Donald Trump addressed a rally of his supporters in Dallas last year. (Newscom photo)

Politics & Government

Donald Trump Supporters Eat Up the Red Meat at Dallas Campaign Rally

Will he 'make America great again'?

By 4 p.m. Monday, two hours before the Donald Trump rally was scheduled to start, long lines of fans of the unconventional GOP presidential candidate already were stretching around Dallas’ American Airlines Center. Old-fashioned martial music was blaring from loudspeakers on the building’s north side, not far from a group of Latino protesters and a long-haired Anglo man holding a homemade sign that read, “The KKK and Nazis Support Trump. Do You?!” Two 20-something, frat-looking guys — Daniel Jensen and his pal “AP” — made a beeline for the man with the sign, but they were quickly intercepted by a couple of uniformed cops. “Get off the sidewalk,” one of the policemen snapped. And the frat-looking guys did.

Inside the big sports arena, meantime, the atmosphere was anything but contentious. Red, white, and blue signs saying, “The Silent Majority Stands with Trump” had been placed on many of the seats, and, on every third one or so, there was a tiny American flag. Down in front of the press riser, where CNN’s Gary Tuchman and Ben Ferguson and Gromer Jeffers of the Morning News and Bud Kennedy from the Star-Telegram were working, Chau and Sam Tila were holding their sign and waving their flag proudly. The Tilas, a Thai couple who live in Orange County, California, said they’d been visiting a friend in Frisco and heard about the rally on the radio.

Sam and Chau Tila
Sam and Chau Tila

“We like Trump’s style,” Chau said. Added her husband: “He’s a celebrity, like Ronald Reagan was a movie star. But not like Arnold. We don’t like Arnold.” As Sam was talking Calvin Hull, a Dallas commercial real estate broker, ambled past, and so did Byron York, a conservative columnist for the Washington Examiner who’s often seen on Fox News. Why was he in town? “I’m following Trump around, and I decided to see this one,” York explained, smiling slightly. “I’ll go back to the hotel tonight and write a piece about it. That’s what I do.” Just then Randy Barber, an independent courier from Mesquite, peered up into the press riser, fascinated and impressed by the TV reporters doing their stand-up shots.

What had brought him to the Trump rally? “It sounds corny, but he just makes you feel good,” Barber said. “He makes you proud to be American again. He’s somebody that’s successful, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I do believe he’s going to provide some jobs. I think his heart is in it, and I don’t think he’s a liar.” All around Barber the arena was filling up fast, and the loud music — “Heartland” by George Strait, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Stones — had the Trump aficionados pumped.

Among them: one woman in a dress made of dozens of photos of Trump, and two others clad in identical bejeweled caps and T-shirts that read like a voting ballot … “Republican, Democrat, and Pissed Off”  (the Pissed Off box was checked; the other two were blank). Cheryl Surber, a hardcore “birther” activist from Fort Worth, explained why she’d made the drive to Dallas: “I love Trump, because he can’t be bought. He says things that people like me have been just screaming about. Politicians like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi are the reason we’re in the mess we’re in.”

Cheryl Surber
Cheryl Surber

Finally, after a couple of red-meat warm-up acts—”The silent majority will not be silent anymore!” one of the speakers cried—as well as a prayer by First Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress, it was time for The Donald to take the stage. “Wow!” the orange-haired real estate mogul exclaimed for openers, after a long, thunderous ovation. “You notice what’s missing tonight? Teleprompters! No Teleprompters!” And with that the candidate was off and running, riffing in his humorous, rambling, off-the-cuff style on the well-worn themes you’ve probably heard many times on Fox or MSNBC or CNN, if you’ve been paying attention at all.

The new polls have been coming out, Trump declared, and “we are really killing it.” The silent majority is back, and “it’s not silent. Maybe we should call it the noisy, aggressive, want-to-win majority.” The political media is less honest than the financial media, he said; “George Will is a disaster … and Karl Rove is a totally incompetent jerk.” President Obama also is incompetent — someone “who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.” Trump is winning in Idaho, in South Carolina, in Florida, and so, “This is going to happen, I’m telling you. I’m not going anywhere.” He’s “surging with women,” whom he “cherishes,” and he has “tremendous energy — to the point that it’s almost ridiculous” — for this fight to bring back the American dream.

He’s funding his own campaign, while Jeb and Hillary are bought and paid for by the lobbyists and the special interests, Trump said. As a result he’ll be able to reduce taxes, to forge better deals with countries like China and Iran with the help of “phenomenal negotiators” like Carl Icahn, and to stop the flow of illegal immigrants with a wall along the Mexican border. The reason: “Walls work. All you have to do is go to Israel to see — walls work.”  He’ll also repeal and replace Obamacare (“We’ll call it Donaldcare,” he said), make “our military so strong and so powerful,” and take care of the country’s military veterans. Then, wrapping up: “We’re going to do fantastically well. If I’m elected, you’re going to be so proud of your country again. You’ll remember this evening. You’ll say to your children, we were part of the movement to take back our country. We will make America great again!” With that the arena exploded with cheers and applause, and Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It”—the Trump campaign theme—blasted out over the P.A. while The Donald pumped hands and signed autographs and then left  the building.

Down in front of the stage, a group of Dallas high-rollers began drifting away with the rest of the crowd: billionaire banker Andy Beal (he’s been a friend of Trump’s for at least 10 years, he said), residential Realtor Allie Beth Allman, Tom Bennison of ClubCorp, Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. Is the mayor a Trump supporter? “I haven’t endorsed anybody yet,” Van Duyne answered carefully. But,what did she think of his talk? “Entertaining.” Then there were “AP” and Daniel Jensen, the two guys who’d tried to talk to the protestor with the KKK and Nazi sign outside the arena earlier, only to be rebuffed by the cops. They said they thought the Hitler comparison was a little “excessive.”

Anti-Trump-Sign
Anti-Trump protesters.

In an email late Monday night, Jensen recalled speaking with me at the rally. “I believe we may have compared [the Trump candidacy] to Charlie Sheen’s ‘Tornado of Truth Tour,’ which was also hosted at the AAC a few years back,” Jensen wrote. “In fairness to Trump, though, this comparison was made before he took to the stage. Whether it actually was a sort of tornadic disaster is up for you to decide. [But] his speech did seem to share, at times, the sort of spontaneous and indiscriminate trajectory of a tornado.” Jensen was right. And it was a helluva storm.

Comments

  • claytonauger

    Because Trump IS the Charlie Sheen of US Presidential candidates.

  • David Burrows

    #winning

  • BratBuster

    “…Old-fashioned martial music was blaring from loudspeakers…” Versus the new-fashioned kind? Searching iTunes. Nope, none of the new-fashioned kind there.

  • Brenda Marks

    What’s most disturbing about his candidacy is that he’s a sloppy version of Richard Nixon. Nativist, cynical and narcissistic. This is all about Donald.

  • DubiousBrother

    Hope and Change.

  • DarthT8r

    When he mentioned illegal immigration the crowd went off the scale. Like a sports play. It is the defining issue of the people and one already settled in the minds of the mindless and the elite. What should be disturbing is the illegals and anchor babies protesting outside. I think the illegals and their so called citizen traitor anchor baby kids are implying or threatening to revolt if we try and enforce our laws. Calling trump hitler and monkey? You think that is going to help you? That makes you a stupid lowlife is what it does. I do think what I saw is that they are implying they won’t let us enforce our laws. That’s called treason and Revolution. That’s what I saw. Even if I ever cared about the plight of poor migrants, I stopped caring right there. You will never dictate to us what we do with our freedom and sovereignty.

    • jfpo

      So you’re in favor of militarized, door-to-door searches and internment camps? That’s the only way his plan would “work.” There are better ways to deal with immigration.

      • DarthT8r

        There is not just one way. They didn’t come in a day. They won’t be gone in a day. If and when you are caught you no longer get an pass. There simply are no passes. Which doesn’t legally exist anyway. Go after visa breakers who are working cush jobs aggressively. They are not as hard to find. Their illegally obtained assets can help pay for all this. Their treasonous kids can go with them.

  • MICHAEL

    TRUMP16 !!!!

  • The media smears Trump by saying the white supremacist movement supports
    him.This is a media propaganda. After almost 40 years involved & in various WP forums I can tell you that we do not support Trump. Though we may agree with some of his policies on immigration ! Trump since the days when the worked with his dad Fred have been in business with NYC liberals & NYC Jews. Trump is no friend of white suprtemacists!

    • jfpo

      If this is a Dubious Brother parody, bravo!

  • space2k

    These are the people that keep snopes.com in business.

