Both supporters and protesters waited for hours in the stifling Texas heat outside The Waterway Mariott to see Donald Trump on June 17. Border security, immigration, gun control, and the Orlando Pulse Nightclub massacre were hot topics which the GOP presumptive nominee addressed.
“Just a few week ago I got the endorsement of 16,500 border patrol agents,” Trump said. “This is the first time they have ever endorsed a presidential candidate.”
Regarding gun control and the recent terrorist attack in Orlando, Trump expressed wishes that a packing nightclub attendee could have killed Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen.
“If some of those wonderful people had guns strapped to their waist or strapped to their ankle … and one of the people … goes ‘boom, boom,’ that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, so don’t let them take their guns away … We’re going to save your second amendment.”
When discussing his selections for Supreme Court, Trump was vague yet positive.
“I will pick great, smart, brilliant, conservative, intellects,” Trump said. “We have to pick great justices for the Supreme Court, or we will not have a country anymore.”
“I attended the Donald Trump rally in The Woodlands, which is in the most republican county in the most republican state in the union. Not being sold on Trump, and upon receiving an invitation from Jeff Houston, I wanted to see and hear for myself what he really says and what really goes on rather than relying on nightly sound bites. Afterward, I reviewed two news articles to learn what was reported in the press, and found discrepancies in the reporting that did not reflect what I physically observed or conflicted with observable conditions that were known at the time.
“I witnessed most vendors selling buttons, hats, shirts, and flags were . . . black people. I saw a cross-section of America. Many whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Middle Easterners, young, middle aged, and old. Strong. Infirm. People. Waiting in near 100-degree heat for at least three hours, all very courteous. A sense of closeness. Friendship. A sense of unity, excitement, hope, and . . . peace. I saw about 15 protestors, all college-aged, disruptive, taunting. Most everyone but the police (and the reporters) ignored them as a nuisance. My assessment is the media is lying, creating a false impression that protestors hold significance.
“Reports claim the 5,000 people in attendance “waited in a long line.” They say this because 5,000 tickets were printed, but what they are not telling you is the “long line” was three hours long, three to four people deep, and stretched for . . .two miles. An approximate, additional 10,000 people did not get in, but remained outside the hotel. Talking to each other. The crowd inside could be described as rowdy, but not angry or rude.
“Trump addressed the wall, but in the context of stopping the flow of illegal drugs and human trafficking. He addressed Orlando and spoke of the shooter and of saving 50 lives. The media quoted him saying, “If someone inside had a gun, it would have been a beautiful, beautiful thing.” What he truly said was, “If there had been bullets flying in the opposite direction and someone could have put a bullet between his eyes, it would have been a beautiful, beautiful thing.”
“Interestingly, Hispanics having “Mexicans for Trump” shirts, and other people holding “gays for Trump” banners received some of the most resounding cheers.
“My takeaway of the overall atmosphere, from talking to the Middle Eastern family in line with us, to witnessing the protestors, is embodied in one sentence. One sentence that when spoken made me remember a time when we didn’t hate each other. That is:
“There are no black Americans, there are no white Americans, there are no Mexican-Americans, there are no Asian-Americans, there are no rainbow-Americans; the only colors that matter are the Red, White & Blue.”
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore