Fear and Loathing at the Trump Rally

We went to the Trump rally in (sorry, “on”) Long Island Wednesday night and it was a blast. He chose Bethpage, which is a relatively blue-collar town, and the rally was in the same airplane hangar they used to build F-14s in. I was with cab driver comic Jimmy Failla, who was dressed like an ice cream man because he had just done the Kennedy show with me that afternoon, and Staten Island city councilman Joe Borelli, who breezed past us into the VIP section. Jimmy went to the front and I hung back to interview the attendees, but we all reconvened to discuss the event on my show the next day. I was surprised by how incredibly well-informed Trump’s supporters were/are. When Bernie supporters are asked which policy of his they like, they usually say, “All of them” and “It’s hard to choose just one.” When asked what Trump policy they hate, they say, “All of them” and “It’s hard to choose just one.” When I asked Trump supporters what they like about him, they had real answers. Now, this isn’t a reliable poll and it’s possible I’ve been introduced to the best of Trump and the worst of Bernie, but my personal experience has been that the contrast between the two groups is amazing. I’d say 90% of Trump supporters are well-informed and only 10% of Bernie fans are. Crippled America: How ... Donald J. Trump Best Price: $1.48 Buy New $8.97 (as of 03:40 UTC - Details)

The first guy we talked to was wearing an NRA hat and explained that although Bernie is reasonable with some Second Amendment issues (Sanders doesn’t think gun sellers should be culpable for crimes involving their guns), he is against automatic weapons and if you’re against that, you’re against gun ownership. He said Trump was too liberal on guns in the past but has come to his senses. I was reminded of John Derbyshire’s contention that Trump is the best man for the job, although “he could still break our hearts.”

The audience was predominantly male, but there were a lot more millennials than I expected. I spoke to a kid who chose Trump because the candidate seemed the most libertarian out of all of them. Another young lady said she loves him because he “tells it like it is.” A man carrying a Trump sign praised The Donald’s fiscal responsibility, and when I implied that it’s because Trump is part Scottish the man quoted Braveheart by screaming “FREEDOM!” at the top of his lungs. Every time I spoke to someone slightly eccentric, a Trump supporter would yell at me for cherry-picking the weirdos in an effort to make their candidate look bad. I understand their cynicism.

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