I have my own personal opinions about politics, but I also like to listen to what others have to say. It’s fun to figure out why someone believes what they do. Where are they from? What is their career? What type of family do they have? It’s interesting to understand why people are the way they are. I’m going to tell you about seeing Donald Trump, but I want you to know I’m not endorsing anyone.
Since I’m homeschooling my 10th grade son in American History, and a Presidential candidate showed up in our (close by) town (Mobile), we thought we may as well go hear what he had to say. Whether you like him or not, he’s definitely making history, and it’s important for us to pay attention.
Alabama has rearranged their primary schedule, so for the first time, the candidates have us on their radar. That’s why Donald Trump came to Mobile. A strategic location, because he also drew a large crowd from close-by Mississippi and Florida.
The first location proved to be too small to hold the crowd that flooded the web site wanting tickets, so they moved the event to Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Even with the chance of rain, and competing with opening night high school football, (which is huge around here), roughly 20,000 people showed up. Many stayed home when it was announced local TV stations would carry the event live. Since parking at the stadium was limited, people waited in LONG (almost 45 minutes) lines as shuttle buses took us to the stadium.
Trump paid for all the private busses instead of demanding city busses be used. He also paid for any overtime the city police or other employees had to put in to accommodate his appearance. That was a class act I don’t think any other candidate has ever done.
The crowd was what impressed me most. They were the nicest, calmest, happiest crowd you would ever want to see. No pushing, shoving, cursing or insulting anyone. There was of course talk about the other candidates, but everything stayed respectful. Southern hospitality at its best.
As for Donald Trump . . . I’ve long been a big fan of his for his business accomplishments. Politics, I’m still cautious.
After listening to the crowd, I think Trump’s popularity is strong because despite being crass, crude and offensive, people are thinking that’s the kind of leader we may not want, but we may need . . . someone who isn’t afraid to tackle the big problems and stand firm, no matter what. Americans are tired of over-the-top political correctness, our innocent citizens being tortured and other countries taking advantage of our kindness. That’s why so many people are responding to Trump’s “kick-butt” attitude.
I do think all Americans regardless of political party should be grateful Trump’s raising questions and changing the hum-drum predictable style of the elections. Stirring things up keeps the debates fresh and has made the other candidates in both parties address difficult problems.
Trump’s opening statement amidst the blaring strains of, “Sweet Home Alabama” was, “Now I know how Billy Graham must feel!” Now . . . do you think he would have said that to a large crowd outside of the South? He was playing to the crowd, which on one hand is smart (everyone went crazy), but I was thinking, “thanks for the stereotype.” (but I really do love Billy Graham, so there’s your irony). He also talked about how his favorite book was the Bible, and his second favorite was his book, “The Art of The Deal.”
Donald Trump prides himself in not having people write his speeches, but I think he could take a few pointers from a professional speaking coach. He was all over the place – immigration, taxes, military, veterans, then back again to immigration. Trump is quick-witted and had the crowd laughing more than any other politician I’ve ever heard.
Many things he said made perfect sense, like how those who have been crafting trade deals with other countries have no real-life experience with the business world and are making a mess of things. Trump is entertaining, charming and confident. He would certainly be an interesting match for Russia’s Putin, who loves to see himself shirtless and wrestling bears.
No matter where you stand politically, the truth is that Donald Trump is saying something that resonates with Americans. Everyone wants a leader who will say, “enough.” Will it be Donald Trump?
All I know, it was fun hearing him speak – and Jeb Bush will be in Pensacola soon. Will that be our second field trip for history class? Stay tuned . . .
What do you think about the candidates so far?