There were these soft people from Time, the New York Times, CNN and the Charlotte Observer and so many other media organizations filled with mediocre Jan. 8 at the Winthrop Coliseum; gnashing their teeth and staring at their iPhones, complaining about the man 6,500 people came to see.
Only one guy did not get indignant by this gathering crowd of working-class people, almost all of them white, and wrote that Trump was brash, and a leader, and funny, and would “crush his Republican opponents” and steamroll to the Republican nomination.
That was me, of course.
The column after the rally was so great Trump’s people posted it on their campaign website. People asked me after if I support Trump and I said ‘Hell, no,’ but Trump and his followers are great fun and these other candidates cause coma.
That crowd that cold Friday night in January, where thousands more were turned away because the fire marshal Otis Driggers locked the doors when the coliseum filled past the bursting point. Trump showed that a big part of this area, and America, are sick of Bushes and Clintons and religious zealots and congressmen and governors nobody ever heard of.
They want tough.
Trump walked in a reality TV star and he grabbed the crowd by its throat and they screamed for more and anybody with a pulse knew it was over. Trump would swallow the rest of these candidates claiming God told them to run, or God told voters to vote for them.
Trump told the people that night he had to run for president because he said he is great. He needs no guidance from deities. He believes he is one.
The supporters were unabashedly conservative. They love guns and want them everywhere, including church and sporting events and weddings. But they still showed in sheer numbers that they matter the most and their opinion and lives matter, too.
Those Trump supporters are almost all white, yet they are not racists. They want someone – and Trump is doing it, and he should – to say they matter, too.
Trump supporters do matter. They are America, too.
Rocky Barrett, a longtime Rock Hill businessman and car dealer, was at that Trump event and told so many that the country was ready for a straight-talker like Trump. He was dead right.
“Everybody realizes now that we need something different, someone different, in this country,” Barrett said this week.
So now, five months and so many states later, all the pretenders are gone. Trump knocked each of them down and out by ridiculing them as his supporters flocked to coliseums and arenas and ballparks to hear him mock anyone who stood in his way.
We should all be thankful for Donald Trump. He never bores. He is absolutely thrilling.
No doubt he laughed at the spray-painted sign on a Rock Hill house: “Donald Trump hates puppies” as he rode by in a limousine as long as a cruise ship.
It maybe illegal to ban Muslim immigration as Trump says he will do, but radical Islam is a threat by any measure. It took Trump to talk about needing to fix a problem with borders and security that has cost so many lives.
His solution is terrible and wrong, but without Trump we are left with Hillary Clinton talking about terrorism to the sound of chirping crickets.
When Trump is wrong, he is wrong huge. He wants a wall to keep out Hispanics who are the hardest working people in the country now, without question. He wants to deport millions of legally born American Hispanic children. That is not only illegal, it is repugnant.
But then again, none of the other Republican candidates stood up for the Hispanics then or now - including the two Hispanic candidates who got amnesia about their immigrant families.
That is the main reason if you believe in freedom, America, and the conservative notion that all in America are equal – yes, that is the most conservative of all ideals – you run from Trump like he is carrying a torch.
Barrett, the Trump supporter who like Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, agreed that some of what Trump has said on race, Hispanics, women, has been less than welcoming. It has caused friction. But that is Trump, and he has one big thing going for him.
“He’s not named Clinton,” Barrett said.
And when Trump is right he is right big. A North Carolina law pushed by Republicans and slammed by Democrats that discriminates against gays and transgenders? He says it is stupid. He is right.
He doesn’t care one bit about the media or political parties or anything else.
Trump wants guns everywhere and guns kill everywhere. But then again, the Democrats who want to be president aren’t asking for real gun reform, either. They have been in charge for much of the past 25 years as millions more guns have gone into circulation to maim and kill and be used to rob and as violent tools in dope deals.
York, Chester and Lancaster county courts every week are filled with gun crime felonies – hundreds each year.
Anybody who looked at the crowd videos and pictures when Trump spoke at Winthrop will never forget that crowd. Supporters drove trucks and hang drywall and wear camo. Some of the men do, too.
They want guns and they want Trump. They don’t care about political pundits yapping about what Trump means to political parties. They care nothing of party.
They wanted a steel cage match with Hillary Clinton who is the opposite of everything those Trump people care about.
Looks like we are gonna get what we asked for.
And you heard it here, in January, first.