Earlier this week, I was mulling over whether to go to Donald Trump’s rally with my teen son.

Based on suggestions from friends and readers (thank you Valerie), I arranged for a security detail in the form of my fellow San Diego blogging group friend and former Green Beret, Barry C. Jacobsen. We headed down to the Convention Center to enjoy the full Donald Trump Experience!


One of the most intriguing aspects of my adventure is comparing what I actually saw to how the mainstream media is reporting it. Questing for some information about the rally, I noticed all the headlines focused on the protesters who assembled outside as if this were the only story:

LI #48b headlines

This is not even a small portion of the real news.

Another disturbing aspect to the media distortions is the number of attendees who reports state participated. In order to attend, you had to register for tickets (2 maximum). Journalists kept repeating that there were 10,000 in the audience, despite the fact that both the electronic registration and the jam-packed arena indicate that at least 20,000 came to hear the presumptive GOP nominee speak yesterday.

This rally may provide a preview of a Trump presidency. Anticipating demonstrators, the Trump Team mounted a massive security effort, including riot police who were stationed and ready at the end of the event (when most of the problems with previous protests had occurred). I noted that Trump’s supporters were continuously thanking the police officers entering and exiting the Convention Center.

To say their pre-planning was superb would be an understatement. They staved off an Albuquerque II, because this is how the anti-Trump hooligans were behaving towards security:

I took us one full hour to enter into the rally area, which included a detailed search of my purse (I lost my snacking apple in the process). While standing in line, I noticed the crowd was very diverse: Many young people were there, sporting “Trump for President” gear, there were plenty of “Latino’s for Trump” signs, and many women were waiting to hear Trump speak.

There were a few speakers before Trump appeared. Perhaps the most moving were the two women from The Remembrance Project, who have lost family members at the hands of illegal aliens and want the robust border protection that has been the focus of the Trump campaign. They both highlighted how much hope Trump had personally given them.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the arrival of Sarah Palin, one of Trump’s earliest and best-known supporters. In an entertaining moment following a review of Obama’s foreign policy disasters, she summarized the Trump Doctrine simply: We win, they lose.

While we were waiting for Trump to arrive, I interviewed the crowd around us. About a half-dozen 18-year old voters were nearby, and they all indicated they were #NeverHillary. Mark Leuschen, who owned a construction business before the Great Recession and who had given up dreams of having one again under Obama, tried to convince us we could go beyond #NeverHillary.

“Trump is a businessman, wired to do what businessmen do. He is going to gather the information from the best sources. Then, he is going to weigh the pros and cons. Then he is going to make the smart choice, and act on it quickly.”

Interestingly, Leuschen drove down from Huntington Beach after having been at the Anaheim event earlier this week. He also noted that the media focus was too much on the protests that occurred after the speech.

A short time after my impromptu interview, the big moment arrived…with all the fanfare I have come to expect from Team Trump.

Trump was interrupted twice by protesters. During each incident, the crowd cheered enthusiastically as the very vigilant Secret Service agents hauled them out of the auditorium. I had a close-up look as one group was forcibly removed (spewing anger and profanity during the process): The joy on their faces during their mock-martyrdom was indescribable.

The speech that Trump gave was not a traditional political address, but a series of off-the cuff remarks and free-form current events commentary. For me, it was interesting for its description of the business processes he was handling. The address was peppered with affectionate references to San Diegans and jibes about Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Trump concluded: “We are going to start winning again, Big League!”

After the event, we were directed to an exit as far away from the anti-Trump mob as possible. The only way pro-Trump attendees were going to interact with the anti-Trump group is if they went out of their way to do so. This image gives a sense of how far apart the groups were (and symbolically are):


Americans love winners. Comparing the arena filled with joyful, motivated supporters to the bitter demonstrators clinging to their social justice insanity outside, I suspect Trump will be the winner in November.

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