hate and racism of any kind or degree. I wish you well.

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    • NikeChillemi

      I think he’s on one side. Obama has been spewing hate as well. Obama has created an atmosphere where the divide between blacks and whites is widening to a chasm. I think he went overboard with Megan Kelly, but he felt she was being unfair and he hit back. There should be a temporary ban on Muslims. He’s absolutely right on that. He didn’t disrespect the Kahn family. Mr. Kahn is a Gold Star Parent. His son is an American hero, but Kazir Kahn is also an Islamist political operative. It was obvious in his speech. He’s written extensively that Sharia Law is superior to the US Constitution. And Trump’s tone regarding the Kahn’s was soft. He even said Mr. Kahn was a nice guy. H wondered about Mrs. Kahn remaining silent. Thought it was due to her culture. Not PC, but also not an attack. I don’t see the problem. I thought the same thing watching the speech. Trump doesn’t at all hate the LGBTQ community, not at all. Never has. I don’t think supporting Trump encourages hate. At the Trump rally there were all kinds: white senior citizens, white blue collar males, blacks, Latinos, lots of 20 somethings and a surprising number of what looked to me to be high school kids. A friend who went to the Kissemme rally said there were quite of number of obviously gay people. Hillary has thrown the gay community under the bus and they know it.

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  • godmissionpossible

    Hi Nike – good job on the post about Trump. I have many friends who attended. I live here in Orange Park. I am on Facebook so look me up.
    We can private message there. Hope to meet you and perhaps you, me and Lorilyn can meet for lunch sometime in Palatka (1/2 between Jax. and Gainesville). Blessings,

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    • NikeChillemi

      Wasn’t the rally great. I didn’t see any of the name calling the left says went on. There was booing, but that’s a thing Trumpsters do. They just boo. Somebody on Twitter claimed that during the booing racial slurs were being called out. I didn’t hear anything like that in my section. People were booing and then many of them laughed about it. They were having a ball booing. It was fun. Trumpsters have a good time at these events.

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  • paula cappa

    I guess we have to agree to disagree, Nike. Interesting chat here. I’ve been curious why people want to vote for Trump and why they don’t see him as breeding hate and bigotry in this country. Okay, so you don’t see it. We are lucky to live in a country we can express our different views. I saw a child the other day in the playground screaming that Trump is going to kill all the Muslims and everybody should vote for him. “Go buy guns! Trump, Trump Trump!” That to me was sickening; besides everywhere else Trump fails for me as a leader, he’s a terrible example to our youth. I cannot vote for him. But that’s just me. My best to all. Thanks for a fascinating exchange.

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    • NikeChillemi

      I’ve seen black children in Brooklyn bully white children, steal their lunch money. It goes both ways. Many Trump supporters have had their houses vandalized by anti-Trumpsters.The majority of Trump supporters are polite to Muslims they meet in the super market, at the gas pump, or on the job, etc. There is nobody who is a worse example for our youth than Hillary. She’d sell the Liberty Bell if she could personally profit from it. Anyway, I wish you well, and your candidate. Don’t think she’s in very good health, and that’s too bad. Physical illness sucks.

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  • paula cappa

    Nike, it may go both ways but to have a child imitate a presidential candidate’s racist words and aggression about killing Muslims is far more serious than stealing lunch money and can’t be defended no matter how much you love or admire Donald. Are you aware that bullying in schools has tripled over this past school year since Trump’s rise? Are you going to blame Hillary for that too? Everybody loves to blame Hillary for everything but that does NOT make Trump look better at all. In fact it has the opposite effect because his negatives, his twisting of the facts, and lies far exceed hers. My opinion of Trump is that he has already damaged our country, is a highly defective candidate with deep ethnic prejudices, is an isolationist who would rule his administration and this country like a dictatorship. Even Pope Francis has come out against Trump as failing Christian values. Trump is losing big time now in the polls because Americans are finally seeing his true colors and they are deciding that while the herd mentality of his rallies are a blast as you say, he is incompetent and incapable of governing this country for all fairly. Trump will not win this election because he fails to understand that ‘we are all one world.’

    Yes, Hillary is my candidate because she has a proven record that she can fight for our families and our children, for healthcare, for women’s rights and equal pay, and for the dignity of democracy at home and abroad and for our safety. She’s not the perfect candidate, comes with some baggage, yes, made some wrong choices, I concede that, Nike, I do. But who in politics for over 25 years hasn’t made mistakes. I too attended a political rally in NY for Hillary. The event was gracious, civilized, and inspiring to the point of tears for many people there. So moving! I was proud to be a part of it. When I met her on the rope line, Hillary connected with sincerity and warmth to everyone. Our suffragettes would be so proud today. Hillary is the person with the experience and the skills who can change the world for the better. It’s time.

    Thank you, Nike, for this chat. We are all blessed to live in America, and have the power to vote and express support or opposition. I think that is something we can agree on.

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