On the day of President Trump’s rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, the streets filled with spectators who – despite the blistering 107-degree heat – came to hear President Trump. Doors opened at four in the afternoon. We arrived at 4:30, and it took us about two hours to get inside the venue. Protestors were kept behind barriers on the northwest side of the building, and all ticket holders parked and lined up on the opposite side of the building. We did experience a few people yelling obscenities as they drove by, but with such a large presence of our men and women in blue, it was very noneventful. The Phoenix Police handled the event marvelously.
While making our way into the venue, we had the chance to chat with a local man. Chris is a master plumber in the Phoenix area, father of four, and husband to a flight attendant.
LN: Chris, why did you come out today?
Chris: Because I wanted to support my president. In the midst of all the push back against him, I want to do my part to show my support for him and with America.
LN: What are some of the things that you think he’s done right that he just hasn’t gotten credit for?
Chris: I would say, probably, if you look at the stock market, you look at his tough actions and no-holds-barred action with people who have already challenged him on the foreign scene, dropping the bomb on the bad guys, and really trying to get our companies back from foreign countries, we’re getting our dollars back. It means America could be [inaudible] within our own economy. Just things like that.
LN: He’s really had an uphill battle with the press, but then, of course, he has had some of his down moments. If you were in the elevator and it opened and he walked in, what would you do?
Chris: I would probably congratulate him first for standing tall and strong because I don’t think any of the other people that he ran against in the Republican Party would have had a stiff enough spine. At this point in time, with all the opposition, they would have caved already and cowed out to the opposition. He has stayed tough in the midst of his opposition, and I would congratulate him just for that and encourage him to keep the course and don’t be persuaded by the naysayers and the fake polls and all those items that are against him.
LN: In the circle that you hang out in, do you get that same sentiment, or do you feel that what the media’s telling us and the polls are telling us is really true?
Chris: Honestly, no matter where I go and who I rub elbows with, I would say it’s a 90% support for the president, and I find very few people in opposition. And when I talk to them intelligently about the issues that they’re opposed to, usually they are misinformed and they are believing in lies and narrative that’s been fed to them through the media. And once they understand the truth and the facts, they actually see things differently.
LN: How do you get your news today?
Chris: Probably the majority of Fox news. I do swap it up a little bit, just to keep it interesting, to find out what others are saying and how things are going, but it’s very frustrating to listen to some of the other ones, and I can only stand them for a small amount of time.
LN: Yeah, that was going to be my next question. How many hours a day do you devote to listening to the news? Or reading it?
Chris: Total, TV-wise, I would probably say an hour, maybe a little over an hour a day on the TV, and then as I’m driving between jobs throughout the valley I’ll have KFYI on and I’ll listen to some of the opinions on there and get some of the news and information that way.
LN: Okay, two last questions. One, what was your opinion of the McCain vote?
Chris: I was very, very disappointed, because I was someone that really wanted to be a McCain fan over the years, and over the last number of years I’ve found myself very, very disappointed. I mean, granted, I respect his opinion, and if he wants to vote with the Democrats, he should change his affiliation from an R to a D and vote with his heart. That’s his right to do so. He should not represent the Republican party if he’s going to do everything against Donald Trump and not stand with him.
LN: Okay. And what do you think about the possibility of President Trump pardoning Joe Arpaio?
Chris: I actually think it’s not a bad idea. If you take Sheriff Joe’s complete history, of his work and his ethic and what he’s done all over the US and the other states and different things, and you combine it all together, his heart is for America. It’s for traditional values and it’s for enforcing the law. I think he was enforcing the law that was already in place while others aren’t, and so the opposition pushed back because he was another one of those that had a spine, and I think if he gets pardoned, I would be okay with that.
LN: You sound very much like you come from a military family or are a military supporter.
Chris: I rub elbows in the industries related to law enforcement and the military, so it probably rubs off a little bit. I’m involved with supporting industries that are related to those people.
LN: Okay. I know that I said it was one last question, but just from the family members that are veterans, do they all have a common feeling about our right to bear arms?
LN: And what is that?
Chris: I deal with … I rub elbows with a lot of veterans. I’ve worked at a facility for 14 years that has veterans. 90% of the employees are veterans, and it’s actually a firearms-related industry. They’re all obviously pro-firearm related. I haven’t talked to any veterans who are not on board with the Second Amendment at all, honestly.
Later, we met up with a young couple, Jake and Jessie, who identified as Independents, voted for Donald Trump, and still feel that he’s doing a good job, over all, as president.
LN: One of the reasons that I’ve stopped you two is that you’re younger, and at a lot of these things when we hear things about Trump, we just hear that it’s the older people in America that support President Trump. Are you Trump supporters?
Jake: Yeah. Anybody that’s leading our nation, I’m going to support them just for the title that they have, but yeah, for the most part.
