Along with John Binder, I was at the big Trump rally last night in Baton Rouge. If you haven’t read Binder’s account of the event, please do.
The packed event was electric and full of energy. The crowd was a bit younger than most Republican events. There were also more women there and quite a few blacks, Hispanics, and Asians there. It was more diverse than the usual rally for a Republican presidential candidate. To not only pack the Baton Rouge River Center, but to have an overflow crowd of at least 3,000 as Trump’s campaign is claiming and that I saw with my own eyes, on a weeknight is very impressive.
Outside, it had the scene of a carnival. There were people selling Trump T-shirts outside, street preachers railing against The Donald for his “sinful” ways, and people handing out “anti-fascism” flyers. According to United Liberty’s Matthew DesOrmeaux, who was also at the event, there were even some protesters who tried to enter.
I am not a Trump supporter, of course. I actually went to the event with the intention of holding up an anti-Trump sign and making my dissent known in person. But as the line nearly reached the door, I witnessed two gentlemen with similar, but more harshly worded signs than mine wrestled out of the building, to the ground, then one of the two tased by Baton Rouge PD after not going peacefully. After hauling away the protesters, the dozen remaining officers at the entrance were on high alert for any shenaningans, and I had a wife and children waiting at home for me. So I quietly tossed my sign in the trash on my way in. I decided to protest silently, then online instead.
The speech itself was a typical Trump speech about winning and how America doesn’t win. The crowd ate most of it up. It was the typical populist and nationalist rhetoric that has propelled Trump for over 6 months.
I attended the Trump rally in Biloxi. The campaign has gotten much more polished since then. Trump’s campaign has done much better at getting the information of everyone who attends the rallies. Trump had volunteers passing out Trump bumper stickers to attendees, which wasn’t the case in Biloxi.
The media dismisses Trump supporters as a bunch of uneducated racists. However, last night I spoke to several school teachers and professionals who were supporting Trump. They’re not the people who can be so easily dismissed by the media. Even other anti-Trump writers are acknowledging how broad Trump’s appeal really is. Do I support Trump? No. But I have to call it like I see it.
Trump’s campaign here in Louisiana is very good and very well organized. They’ve made in roads among the religious community here in Louisiana. I saw more than one Pentecostal for example, in full dress and long hair. They will do very well in this state.
In fact, if Trump racks a string of wins between now and March 5th, it looks increasingly likely Louisiana will be another win for Trump.