Attending the recent Donald Trump rally in Eugene was an exhausting experience for many. People from every corner of the state – some spent many hours driving – came to witness a part of history. In unseasonably hot weather, around 4,000 people turned out to watch Donald Trump explain how to make America great again. His speech on how to to make America great again included attacks on both the media and his opponents.
In retaliation to the negative portrayals, Trump pointed out media outlets filming the event, saying “You spew thousands of thousands of words, really hundreds of thousands of words, and if you do one little mistake…..” Trump said in one rant against the media.
For a candidate who is portrayed as divisive, only a handful of protesters lined the driveway into the Lane Events Convention Center within a couple hours of the rally. The lack of protesters early on had nothing to do with Oregon overwhelmingly supporting Trump, some just got a late start but made a lot of noise. Those who arrived early, protested with claiming “Trump is a Fascist – Stop Fascism.” Others were there to stop organ harvesting in China, which was more of a petition than a protest.
As the event drew closer to starting, the protesters began to take over 13th Avenue and began to test the wits of rally-goers. The protesters eventually rivaled the amount of supporters arriving at the last moments before the rally began. Things became tense with at least one scuffle caught on camera; however, no arrests were made.
As soon as rally-goers could, they lined up to hear the business mogul/entertainer speak. The line stretched across the multi-acre parking. As Donald would put it – as he often adds during any given speech – “The line was so long, you wouldn’t believe how long that line was, it was so long, it was longer than the Great Wall of China and I beat China all of the time.”
While standing in line, people were treated to political chants blaring from the megaphone of vendors selling hats and buttons. Other vendors lined the path to the event. Some of the items being sold were pretty high quality; others contained expletives aimed at one opponent or another using poor quality images.
All around, throngs of Secret Service scoured the event for infidels who may penetrate the rally. From the rooftops to the floor of the rally, Trump was well guarded. At the entrance, Secret Service performed a search of people’s possessions. In the box of confiscated items was a marijuana pipe. Perhaps the Secret Service should have expected these, after all, this is Oregon.
After standing in the line to get in, many headed for another line. Famished and hot, some people headed straight to the concession stands for dinner and refreshments, others poured into the hall to grab their spot to see Trump speak.
While awaiting the magnanimous candidate’s arrival, a few announcements broke up the music playing in the background – which mostly consisted of the Rolling Stones and Elton John. The first announcement appeared to offer a disclaimer clarifying that protesters may interrupt the event. Later, a prayer session offered a blessing for the protesters exercising their constitutional right to protest.
As per America, there was the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the National Anthem, sung by a 13-year old Lane County girl who started singing only to stop and ask everyone to join her (including a couple and their pitbull dog who had made their way into the event).
Fashionably late, the sound system began to blast “Get Ready for This” by the Dutch group 2 Unlimited signifying the show had begun.
Trump began his speech complimenting retired basketball coach Bobby Knight and the people of Indiana . . . . for some unknown reason as it had no connection to Oregon. Then Trump continued on for about four minutes before explaining why he decided to run for president: the Iran deal, Isis, and “the worst trade deals the dumbest people are making.”
About a minute after that, Trump pointed out what he thought were protesters at the side off to his left. No voice had been raised in protest, however, just supporters. Then he proceeded down a rabbit hole about not using a Teleprompter during his rant against the media.
Following that rant, he showed he was speaking off the cuff with only some sheets of paper that were statistics about “how we’re doing in Oreegone.” His mispronunciation of our state name offended a few, and some people tried to correct him. Others started chanting “U.S.A.” over and over about six times, drowning out the correctors.
It didn’t take long for him to – once again — mispronounce Oregon before beginning a charge against “Crooked Hillary” who “has a goofy friend who’s a goofus named Elizabeth Warren.” After another three minutes or so, he built up to what he was talking about: he thinks Hillary should run with “goofy Elizabeth Warren.”
Other points he made throughout his speech were how well fed the attendees looked. Trump also claimed he was going to restore the logging industry after pointing out the large percent of Oregon mills that have been closed down over the recent years.
If you have watched Trump speak on TV for more than five minutes, he said all of that in 45 minutes during the Eugene event. People began to leave before his speech ended. Those who were hot and tired after spending an hour standing in line were only confronted by another line as traffic was being routed around due to 13th Avenue being closed off. The real reason for the line? Everyone had to wait in order to escort Trump out first before clogging the only way out at this point.