After attending the Donald J. Trump rally in Indianapolis, one thing is clear to me – too high of a percentage of the American public does not know how to speak to one another and debate ideas in an intelligent manner. I know, I know - shocking revelation. Hard to believe as I’m sure we’ve all changed our strongly held beliefs when someone on Facebook, Twitter, or in person has called us names, used profanity, and my favorite – commented with ALL CAPS followed by copious exclamation points!!! At this point, please insert sarcasm.
After spending a few hours at the rally wandering around beforehand as well as after, my observations of the most ineffective forms of communication fall into the below 3 categories:
- Drunk In Love. Excuse the reference to Beyonce, but apparently it’s not just her and Jay-Z that feel this way. Every rally and protest I’ve attended while living out in DC, along with the Trump rally, always yield the handful of protestors who are inebriated, totally high (not on life), and completely in love with their own illogical thoughts. Case in point, the small band of protestors that ran around in circles letting me know that they spotted Trump “smoking a big fattie around the corner”. They did not convince me. Primarily because they were high as kites but also because I believe Trump is beyond his “fattie” stage.
- Emotional Vomit. Whether you are African-American or Caucasian…heterosexual or homosexual…young or old…there’s nothing better than getting your point across with an emotional outburst. I immediately began holding a “#BlackLivesMatters” sign the moment I had someone angrily yell at me while leaving the rally. And you illustrate how non-racist you are by making assumptions about others while yelling at them. Just saying.
- Old School Yelling & Booing. I walked around the Trump rally and checked it out from all sides. There were about 4,000-5,000 people from my estimate. I saw just about every demographic including an Amish man taking copious notes while Trump was speaking/yelling. About every 7 minutes I’d see the same exact occurrence – a small group of people using their cell phones to capture 1-3 people getting calmly escorted out of the event by 2 security staff and 1 Trump staff member, while Trump was yelling “Get ‘em outta here!” As I was very close by one of the protestors getting thrown out, I can assure you that only the 20 nearest people could hear the protestor and I don’t believe any of them were going to change their vote from Trump to Bernie or Hillary. Likewise, Trump’s loud, boisterous speech that droned on for an hour probably didn’t sway most protesters in the crowd. And I have to wonder - perhaps those who yell to get their point across, were not hugged enough by their mothers as children. Offer them a hug.
For those of you still thinking yelling, emotional outbursts, and getting high will support your cause, check out footage from the 1960s of sit-ins, marches, and peaceful gatherings that supported the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement. They look starkly different from our protests today and they achieved far-reaching results. Then take a moment to check out the Presidential primary debates of the 1980s. To say they are starkly different than what we see today would be a gross understatement that only those high on pot or believing things can actually be free might miss.
Let me end with this. I was fortunate enough to be standing in front of 3 teenagers that drove up from Terre Haute to check out Trump. We talked for a bit and I learned this was going to be their first presidential election to be able to vote in and they wanted to get more educated on their options. They were pretty quiet and wide eyed especially when a fairly well dressed man who was most likely in his 40s or 50s started booing loudly and ended up getting escorted out by security. Watching this full grown adult act like a fool in front of these well behaved teenagers, reminded me that “stupid is as stupid does” (please reference above 3 forms of communication). And as Trump would say “Don’t be stupid.”