I don't get political on the blog or on any social media for that matter. I don't plan to start now ;) I agree with people who say we should be informed about our candidates and that we should vote. However, I don't agree that you HAVE to vote. If you vote and don't have any knowledge behind that vote then what's the point? I did not personally vote in the primaries. I get a lot of bad looks when I say that but I don't mind saying it! I tried REALLY hard to learn about the candidates but oh my goodness it's practically impossible! The way our media is it's really difficult to get any sort of unbiased information about anything, let alone about Presidential candidates (and, let's be real, especially Republican ones!). Typically I know enough to have a good feeling about someone or to feel like my vote would matter but in this case I just didn't. I think I'm with a lot of other people who just kinda get icky feelings about practically everyone running haha.
All of that being said, in the weeks leading up to the Georgia primaries Donald Trump visited our town. I saw it announced on Facebook and joked to Zach that we should go and I was SHOCKED at how crunk he got about it! His mom said she can't remember the last time a potential presidential candidate came to our town. Zach very, very rarely is the one who initiates making plans. Usually I come up with an idea of an activity and he jumps on board. It was neat to see the tables turned! He was the one who really wanted to go and it made ME so happy to attend something with him where I knew he really wanted to be there. I'm SO glad we went and it really was an awesome experience. Neither of us have ever attended any sort of political rally and how cool that it was at our college!
I'm not saying we are some Trump supporters (I'm also not saying we aren't haha), however we did used to love some Celebrity Apprentice and that alone was reason enough for me to be excited to attend ;) It was straight up CRAZY to me how people lashed out at others in our town when this all went down. When I posted a pic of us from the night? I didn't put that we were at the rally b/c I didn't want a bunch of crap from people. I was so disappointed to see so many fellow Christians putting down others belief systems for attending the rally. Yes I love Jesus. And I also think it's just fine to go see a potential presidential candidate speak. Over the years we've gotten to see many people speak, thanks to Aflac. We don't always agree with all of their political views but we enjoy the experience and it's really interesting to hear someone who is a public figure. I was PUMPED to see Bill Clinton a few years ago and man did he disappoint! I'd always hear how charismatic he was and instead he was just rambling on and on randomly (You can read more about that experience here!). Trump def didn't let us down...he was exactly as we expected him to be!
The day of the rally was a bit insane. We had tickets but I kept seeing on Facebook that morning that people were already lined up and that we should arrive EARLY. It was supposed to start until 6 but we decided to make sure we got there at 4. The traffic was nuts and we stood in line FOREVER once we got there!
Right off the bat it was entertaining! This man met us at the street corner and was loud and proud about his love for Trump. He started talking loudly about how Trump went to Iraq and got all their money and brought it back to the US for us so we should vote for him?!?! Haha! Here's a video of him, and no he didn't mind us filming (I kinda think that was part of his goal...) Sidenote but you're welcome for providing that "woo" at the end haha
As we were in line waiting to get in there was some awesome stuff for sale. One guy was selling Trump Condoms. No joke!
Love The Donald one ;)
Of course lots of news media outlets were also there...
...it was interesting to watch them choose people to interview. Not shockingly they picked the kid wearing American flag shorts!
I am a pretty anxious person when it comes to safety but I felt fine attending this rally. Our town was an odd choice though. We've had a LOT of racial issues regarding the death of a high school student a few years ago (he fell into a gym mat and died and there has been MASSIVE scandal stuff related to it) as well as political issues with the more recent news story of the college student walking on the American Flag on campus. So glad Valdosta is on the map for such positivity (sarcasm). There was a VERY large police presence at the event as well as a good handful of secret service. We also had to go through bag check!
We kept joking about Trump's private plane being able to land on our tiny runway ;) But he made it happen!
I wish I'd known about this in advance as I would have loved to have taken the kids to the airport to see it! We love some airplane watching :)
Still 90 min till it started and we had to get seats pretty high up!
Casey wants it to be known that she was only attending for the experience ;)
I blame Keeli for making me miss the biggest drama of the night when we took our potty break haha!
Love these girls!
Our stadium can fit around 8,000 and supposedly there was like another 5,000 outside that couldn't get in. Both Jordan and Daryl were turned away at the door!
Bryce attends our church and is such an example of what I hope Kye becomes one day! He's the REAL DEAL and I want to get notes from his mama on how she's made that happen ;)
Prior to the rally starting Keeli and I went to the bathroom and Zach and Casey kept our seats. A rather large group of students came up the stairs right in front of where we were sitting wearing all black and had their fists raised in the air as part of the black panther/black lives matter movement. Several of them were cursing loudly and being disruptive and the group tried to go in an area where they weren't supposed to go. They were asked to leave and escorted out. Zach said it was insane to see how fast all of their phones came out and started recording when the police officer came over. I hate that it's the time we live in where cops have to wear their own video recording devices to prove they are doing noble work.
