Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, August 2, 2016
Photos by Chris Roberts
Candidate Trump continues to generate excitement wherever he goes. In Northern Virginia, where I live, people on Trump e-mail lists got only 24-hour notice that he would appear today at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn. Even on such short notice, the rally was so oversubscribed that thousands were turned away. I know; I was one of them.
Nor was it was just a matter of turning up. Anyone who wanted to attend had to sign up at a web page, get a code sent to a cell phone, enter the number into a web page, and print out a paper invitation.
The rally was to begin at 11:00 a.m., but when I arrived at about 9:30, it was already hard to find a place to park. People who came later said they walked as far as a mile to get to the school.
There were 51 protesters (I counted them), and anyone going to the rally had to walk by them. They were largely white–like Loudoun County where the rally was held–and the Trump supporters were overwhelmingly white, so there was no friction. That was just as well, because there were no police nearby.
I stopped to interview protesters, who had the usual objections to Mr. Trump: “He’s a dictator–or he would be a dictator.” “He is a racist.” “He is a fascist.” A white school teacher explained why he is a fascist:
He just shares so many of the same characteristics Hitler did. He is using fear to further his position, and he is very scary. It’s a very scary time to think that people is this country–seemingly educated people–think he is a person who will get things done.
Another protester compared Mr. Trump to Hitler: “The way he needs the adoration of the people. His love for the people.”
One woman didn’t like Mr. Trump’s policies: “His ideas are illogical, incomprehensible. There’s no way what he’s promising can get done.”
A black man denounced Mr. Trump: “His generalities of opposing people of color, opposing religions, and my race–he does not support us.” I asked what Mr. Trump had ever done to offend blacks. “I’ll skip that then, I’ll take that off the table. He’s not a racist. But he’s against minorities, he’s against women, he’s against people who have different religious faiths.”
A Hispanic girl, about age 20, said this:
I think the values he is promoting are completely against what it means to be an American. Believing that minorities have done nothing for this country is against American values. His values are that Muslims should be banned, that we should build a wall.
When I asked whether everyone who wants to come to the United States should be let in, she said, “Yes. Instead of building a wall, why don’t you have policies that make it easier for people to come to this country? This is a country for immigrants. It was built by immigrants.”
It was only when I walked toward the high school at 10:00 that I noticed the huge line snaking around the building. After I got in line, people continued to arrive until the line extended well out of sight. Thousands of white people stood cheerfully in 94-degree weather, wondering if the rally could possibly accommodate such an enormous number of people.
I had plenty of time to ask people why they supported Mr. Trump, and was surprised to find how low-key their answers were. No one volunteered anything remotely racial or even mentioned immigration without my prompting. A Desert Storm veteran said it was because Mr. Trump will support the military and Mrs. Clinton will not. A young man whose ancestors immigrated from Sicily said it was because Mr. Trump “brings energy and leadership; he is an entrepreneur.” A middle-aged white man said it was because “I’m a Republican.” A retired government worker who was in intelligence for 30 years said it was “because I believe in less government regulation.” His wife said she supports Mr. Trump “because I believe in the Republican platform, and he will uphold it.” One man simply said “He’s better than Hillary.”
When I asked what they thought of Mr. Trump’s ideas on immigration, replies were favorable but guarded: “We need to protect our borders.” “I don’t see how he is going to send 13 million illegal immigrants out of the country.” “Hasn’t he said illegal immigrants should go through the right channels and then they can come back?” “People have to be checked before they come here.” “The rules should be followed.”
When I asked about banning Muslims, the consensus was that this should not be done because they are Muslims but only because they are not being screened properly: “We need to make our country safe.” “It’s a shame that people blame all Muslims for what a few radicals do.” One man did say that camps should be built in the Middle East so refugees could stay in the region rather than come to the United States or Europe, but he would not agree that Islam is incompatible with the West.
No one seemed particularly worried at the prospect of becoming a minority by 2045: “People are people.” “The ones who embrace American values will find a great home here.”
Several people did say they opposed generous welfare, especially for immigrants, but this was about as radical a sentiment as I could find.
I was recording interviews, and some of the people had given their full names, so perhaps they were being cautious. Still, I did not get the impression they were holding back. It was clear from my questions that I would not be shocked by “racist” answers, but I didn’t get a single one. And yet, if they hold such mainstream views, why where they sweltering in the sun in a line so long their chances of getting into the rally to see the candidate were slim to none? Why do they support a notorious “fascist” and “racist”? There may be more to these supporters than they are letting on.
After we had been standing for 45 minutes, a motorcycle cop drove along the line, announcing that the gym was filled and that no more people would be admitted. The mildest possible ripple of disappointment went through the crowd, but there was no outcry. Thousands of white people cheerfully headed back to their cars.
A surprising number stayed behind just to talk, take in the atmosphere, and wait for the motorcade. A huge burst of cheering greeted its arrival, and a few people even climbed on the television vans in the hope of catching a glimpse of the candidate. Despite the low-key answers I got from Trump supporters, this man undeniably rouses passions. Hillary Clinton consistently draws small crowds.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2016
It was reported that 1,200 people managed to get into the high school today, but the number turned away must have several times greater. I was sorry not to get inside–Trump rallies are always described as charged with energy and excitement–but I’ll be sure to attend one during the reelection campaign in 2020.
This is a selection of photos from today’s rally.