Following GPS directions, our Lyft driver turned into the parking lot at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, where we ran smack into a Secret Service blockade. A friendly, heavily armed agent greeted us. It turns out the taxi stand was cordoned off because President Donald Trump would be entering the stadium at that location.
After shuffling through the bus staging area, we were dropped off at public parking. Police and Secret Service agents were everywhere. It was 8:45 a.m., 9 degrees, 84 percent humidity, and winds at 3 mph. “Feels like” 1 degree, according to the weather app.
The staging area was roped off to form a long, snaking chute for people lining up for the Trump rally. These 30 rows or so, each the length of a city block, were considerably longer than the TSA line at Denver International Airport. Temple Grandin was obviously not consulted.
Waiting in Line
We got in line and were immediately introduced to our queue companions, with whom we would be spending the next five and a half hours. There were whites, blacks, Asians, Latinos, young, old, straight, and gay people, decked out unapologetically in stars and stripes, celebrating freedom of expression they wouldn’t dare at the supermarket. There was no squabbling, line-cutting, or littering, just thousands of people happily standing in the cold, knowing they could be themselves without Antifa punching them in the face — also knowing they might not get in.
I made two key observations: 1) A Trump rally queue would be a good place to attempt a Guinness World Record for the most men with snow-white goatees ever assembled in one place, and 2) it would be an excellent place to compare clothing from Duluth Trading Company, especially if it’s 9 degrees outside.
The crowd would have made for a great commercial in the style of those annoying Chevy ads: “These are real people, not actors, talking about their Duluth Trading apparel. Let’s listen in…” We compared the relative benefits of fleece-lined chinos versus flannel-lined jeans (my preferred cold-busting pants), and which type of boots were better suited for standing on cold concrete for hours. Many ladies rocked insulated leggings. I have no doubt similar conversations were taking place regarding whether Carhartt or Red Head products were preferable for frozen Trump anticipation.
Entering the Trump Rally
One might think the lines would remain rather static, given no one was yet being let into the auditorium. Not so. We were continuously picking up our lawn chairs, coolers, propane heaters, folding wagons, and other paraphernalia to move forward about six feet, then hold for a few minutes and repeat the process. The crowd was compressing into the available space.
Maybe people thought the odds of getting into the arena increased the closer they got to the front gate, regardless of the fact their place in line had not changed. We actually moved faster during this process than when the officials began letting people enter.
Eventually, we climbed the steps to the arena entrance, where we joined one of four lines to go through security. Turning around, we saw this:
There were enough people still in line to fill the arena twice.
Security advised us we could not take food, drinks, vapes, lighters, packs, weapons — only an idiot in a black mask would bring a weapon to a place with this much heat — or other contraband into the venue. So we reluctantly set our small duffle of fruit, trail mix, and other snacks next to the growing pile of lawn chairs, tents, coolers, packs, and other people’s bundles of food and went through security. Our TSA PreCheck credentials were of no help.
Inside, we found some decent nosebleed seats and, now sweating profusely, stripped off several layers each of coats, vests, fleece, hats, gloves, and scarves, which we piled on a seat between us. All around were similar piles of clothing.
Back at our seats after getting some food from concessions, we witnessed something unique for a public event: As people looked for seats, others already seated would shout, “There’s two over here!” or “Here’s four!” and rearrange to make sure no one would be left standing. I’ve been at venues where I’d hoped no one would notice an empty seat next to me, and I bet you have, too. Not at a Trump rally. Participants wanted to make sure everyone had a seat.
Trump Was on Fire
Vice President Mike Pence took the stage and gave an eloquent and uplifting speech about the accomplishments of the Trump administration. Wrapping up, he said it was time for him to leave the stage so we could welcome the president.
Trump, showman that he is, treated us to 10 minutes of music with such subtle themes as “Play With Fire” by the Stones and “The Best” by Tina Turner. Everyone was waiting for the first notes of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA,” and when it came on the PA, the crowd went nuts, making a sound you might have heard in the last 30 seconds of “Miracle On Ice” if every fan in that arena had been American.
Trump was his usual bombastic, funny, and outrageous self, and I loved every minute of it. His speech reminded us we are among the luckiest human beings ever to inhabit the Earth, and our way of life is in grave danger from the left. He was utterly ruthless in taking down leftist idiocy.
He told us he was going to India to hold a rally in the largest stadium in the world and was concerned not everyone would get in. Someone in the crowd yelled, “Build a bigger stadium!” which brought down the house. Trump engaged with many people in the audience and riffed mercilessly on Bernie Sanders and the other Democratic contenders. It was an endearingly non-presidential performance.
Finding Community at a Trump Rally
It’s ironic that a video of Michael Bloomberg’s appalling comments about farmers recently surfaced, wherein he talks about how easy it is to be one: “Dig a hole, put in the seed, water it, and the corn comes up.” This from a guy who couldn’t change the oil on one of his limousines.
At the Trump rally, I was surrounded by people who fix cars, weld, lay brick, and build homes, roads, sewers, and bridges. There were plenty of farmers. I have never felt so welcomed. Not one of them needed to know what I do for a living or how many years of college I’ve completed. All that mattered was that we were all there to make a statement about the values we believe are worth defending.
It was inspiring to spend the day with my fellow citizens from all walks of life, united behind one idea: We are Americans first, before anything else — race, color, creed, whatever. And we want our country back.
As we left the venue, we retrieved our bags, contents intact, from right where we had left them.