Trump is no Hitler

Last night I went to the Trump 2020 kickoff rally in Melbourne. I have to admit that I was apprehensive. I was worried that I might be swallowed up in mass hysteria. Would it be like a voodoo ritual or an evangelical church service? Would I end up dancing toward the altar shouting in tongues? Actually it was a bit of a let down.
I arrived in Melbourne after 4pm. The rally was scheduled to start at 5. There was plenty of free parking and a shuttle bus took us to the hangar. I looked at the crowd as we waited to pass through metal detectors manned by uniformed secret service officers. The crowd was mostly elderly and working class although there were quite a few young and middle-aged there too. I was surprised by the number of Latinos and African-Americans. Definitely a small minority but I suppose I was surprised that there would be any.
It was hot waiting to get checked and there was a definite whiff of body odor. Mine included. The lines were patient and polite. Occasionally someone would start a chant of Trump, Trump, Trump or USA,USA,USA but they didn’t last very long and soon everyone would get back to complaining about the heat and fanning themselves with their red “Make America Great Again” hats.
I passed through the metal detectors and was surprised that nobody checked my ticket. I was also surprised that the place wasn’t very crowded. Pam Bondi was twittering away as I walked toward the runway. Dramatic music started to blast through suspended speaker banks. It was the kind of music that Elvis used to use to open his Las Vegas shows. It all felt very hokey until Air Force One taxied to the entrance. That stirred the crowd a little and we all got our phones out to take pictures. It was kind of an anti-climax when Trump came out to the tune of “God Bless the USA” although Melania looked very sexy in her short skirted red dress. She lost a few points with me when she recited the “Lord’s Prayer” in her introduction.
When Trump started to speak there was absolutely no energy in the room. His speech was like Thursdays press conference. Often word for word. “Don’t believe the media”. “I inherited a mess”. “”I’ll make you all rich”. “It’s dangerous because of gang-banging immigrants and muslim terrorists but I’ll keep you safe”. He got some applause but there just wasn’t much excitement. It was as though he was trying to find a theme that would rev up the crowd but he couldn’t. He looked small.
It was possible to walk around and in and out of the crowd. There was no sign of bully-boy brown-shirt supporters. In fact there was an African-American woman with a sign protesting but nobody bothered her. Security said something to her but they didn’t take her sign or ask her to leave.
After 10 or 15 minutes of Trump quite a few of the crowd started to leave and I joined them. Outside there were protesters. Not nearly as many as the crowd inside the hangar but they had twice the passion. As I walked to my car I met a couple who had driven up from Boca Raton. The woman asked me what I thought. I told her I had found it dull. She was disappointed but said, “Well he’s tired. Remember he is 70”.

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