On Monday, August 21, I attended a volunteer orientation in response to a call for help for the Trump rally the following day. It was not clear that this was from the Trump campaign or the Arizona GOP, but at any rate I and dozens and dozens of other people showed up at the Arizona Republican Party HQ. So many showed up, in fact, that they had to do orientations in shifts. Judging by the names on the rolls, they got about three times as many people as they needed.
Instead of being ushers or working inside, however, we were told that this was a voter registration drive and the first real event of the 2020 Trump reelection campaign. We would be working in teams of at least two, or often more. Having done this in the past, I knew things were well in hand—usually, one person per zone is plenty.
When Rally Day arrived, my friend, who was going to go to the event with his sister, took ill and I volunteered to escort her and her female friend to the event. We couldn’t leave til she got off work at 5:00, but the event was just 15 minutes away. We arrived at 5:15 and fortunately were directed immediately to a good, covered parking facility a block away from the event. As soon as we exited, though, I saw it . . . The Line.
When we saw the line on 3rd Street and Washington, we immediately headed to the end, which wrapped around Jefferson Street by the Talking Stick Resort Arena where the Phoenix Suns play. (Ironic that now the oppressed Indians sponsor the largest basketball facility in Phoenix!) We came to a stop almost directly across from Talking Stick Resort Arena. Slowly the line moved. After 45 minutes we rounded Washington Street and headed west toward downtown Phoenix. We couldn’t see the entrance yet, which was close to 1st Street, but we could see the protesters, coagulated in two groups on each side of Washington and 2nd.
This was a brilliant maneuver by the Phoenix Police Department, or whoever gave them their permit. Divided as they were on each side of the street—with Police vans and cars in between on 2nd, their groups looked smaller than they were (about 200 total, meaning they were now in groups of about 100 per side). They couldn’t coordinate, and there was only one small area—at the crossing of Washington and 2nd—where the Trump supporters and the protesters actually even came close to each other. While the protesters had their little signs and cheered from their Alinsky Hymn Books (“Now, if you’ll all turn to chant #12, ‘Love Trumps Hate’ . . . everyone got it? Ok.”), there were no arguments that I could tell. Our side was reasonably disorganized, with sporadic chants of “USA! USA!” or “Trump! Trump!” going up, then dying fairly quickly as the line kept moving and was strung out for miles while the opposition was coagulated in a steaming mass.
We crossed Washington and, Disney-like, were herded back East, toward 3rd Street where finally, the line did another U-turn and headed back toward the entrance—still now two blocks away. I looked across 3rd Street at this point to see where we had been.
There was no change. The line was still as long, still wrapping around Jefferson in front of Talking Stick. That meant that as of that time (about 6:30 pm), there were still another 2,000 or more people behind me.
A line of police in full body armor, gear, etc. was to my right, on the north side, when suddenly a line of motorcycle cops—in pairs, perhaps 20 in all—began coming up the street and a police chopper hovered overhead.
President Trump had arrived. The motorcycle cops cleared off to the East and soon the motorcade, with the presidential limo, came into view, turning into the garage on the West side. The crowd erupted in massive cheers. Once the motorcade got inside, the line of cops left—their job done. About this time a snowflake of a girl walked by holding a hand-written sign that said “Resist”. I loudly said, “I resist the resisters!” She looked at me puzzled as I started a one-man chant, “Re-resist! Re-resist!” Totally befuddled, she continued on. Then a black man holding a sign about love came up, shouting “ALL LIVES MATTER!” and got a massive cheer. He said “God loves all people,” to which he got multiple “Amens!” and was clearly a Trump guy.
Slowly we moved again, many of us now watching the events on stage on our phones. Franklin Graham was up, but no one could get any volume. As we moved past the protesters again—this time on the other side of the street—another large black man was saying “You don’t know what you’re protesting! You’re the party of racism! You muther***s!” to which he got massive cheers and others joined in. He continued pretty vociferously, a one-man band countering the douchenozzles on the other side.
Still moving slowly—it was now 7:00 and Vice President Pence was on stage—we passed a stand with Trump gear run by two other black men. “Don’t be a Democrat! Come and get your Trump hat!” My friend bought one for her ill brother. They were funny and had a variety of Trump-related slogans. “Get your Trump gear, before you get out of here!” I don’t know their political leanings, but they were 100% capitalists—the way it should be.
Now it was about 7:10 and we were only nearing the turn to 1st Street that then turned into the convention center. Hundreds were still ahead of us. I got out of line and looked back. The line still stretched all the way down both sides of Washington and still curved back around 3rd Street—meaning there were by now at least 3,000-4,000 behind me and I was nowhere close to getting in. This was on top of all those in front of me and the 10,000 or so already inside, standing room only.
Trump had already started speaking. I looked at my friends and we decided it was hopeless. Even if we got in, at this rate the event would be over. We reluctantly departed, but weren’t particularly depressed. One of the two ladies said she really had thought about not coming, but decided to drive down anyway, afraid Trump might have a tiny crowd and would need the support. She admitted to having been brainwashed by the Fake News media.
Hats off to the fantastic Phoenix Police Department. To stand for hours in riot gear because of these sad snowflakes is a testament to their dedication. And almost all I saw—including some of the Phoenix Metro Transportation employees who had to help direct traffic—took it in very good cheer. And, as best I could tell, Sheriff Paul Penzone’s Sheriff’s Department (whom we had heard were under “stand down” orders) were not needed.
Today, the following morning, I open the Arizona Republic (or the “Repulsive” as it’s called—and we get it two times a week almost exclusively for the coupons) to see the headline “VIOLENCE ERUPTS!” with a picture of one sad douchenozzle on his knees in front of lines of police. This apparently happened after the rally. (Many of you have seen the video of a protester getting hit in the jewels by either a tear-gas canister or a rubber bullet. At least he won’t spawn.)
Wait, “VIOLENCE ERUPTS?” No it didn’t. Nothing “erupted.” Protesters became violent. There was no violence at all on the part of the Trump supporters. None. This is another example of fake news at its best, failing to even follow basic journalistic (and writing) rules of active voice in which a subject—the protesters—cause the action—eruption. And the sad little Fake News media continues to whine about how it is treated. Based on the Repulsive’s headline, we need to seriously reconsider if these institutions qualify as a free press at all, or if they are corporate propaganda wings of the Democrat Party and should be treated as such.