What It’s Like At A Trump Rally

Tonight, much of our attention will be on President Trump’s rally in Tulsa. Tension has been building for weeks, as the rally was originally scheduled on Juneteenth in the city where Black Wall Street took place. Not a good look. Was it planned this way on purpose? Or a mere coincidence? We may never know but thankfully, the date was changed to Saturday. In addition to the issue with the date of the rally, it’s important to remember we are still in a pandemic! Many states are just now seeing their highest daily counts for coronavirus cases, and this rally that’s being held indoors without social distancing with participants who refuse to wear masks coming in from all over the country to this, already, COVID hotspot is very likely to case more problems.

With so much focus on tonight’s rally, many people are wondering: what is it like inside one of these? Well, I’ve been there and the experience felt very cult-like. I was sent as a part of Mojo In The Morning, the Detroit radio show I was a featured player on at the time, and didn’t go as an official part of the media. I can’t recall what the big incident was around this time (March 2016) but it was when Trump was just starting to really focus on his point of the media being the enemy of the people. Several times throughout the evening Trump would later point out the media section in the back calling them “losers” and telling them how awful they are. The crowd would follow his lead and boo. That’s one of the things that really stands out looking back on the rally in 2016. These people were Loyal to their candidate. A theme that would continue for the next four years. I wasn’t really known on the show at the time, so I was able to go unrecognized at the rally. To note, I was also given a ridiculous Trump-insipired orange spray tan and Halloween wig and suit with a red tie and red Make Mojo Great Again hat. Before arriving I expected the crowd to take offense to the look as it was clearly over the top and mocking. However, they didn’t. They loved the get up. I took pictures with people and was treated like a VIP, even being invited to stand in the rafters directly behind Trump, where he would be giving his speech.

The crowd was more diverse than I had imagined. Mostly white, blue collar folk. But more diversity than I expected. A bulk of the crowd seemed to be made up of Young Republicans. High school aged kids with their red hats on and varsity jackets. I mingled with the crowd while we waited for the speeches and rally to start. I knew better than to introduce myself as media or from a radio show as that would clearly identify me as an enemy of the people. I chatted with people pretending to be a die hard fan, myself, so I could record some audio and get their thoughts on things. As a bit, I made up proposals that Candidate Trump wanted to accomplish if elected. Bogus, crazy proposals that nobody could believe. But they did. Listen on the SoundCloud link below.

Intern Jack Black (me) at the Trump Rally

While the crowd waited for Candidate Trump to come out music played over the loud speaker but it was tough to hear because the entire crowd was chanting “Built The Wall! Build The Wall! Build The Wall!” I felt like I was at church. That eery feeling when everyone is chanting in the same tone, lifeless, and robotic. They were all-in. We waited and waited as the chants continued. Maybe a lock her up thrown in there here and there as a curve ball. Candidate Trump was at least 30 minutes late. Then it happened. He walked out and the crowd erupted and out of the speakers they loudly played…Uptown Girl? That’s one of the main things I recall about that rally. Trump walked out to Uptown Girl. Surely, that couldn’t have been planned and was a result of him running late, but it stands out to me. Those around me didn’t find it as amusing when I pointed it out. It wasn’t long before he had his first person booted from the rally. Then another. A third shortly after. Is this my fate? Is there something I could yell? Is that what Mojo and crew are expecting me to do? No. I couldn’t get kicked out. I have perfect location directly behind Trump. Anybody looking at him sees me. Dressed as him. So, I started doing all the wild hand gestures he was doing. Mimicking him. I got some looks but the people never seemed to mind. This grew old after a little bit, so I took it further. I slowly started removing my suit. Layer by layer until I was standing behind him wearing nothing but my underwear, a blonde wig, and a red Make Mojo Great Again Hat. The entire crowd watching him, now saw me. It got noticed online and on the TV as it was being broadcast. I also noticed I now had the attention of two Secret Service agents at the end of our row. They were locked onto me. It became clear that they were waiting for me to streak. Ah streak! That’s what I could do! But, I didn’t want to get roughed up. So I stayed behind just stretching and mimicking him, nearly naked.

This was my experience in 2016. I am not in Tulsa. Thankfully. Be safe and careful out there and for the love of science please wear a mask.

Mingling with supporters at a Trump Rally in 2016