Uncensored: An Inside Look at a Donald Trump Rally
By Peter Kizenko
Given the current political landscape, I felt compelled to attend a Donald Trump rally to see what it’s all about. It’s been since 1980 since I last attended a political event and this the story of that trip.
I received a phone call from my good friend Steve (an ardent Trump supporter) Thursday morning exclaiming that Trump will be in Pennsylvania on Saturday [October 22, 2016] and do I want to go. I quickly looked at the map to see where Johnstown, PA is and said I’m in.
Trump was scheduled to speak at 4:00 pm at the Cambria County War Memorial, home of the immortal ice hockey comedy Slapshot! We quickly downloaded our tickets and were advised to arrive early even though doors were opening at 1:00 pm. I woke up at 4:30 am Saturday morning to begin my trek West. As Steve said, “The Colonialists had it tougher..”
We decided on the Mohegan Sun Pocono as our meeting point and hit the road around 8:00 am. Weather forecasts called for heavy rain all day with 25 mph winds but we would not allow that to deny us. Although we hit a couple pockets of rain the storm never really materialized. (We hypothesized that the DNC had hacked the National Weather Bureau in an effort to deter attendees.) Rolling into Johnstown around noon we knew we were close when we saw a line snaking over the bridge and beyond.
Having no idea on what kind of crowd or attended mood to expect we were overwhelmed by the positive and electric energy. It was like attending a street party. The majority of these people had never had real political fire but were also drawn to attend. They felt like they were being a part of something much bigger.
Trump rallies were initially portrayed as creating divisiveness and anger. It is the opposite. This felt like a Woodstock Peace and Love movement. People were in a great mood seeing the groundswell of support. There was no rage, only a true feeling that this country was on its way to healing.
The line into the arena moved quickly and there was more anticipation in this crowd than the kickoff to the Super Bowl. Given the previous week’s release of the Billy Bush tapes, I was very curious to see the gender makeup of the crowd and I think there were actually more women than men. Women for Trump signs everywhere. The release of the tapes had actually galvanized the women there. Amazing.
As we approached 4:00 pm the usual pre-game show of local politicians took the stage but there was no doubting the main event. We were on the floor about 50 feet from the stage and it was such a fun crowd. They especially liked when Steve started cleaning off his Trump sign after dropping it and he said “I’m polishing it like Pennsylvania Steel!” People were definitely psyched to hear that we had taken the ride to give support. I can not imagine Hillary rallies are like this. Does she have rallies? Does anyone go?
When ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ started being pumped through the loudspeakers, we knew it was showtime. Trump’s opening comments ‘Is there anyplace more fun to be than a Trump rally?’ rang true.
The speech was pretty level headed, his main point was that he had had it with what is going on. That was the same reason everyone was there. People have had it. After he branded Hillary a corrupt globalist, chants of ‘Lock her up, lock her up’ reverberated. Very funny actually. The event lasted for about an hour and there was no downtime when he was on stage.
As people filed out, the merchandise sellers were swamped. Plenty of ‘Make America Great Again’ baseball caps, t-shirts scarves etc.. We made our way out of Johnstown underneath a classic low gray cloudy Western Pennsylvania day and as we stopped for gas along the way, I noticed the newspaper headline ‘Voter Registration Surges Ahead of Election’. After what I saw, I don’t think it’s surging because of Hillary.
It’s happening and it’s real.
Donald Trump Speech, Gettysburg PA
October 22, 2016
Trump Delivers Groundbreaking Contract for the
American Voter in Gettysburg
Trump Official Website
October 22, 2016
Gettysburg, PA: Today, in historic Gettysburg, PA, Donald J. Trump presented a game-changing plan for his first 100 days in office. This revolutionary “Contract with the American Voter” will ensure that America’s economy is revitalized and citizens are protected.
“I’m not a politician, and have never wanted to be one. But when I saw the trouble our country was in, I knew I couldn’t stand by and watch any longer. Our country has been so good to me, I love our country, I felt I had to act,” said Mr. Trump in his address.
“Change has to come from outside this broken system. The fact that the Washington establishment has tried so hard to stop our campaign is only more proof that our campaign represents the kind of change that only arrives once in a lifetime,” he continued.
“I am asking the American people to rise above the noise and the clutter of our broken politics, and to embrace that great faith and optimism that has always been the central ingredient in the American character. I am asking you to dream big.
“What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again. It is a contract between Donald J. Trump and the American voter – and begins with restoring honesty, accountability and change to Washington,” he concluded.
Donald J. Trump Contract with the American Voter
“Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:
FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;
SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);
THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;
FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;
SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
On the same day, I will begin taking the following seven actions to protect American workers:
FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205
SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator
FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately
FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.
SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward
SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure
Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law:
FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama
SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States
THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities
FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back
FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.
Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:
1. Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate.
2. End The Offshoring Act Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.
3. American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.
4. School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to gives parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.
5. Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.
6. Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-site childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.
7. End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.
8. Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.
9. Restoring National Security Act. Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values
10. Clean up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.
On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our economy, security to our communities, and honesty to our government.
This is my pledge to you.
And if we follow these steps, we will once more have a government of, by and for the people.”