  • Let’s face it: Trump isn’t your “regular” presidential candidate; but then neither was Pisistratus. Trump, in many ways, reminds me of Pisistratus’ rapid rise to power in ancient Athens.

    According to the Greek historian, Herodotus: Pisistratus, during his campaign to become Athens’ new leader, came into town one day leading a magnificently adorned white horse, pulling an equally resplendent chariot, upon which stood a statuesque woman, looking for all the world to be Athena herself, the goddess of Athens. Who, Pisistratus, hastily explained to the gathering crowds, had just decreed that he should be made king. Whereupon, he was promptly elected Athens’ new leader.

    Pisistratus, being the astute politician that he was, realized he actually needed a real power base if he was going to consolidate his rule before his ruse with the woman from the neighboring village was publicly exposed, took the extraordinary step of turning to the common Athenians for support. By reducing heir taxes and introducing free loans to allow the people to build up their farms, undermining the whole hierarchy of aristocrats and political elites of the day along the way, the Athenian economy grew by leaps and bounds and Pisistratus’claim to leadership was never questioned.

    The same can be said of Trump. Trump is popular with independent, middle-class Americans because it gives them a chance to be their own power base rather than being the base of someone else’s power.

    • jfpo

      Put…the…bong…down.

  • flattaxman

    Millions of Americans have
    no reservations as me about Donald Trump. My vote and everybody I know has
    confidence in the man who speaks his mind.
    My analysis of his character is that he just spills the truth of what
    has happened to the United States? He pulls no punches as the
    Bush’s and Clinton’s have to say. These
    Professionals standing behind their podium and staring down at the hidden
    teleprompter, following the words like
    credits on a movie screen. Mr. Trump
    caught my eye after an old Black friend
    of mine across the road, a Veteran from the Vietnam war told me to come over an
    watch Trumps commencement speech. The specifics of any given issue wasn’t
    there, but he had a lot to say and had the exceptional ability of captivating
    the crowd in the first debate. Everything Trump had to attribute to American
    Peoples issues, was what every American was thinking?

    Trump a formidable ally of
    the American people is going to be resented by both sides in Congress. The top
    hierarchy have tremendous influence, power and they don’t like their nest eggs
    disturbed. The elitists in the so-called Club of Growth doesn’t like the
    interruption in their special privileges that are afforded to the really
    rich.

    I hadn’t heard anything from
    any other of the presidential candidates about assisting the soldiers who
    fought in the different wars. but Trump immediately gained my respect, when he
    stated that Congress was treating returning warriors as 3 class citizens and
    that was one of the major problems, he would change immediately. Going after
    dangerous criminal illegal aliens and gangs was another serious cause that had
    to be disinfected as with ‘Sanctuary Cities’? This was the first time that
    either my friend or myself could remember a Businessman tycoon who was willing
    to take on the Professional class in Washington who supposedly run our country
    for the American People.

    Since then I have watched
    Mr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina who are
    limited in how to handle the illegal alien invasion–and that’s what it is–an
    invasion. As they are still crossing the Southern Border and a large number of
    them are carting drugs, more poverty and even diseases that haven’t been so
    prevalent for years. The US Border
    Patrol Council says that only 40 percent of overall enforcement is happening at the
    border. The fact is that we suffering from an insidious Administration headed
    by Obama. This President has refused to stop the illegal alien incursion with
    even more impoverished, uneducated foreigners. Its commencement began with
    Obama revisiting the Rule of Law, and signing numerous executive orders,
    condemning American people to an even larger the price tag.

    In his opening oratory Trump
    said he is going to build a wall; later saying that wall, that nobody could
    easily climb over, a physical deterrent as could be seen between Palestine and Israel. From what I have seen of
    his impressive, magnificent buildings in Manhattan I have
    no doubt he can build a structure to hold back illegal nationals? King Obama
    has done nothing to secure America. Senator Ted Cruz has
    illustrated that he has a mutual agreement with Trump about the monstrous
    issues that confront the Citizens and permanent residents equally each day. He
    has stood alone against both parties and
    Congress and has no yielded to bad bills.

    Trumps greatest asset,
    unlike the rest of the crowd that will appear today he has turned away the
    pestering assemblage of lobbyists, that work for the mega corporations and
    manufacturing. All want their share of the giant profits cheap labor and future
    votes bring? That is something the Professional class of politicians or even
    Ben, Carly and those who will be standing on the stage have to rely on for
    their campaigns. Trump is spending his own money; the Special Interests have
    already tried to buy his favors, but they sent on their way and out of luck? When
    you are a billionaire you don’t have your hands tied behind your back and have
    to be extra careful who you might offend?

    I pity the career politician
    who makes a personal attack on Trump. He has been out in the world and knows
    how to reciprocate any insults.

    None of the nominees today
    are willing to have an answer of the illegal alien intrusion on our society. But
    that is not the only demanding issue facing our great nation. In most cases its
    a path to citizenship after being vetted. Which it was anything like the first
    Amnesty, we are in big trouble. American people must decide if we are going to
    be a dumping ground, for any poor person who wants to settle here? Mr. Trump no
    need to confront the Anchor baby law. Instead revise the E-Verify law and amend
    it so its no longer a choice? If E-Verify is Mandatory and every employer must
    take part, then states as California overloaded with illegal
    aliens will be forced to serve the US citizens and honest lawful
    immigrants. Every employer who is found culpable for hiring illegal aliens or already
    in the workforce must face harsh punishments, and multiple felonies would send
    you to prison.

    This is the key problem for
    our country. Places as Southern California are overwhelmed with people
    who have violated our borders; within the County some places are no indifferent
    from a third world country. This is why there must be an emphasis on Birthright
    Citizenship and the term ‘Anchor Babies’? The other in the race for grabbing
    the White house are far from eager to speak out on the subject. But Trump has
    from the start sent a fusillade through the airwaves about this shunned
    subject. Its cost with the illegal alien invasion is over $113 billion dollars
    a year, minus what taxes some foreign nationals pay. But it cannot make up for
    this unspeakable cost to taxpayers or the 40 billion in dollars, that leaves
    the country in remittances to other countries. This is money no longer
    circulated in America; this is just the tip of
    the problematic iceberg, that remains unseen just lurking below the fiscal
    surface? Do you realize their is so much fraud with child tax credits for
    illegal aliens, that the 4.7 billion dollars would pay for the Donald Trump
    wall and decorate it with concertina razor wire.

    All that money could
    strengthen our military that Obama is decimating, cutting back to prior World
    War 2 levels. Our national Security is at risk with our 3 armed forces falling
    behind of China and Russia. At first Mr. Trump was
    limited to give in depth understanding of the Domestic and Foreign consequences
    of our dampened down Security at the border, not knowing who was coming in?
    Today its more important than ever with the crazy butchering ISIS terrorist waiting for a gap
    in our national security. I see just this few troubling issues, that can be
    resolved and as Trump sates, “Make the World Respect us again”.

    Now that Trump is well on
    the way to becoming President, I see him becoming less on the offensive and
    displaying signs of becoming more placid. He will become a perfect statesman
    for our nation, with a business shrewdness, tough authority to renegotiate all the poorly assigned free
    trade agreements treaties, specifically with Mexico, China and Japan. A more benevolent tax system where everybody
    is equal with an fair assessment of taxes for the wealthy, corporations and
    businesses. Since the Beginning of the Obama administration America has been falling into
    financial ruin, with the disbursement of citizen monetary benefits to foreign
    parasites, who see US citizens as a free provider for their future.

  • DubiousBrother

    On the same day the libs are attacking Trump for his views on immigration, D also has a blog post about Monika Korra who was brutally raped by 3 illegal Mexicans who never should have been here in the first place but we now have to pay for them to live in a Texas prison for the rest of their lives.

    If you don’t like Trump, at least buy Monkia Korra’s book and support her cause to help rape victims recover as best they can from the horror of rape.

    • jfpo

      If that rape was legitimate, the body would have shut that whole thing down, right conservatives?

  • shrubstex

    I went to the rally. I would say that fully a third of the audience was there more out of curiosity than support. I noticed that the people on each side of me were not clapping. So I asked if they were still not convinced as i was. They were not after the rally that is for sure. There was way too much ”I”.

    • DarthT8r

      Not believable. The cheers were like a packed stadium. You don’t have to go there out if curiosity. He is all over the place. Doesn’t jive what you said. Maybe you were talking to the anchor baby protesters.

      • shrubstex

        I would say that all that were there want to beat the Democrats. (Cheers please) But his simplistic I am going to get the best negotiators in the business, people who you have never heard, of, etc, Fell flat. His blustery comments about intellectual conservatives did not fill the space with cheers. There were people there like me who just want to elect the best possible man to do a job that is not run like a business.