LN: What do you think he’s doing right and what do you think he’s doing wrong?
Jake: I don’t think he’s a very good public speaker, so as far as that last, like that. [President Trump had just commented on the environment] I disagree with that, and then some of the climate change aspects, I disagree with that. I think we should be focused more on green energy and getting out of the current resources that we use for fuel or transportation.
Jessie: But everything else I think we’re on board with.
LN: What did you think of the way the North Korean situation was handled?
Jake: I think that was probably as best as it could be handled, for the situation that it was. I mean, I don’t think there was ever a chance that we’re actually going to go in and attack without anything, but the nuclear threat is a dangerous thing. We already partook in that with Hiroshima, and I think we’ve all seen the backlash of those actions, and I think we know better.
LN: Why did you come out today?
Jake: My grandpa told me, “If you ever have the opportunity to see a president in person, you should.” So that’s why we’re here.
LN: That’s great. Good answers and I like your grandpa.
Jessie: Good way of thinking about things.
Finally, we interviewed Linda, a transgender Korean War Veteran. Although she disagrees with the president on the issue of transgenders in the military, she supports everything else he has done and stands for. It was interesting to hear her and other veterans talk about how disrespectful the media has been. One guy, a Vietnam vet who blames the press’s constant negativity for our divided nation, jokingly said, “it is probably a good thing they don’t believe in the right to bear arms, or we would have a full out blood bath”
LN: I’m here with Linda, standing out in the 105-degree weather in Phoenix, Arizona. Linda, why are you here today?
Linda: Well, I want to see President Trump. This is a big deal for me.
LN: It is.
Linda: A big honor, absolutely. I’ve been a fan of his from the beginning.
LN: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, your background? You were in the military, and …
Linda: Yes, I spent four years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. I served aboard a mine sweeper. In three and a half years I made first class petty officer, which is unusual. Then the captain called me to his office before I left the ship and said if I would ship over for six years he would guarantee me warrant officer. I might as well drop [inaudible], but I work well with my hands. The Navy taught me a lot. I really liked it. I think there’s a lot of people like that. As far as paying for the surgery, I took care of everything myself. I don’t expect anybody else to pay for that.
LN: You have one bone to pick with President Trump, and what is that?
Linda: The fact that he doesn’t think that transgender people should serve in the military. I say, if you can pass the test – I mean, there’s constant tests – if you can pass a test, it doesn’t matter what your gender is. It’s just they’re all good people. I would have any transgender person, or anybody, any color, to back me up if they can pass the test. But the services are being tested constantly.
LN: What do you think he’s doing right?
Linda: Well, he’s done so much right. The jobs and a lot of the restrictions he’s taken off of people so that he’s opened up jobs, our trade. I mean it is just so unfortunate that the media doesn’t give him a chance. I actually feel sorry for him, but I also realize he is a very strong man and has a fighting attitude and we should stand behind him. I only have one friend who is liberal, the rest support him 100%, so I really think the polls are not right. I watch FOX because they try to represent both sides. It is really sad. But we’ve had troubled times before in our nation and I really think it’s going to be okay, but we got to let him do his job.LN author Teresa Read at rally pictured here (l) with Kara Coleman (r).
One interesting trend we noticed during our interviews was that most people say they only get about an hour of politics, news, or talk radio per day. That’s not because they aren’t interested in politics or current events – they did attend the president’s rally, after all – but because that was about as much Trump-bashing as any of them could stand. The establishment media is such a sham, and there’s no denying the existence of the Fake News after today – they’re always looking for a way to sensationalize everything. For example, the protestors were but a small fraction of the people who showed up in downtown Phoenix. Even the event that caused the police to resort to tear gas – reported on the 10 o’clock local news – was only a handful of people who entered the intersection throwing rocks and provoking a fight. Most supporters and protesters had already left the area when it happened, and the situation was under control in a matter of minutes.
It was amazing to be a part of so large a crowd in support of the Commander in Chief. All sorts of people showed up to endorse the president. Old and young and from all ethnic and religious backgrounds — they all believe in the fact that together “we will make America great again!” We saw hundreds of Veterans wearing caps and t-shirts that announced where and with which branch they served. There were youth groups from churches wearing shirts that said, “we support and pray for President Trump”. Seeing the diversity of the crowd was so vastly different from everything we hear from the establishment media. I stood near a Mexican family – all eleven of them were against illegal immigration and very much in favor of the wall being built. The mother, Josie, told me that most of their community feels the same way, but just like the coverage of everything anti-Trump, no one ever asks them for their opinions. She said they seek out the trouble makers and losers, and then say that is how we all feel. The mainstream media and pollsters can spew whatever misinformation they like; it was obvious to all present at this event that Donald Trump is a president well-liked by many in America.