Of course THIS made NATIONAL news. Our town can't catch a dang break. The students claimed to be mistreated and that Trump is racist. TONS of articles popped up in the days following the rally. I checked out the Twitter account of the kid who posted most of the videos and I really can't believe people buy into all of what he's saying. It's pretty obvious, from the videos he's posted, that attention was what was being sought and it's what they got! I'm def not saying that nothing racist ever occurs here. I think it happens often, and I've witnessed it firsthand many times myself, but not everything is about race all the time. Even in the south!
This article also floated around my social media and it really got under my skin. I'm sorry but there were people of ALL colors attending that rally and I heard nothing hateful about anyone from anyone. Other than the typical Trump comments regarding other candidates, of course. I just hate that our town gets a bad reputation over and over again, often for unjustified reasons. I think you know when a place is your home the minute you feel the need to defend it huh? ;)
Anyways...once the rally got going it was quite the experience. During the "pre game show" some people came out and told their stories. A farmer who talked about how Trump helped save his farm, a preacher who prayed THE most political prayer I've ever heard. The prayer clearly had "talking points" and mentioned things that would appeal to Southerns. Zach and I wondered if the preacher traveled with Trump and prayed at all rallies or if that was only a thing reserved for the Bible Belt ;)
I don't think anyone left the rally changing their minds about Trump one way or another. He didn't go into a lot of details on anything...it was more of a "get pumped up" type of thing which we expected. The goal was to get people to go out and vote more than anything else! When he spoke he didn't have a teleprompter or any sort of script which was kinda cool to see. He also appeared to have some talking points aimed at the people in our region. Lots on religious rights, guns, and of course "the wall."
The funniest thing to us was how often he mentioned Nascar. Just because we live in the south doesn't mean we all love Nascar and flashing some supposed famous race car drivers on stage isn't going to make me want to vote for you more (although apparently it did have an affect on many locals as I heard several people say they wished they had gone to the rally once they heard the race car drivers were there!). He REALLY drove the Nascar point home and maybe it was a smart move on his part, even though it didn't appeal to us personally! If you want to see more about the Nascar stuff you can do so here (the drivers that were in attendance were Bill Elliot, Brian France, Chase Elliot, Ryan Newman, and David Ragen...the only name I'm familiar with is Bill Elliot?)
It was really more appealing to us that his son, Don Jr, was there. Again, we watched Celebrity Apprentice a good bit and knew his son from that show. Not that he's some big celebrity or something but it was neat to see him and hear him speak some as well!
The crowd was also what you'd expect at that type of event. As mentioned earlier I didn't hear ANYTHING racist from anyone in the crowd. No name calling or ugly words or anything of the sort. I did hear lots of "amens" (heck, I may have tossed one out there myself haha) in regards to Trump's discussion on religious freedoms. There were several people with signs. Several young kids there. Lots of college age kids (which did surprise me) and lots of much, much older people too (the ones near us got upset before the rally even started b/c we were talking but by the end of the rally they liked us and we helped them figure out how to work their smart phone cameras). We met people who drove up from Florida for the event and also saw tons of locals we know. I'm sure a LOT of the people there were there for the experience just as I'm sure many were also die-hard Trump supporters. It was a good mix of everyone and there were no issues at all other than the removal of the group before the rally (which really no one even noticed unless they happened to be sitting in the same section as we were) and one individual during the rally. I couldn't hear what he was yelling but he tore a Trump sign in half and made a slight scene and was removed.
I'm SO glad we went. It was SUCH a neat thing to see and to have a better understanding of how political rallies operate. I'm sure any candidate for a political office would have something similar at their rally. It was a GREAT event for our community as it brought a lot of business to our area. While I hate we got the negative attention afterwards, it's still neat to say that Donald Trump spoke at our school stadium :) Heck, we may be saying a president spoke here!
Zach and I both really had a great time. It was hilarious to listen to how it all worked and Trump was nothing short of his entertaining self!
A kid dressed up as Trump...hilarious
We noticed they made the clock read "2016" but we weren't sure of why the 76?
Don Jr in the back
Gotta love the "Build Wall" sign. I should have busted out my old football signs to bring haha
Casey was LOVING it. Clearly ;)
I stole this from my friend, Brooke's, page on FB. She works at our local radio station (she's the lunch date diva if you ever tune into Hot 102.7!) and Sean Hannity hosted his show from Valdosta that day! I wish we'd known that in advance as we would have tried to go!
The whole thing was over WAY quicker than we'd thought! We decided to make a mini-date out of it and grab a quick dinner because Mrs. Char was at our house putting the kids down and if we went straight home all we would have done was mess up their bedtime routine! We love a good excuse for a date and, hello, any time for Moe's is okay by me!
It was neat to see some pics from the event on Trump's twitter as well as some pics in our local paper the following day!
I took several videos as well:
- When he first came out
- Nascar guys
- Trump talking about winning
- Talking about the wall and the story about the Pope
- Donald Jr
Love him or hate him I'm glad he came through Valdosta and I thank him for hosting a fun night for us!