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Inside The Angry, Xenophobic Parallel Universe That Is A Donald Trump Rally

By aaroncynic in News on Nov 10, 2015 5:10PM

Republican presidential hopeful and angry rich white guy Donald Trump made a campaign stop in Springfield Monday where he railed against Hillary Clinton, ISIS, China, Starbucks and anything else Republicans might be angry about.

Attending the rally was like stepping into a parallel universe where up is down, President Barack Obama deserves to be arrested and a celebrity businessman with virtually no political experience has a shot at the presidential nomination.

Trump began his hour-long speech by patting himself on the back for his recent performance on Saturday Night Live for five minutes, telling the crowd of more than 10,000 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center that Miley Cyrus told him he was “the biggest star anywhere in the world.” He then launched into a tirade (that sounds like a very long rant in the comments section on any number of news websites) hitting well-worn talking points about Benghazi, Clinton’s emails, America’s military might, building a wall along the Mexican border, and the ever popular “war on Christmas.”

“Maybe we should boycott Starbucks,” said Trump, speaking of the coffee chain’s decision to use plain looking red cups for this holiday season, rather than adorning them with more overt references to Christmas. “If I become president, we’re all going to be saying Merry Christmas again,” Trump said, garnering cheers and applause from an overwhelmingly supportive crowd, some of whom showed up to wait in line for the 7:00 p.m. event as early as 8:00 a.m.

On his potential opponents, should he get the GOP nomination, Trump said that an “honest government” wouldn’t allow Hillary Clinton to run for president. “Hillary is running for a lot of reasons—one of ‘em is because she wants to stay out of jail,” he said, and later reminded the audience that he’s said before that Clinton is the “worst secretary of State in history.” He also took a brief shot at Bernie Sanders after more than a dozen protesters—some that were chanting “feel the bern,” were escorted out of the event. “He is not stopping ISIS,” said Trump, shouting “get out of here” in the direction of the demonstrators.

But the man who says he wants to “make America great again,”—a slogan emblazoned on hats, T-shirts and buttons worn by attendees throughout the convention center—didn’t limit his criticisms to only his democratic challengers. On Ben Carson, who polls neck and neck with the celebrity, Trump said:

"This is a very strange election isn't it? You stab somebody and the newspapers say you didn't do it and you say yes I did. No you didn't. Yes I did.”
He also took Carson and Marco Rubio, who now polls third in the crowd of Republican hopefuls, to task for not disliking immigrants enough. “I look at a guy like Rubio, who’s very very weak on the way, so is Carson,” said Trump. “He wants to let the people come in.” Despite his own self-trumpeted lack of experience as a politician, Trump said of the two:
“These are people with no experience, that have never made a payroll. These are people that have never done it before and they don’t know what they’re doing...Everyone tells me Rubio’s a wonderful speaker. I said ‘really, tell me why.’”

The candidate, who told the packed house of supporters that later chanted “U.S.A.!” that he was the most “militaristic person in the room,” got all of the digs in he needed on the things that make his potential base so angry—Benghazi, China, immigration, “anchor babies,” Hillary Clinton and his other opponents, China again, the media and more.

With months to go until the first primaries and just two days under a year until the actual election, it still remains to be seen whether political theater of this caliber translates to votes.

Hours before the rally began, there were vendors on every corner hawking every piece of political merchandise imaginable. There were all sorts of buttons, T-shirts, hats and books you can use to proclaim just how badly you want to Make America Great Again. Outside of the standard red hat with Donald's message, the most popular version was a camouflage print, (presumably to let your hunting buddies know you're killing things for 'Merica?).

Across the street, a preacher with a headset, who had the stamina to speak for over three hours, read Bible verses and other quotable evangelical Christian sayings. Someone wearing an "arrest Obama" T-shirt could be seen standing in line to secure $6 beers. Another man sitting at the bar after the event wore a large button with a photo of a handgun and the words, "I don't call 911."

Back outside, about a dozen demonstrators vehemently professing their love for Bernie Sanders chided attendees as they passed through the entrance doors. One attendee who appeared to be drunk confronted them, told them they were socialists, and said he had "no idea where Mexico" was.

A fabled "Trumpkin" also made an appearance at the rally: