Thousands of Trump supporters on June 20 braved unmasked and uncivilized protesters to converge on the Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Center in Tulsa. Unlike Trump rallies of the past, there were no overflow stages but only about 7,000 of the arena’s 19,000 seats were filled.
That could be blamed on a concerted effort by teens on the TikTok app, who were encouraging their peers to reserve tickets so there would be empty seats – a perfect set up for the media, who fell for it. That won’t happen twice in the campaign season and it turns out that, regardless of whether it was COVID-19 or the TikTok kids bringing down in-person attendance – it didn’t matter one bit. Millions of Americans tuned in from their shelter-in-place orders online, on television, and in states that are open, from pubs and taverns.
The quintessential Trump was back in his element. The president had quite a lot to say in the 1 hour and 41-minute speech. He touted his administration’s response to the “Chinese virus,” the lack of care or concern from Democrats about the violent civil unrest, former Vice President Joe Biden – who may or may not remember he’s running for president – Antifa, and the economy.
Highlights for Some
The president spoke of the honor in giving the West Point commencement address and how saluting 600 plus times in succession was a gratifying yet tiring effort: “It’s like a workout without a weight, right?” He also joked about wearing slick soled shoes and attempting to negotiate a metal ramp. He mimicked his bent over, tiny stepping, rush off the ramp, and then pointed out that the media claimed he was “feeble” and might be ill.
Trump described how well he thought his West Point visit went by describing a call to First Lady Melania:
“I call my wife, and I said, ‘How good was it, darling?’ She said, ‘You’re trending number one.’ I said to our great first lady, I said, ‘Let me ask you a question. Was it that good of a speech that I’m trending number one? Because I felt it was really good.’ ‘No, no, they don’t even mention the speech. They mention the fact that you may have Parkinson’s disease.’”
That drew jeers for the on-site press. But it wasn’t the first or the last time the crowd would express displeasure at the news media.
Trump also patted himself on the back for appointing two Supreme Court Justices, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh, and reminded folks of his record with federal judge appointments: “Think of what we’ve done. We will have close to 300 federal judges appointed and approved by the end of my first time, that’s an all-time record.”
The resurgence of the economy was less a focus than the civil unrest and outright violence being allowed by the radical left, and the president put the blame squarely on the Democratic Party, seemingly giving his opponent, Joe Biden, a pass – albeit with a direct insult: “Joe Biden has surrendered to his party and to the left-wing mob,” the president told a raucous crowd. “He has no control. Does anybody honestly think he controls these radial maniacs? You know what he says to his wife when he’s not confusing her with his sister? ‘Get me the hell out of there. These people are crazy.’”
A Broad Brush for Others
Lacking the typical political taming to which other candidates eventually succumb, Trump is still Trump. His speeches meander about, intertwined with folksy language and comedic personals stories, but miraculously end up covering or touching every issue America today faces. Those brushes with subjects included his commitment to reforming immigration, renegotiating deals with America’s allies, keeping enemies at bay, and keeping the U. S. military a force with which to be reckoned.
Trump was conversational, didn’t pile on the doom and gloom America has been subjected to for months and gave off an air that everything would be okay.
Small attendance aside, Trump distributed his message world-wide and gave himself a lot of credit along the way, “People have come up to me, say, ‘How do you take it?’ I say, ‘Do I have a choice? Do I have a choice?’ We deal with a lot of bad people, but we’re winning.”
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