As a native of New Hampshire, I thought it might be fun to go to my first Trump rally. I had heard that President Trump was coming to the Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester this week, so I got on-line and got my free pass. Wow, that was easy, I thought. Maybe if I show up a couple of hours early, I’ll get good seats too, I told myself. Wow, was I ever naive.
If you haven’t yet been to a Trump rally, make a point of doing so. It’s an experience you will never forget.
Here’s are six very surprising things I learned at my first ever Trump rally this week.
1. President Trump Is More Popular Than Any Rock Star In History
Think I’m exaggerating? More people passionately love our president than ANYONE alive today. (Except maybe the Pope, but even that is questionable.) Yes, he has plenty of haters, too. But his supporters love him on a level I’ve never witnessed before. Women supporters were literally crying as his motorcade pulled up to the Southern New Hampshire University Arena on Thursday night.
Between 30 and 40 thousand people converged onto Manchester to get a glimpse of Trump. That’s three times more people than the next largest draw in Manchester’s history , which was Sir Elton John. Sadly, for most of us, the stadium “only” holds just over 11,000 people. The line to see the president had started 24 hours before he spoke. The doors opened around 4:00 PM, and by shortly after 5:00 PM, the entire arena was at full capacity. I naively showed up at 4:00 Thursday afternoon, and I hiked to the end of the line, which wound through the streets of Manchester for over 10 blocks. And the line was 4 to 5 people wide.
2. There Are Many People Of Color At Trump Rallies
If you’ve ever watched CNN or MSNBC, you would think that only “White Nationalists” and “racists”  support Donald Trump. So imagine my surprise when I noticed a large number of Trump supporters who were black, Hispanic, and Asian in attendance. And this was in New Hampshire, one of the whitest states in America. One African America gentleman I spoke to drove up from Boston to see the president. I chatted with a Chinese immigrant from Rhode Island who supports Trump because she said she knows first hand what Communism does to humanity. While standing outdoors by the Jumbotron during the president’s speech with thousands of other supporters, I noticed no less than 10 non-white supporters within twenty feet of me.
3. Millennials Are The Most Enthusiastic Trump Supporters
I have always naively assumed that all young people were ignorant, brainwashed snowflakes. I was shocked by how
many of these Trump supporters were so young. And they seemed to have the most passion for conservative causes in the crowd. Perhaps it is just the energy that comes with youth, but the millennials in attendance were the ones holding TRUMP 2020 banners, hilarious homemade signs, and the ones leading the chants of “U.S.A.!” and “Four More Years!” during the president’s address. It was inspiring and it gave me hope for our nation’s future.
4. Trump Supporters Truly Love Each Other
There was a very happy and loving vibe in Manchester Thursday night. The crowds were so thick it felt like I was in Times Square that evening. Everyone was smiling. Biker dudes were hugging skinny nerds they had just met, and whenever I bumped into anyone, a hand would touch my shoulder and the offender would politely say, “Oh, I’m so sorry my friend!” with a friendly grin.
While standing among the throngs of supporters under the Jumbotron, a middle-aged man next to me randomly blurted out at the top of his lungs, “I LOVE ALL YOU PEOPLE!” At first I was taken aback and even embarrassed for him, but within a split second everyone around us started cheering and saying “We love you too!” Another supporter chimed in ” ‘I LOVE YOU’ ON THREE! ONE, TWO, THREE!” after which dozens of people around us all screamed in unison “I LOVE YOU!” Truly, it was an amazing moment.
5. Trump Rallies Are A Huge Boom For The Local Economy
In my 20+ years of living in New Hampshire, I have never seen downtown Manchester as busy as it was Thursday night. Every restaurant and pub along Elm Street was at full capacity. I witnessed no crime, no bad behavior, and not even a single drunk on the streets. (I’m sure they were there, I just didn’t see them.) There was a sea of people wandering the streets in red hats, pleasantly saying hello to each other, nodding, or giving one another a thumbs-up and a little “Maga!” greeting. It was fun, and I couldn’t help feeling like this is what America used to be like. Prosperous, friendly and safe. I imagine a liberal reader would criticize my comments and describe them as “racist and reminiscent of white-America”. But this was not an all-white crowd. The crowd was diverse; all ages and ethnicities were present around us.
After the rally, my buddy and I stopped into a pub for dinner. The people on either side of us immediately greeted us and started asking how our evening went. The bartenders and wait staff were hustling, and they appeared to be making great tips that night.
No other political rally could compare to a Trump rally. A recent Biden event in New Hampshire drew a crowd of under 100 people. A more recent campaign rally held by Elizabeth Warren drew a crowd of 700.
6. The Streets Of Manchester Looked Cleaner After The Rally Ended
Liberals love to claim that conservatives don’t care about the environment. Of course, this notion is absurd. But after 40,000 people swarmed into Manchester for the day, I was amazed by how clean the streets were at the end of the night. As might be expected, the public garbage cans were very full. But there was no shameless littering throughout the city. I witnessed people standing in line for hours drinking from water bottles, but I did not see a single empty water bottle lying in the streets. I even saw a young guy pick up a piece of trash while standing in line and put it in his pocket. Seeing this kind of behavior around you is contagious. I saw a business card lying on the sidewalk while waiting in line for the rally. Wanting to do my part, I picked up the muddy card and placed it in my pocket until I found a garbage can to dispose of it.
There was one small area outside the SNHU that was left messy. The Manchester police were able to corral the Trump protesters and place them all in this one area. There were between one and two hundred protesters, mostly kids and old white guys with grey ponytails, who were waving signs and shouting. For the most part, they were largely ignored by the sea of red hats. I almost felt a little sorry for them. At 11:00 PM, well after the rally, that area was littered with protester signs and other garbage. My only regret is that I didn’t get a photograph of the mess they left in Manchester.
Here’s the bottom line. A Trump rally is fun. Really fun. It’s something that any Trump supporter should try to attend at least once. As for me, the next time President Trump comes to New Hampshire, I’ll be taking the day off from work and I’ll be in line 6 hours before the doors open!