Ruta Smith

President Donald Trump visited North Charleston Coliseum for a political rally last Friday, a day before the South Carolina Democratic primary. The following is a non-scientific, completely random selection of observations from inside and outside the event.

  • A woman who, in reference to the rally's time and place on a somewhat cold and windy day in line outside the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, said, "It doesn't get any better than this."
  • One man who bought a button that said, "Trump 2020 Fuck Your Feelings," which he laughed about while showing a young boy. The same man later got very offended when someone he didn't know didn't bow their head during a prayer led over the loudspeaker.
  • A younger man, who in conversation with another, said, "Trump has given us the respect we deserve on a global platform."
  • A disgruntled woman who compared the line to get into the Coliseum to a security checkpoint at the airport.
  • A 10-year-old boy, being told by armed security officers that he can't wear his Spiderman backpack into the event while an intercom reminds people, "This is the land of the free."
  • A speaker on a stage outside pumping up the crowd with, "We like it, we love it, we want some more of it," referring to Trump's presidency. (Almost as bad as Hillary Clinton's "Pokemon Go … to the polls!" flub in 2016. Almost.)
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  • A speaker who said, "There is no greater place to be than right here when Donald Trump is among us."
  • A vendor selling $11 Cuban sandwiches with no sense of irony whatsoever. (Pretty good sandwich, FYI.)
  • A couple slow dancing to Frank Sinatra's "My Way" as it played overhead, competing with loud recordings of Trump's previous rallies and speeches. No commentary here really, they were pretty sweet.
  • One woman who believes that guns should have zero restrictions or regulations. However, she did say she understands why she isn't allowed to bring her AR-15 into the Coliseum during the rally.
  • Another man who believes he absolutely should be allowed to bring his AR-15 into the rally, and that President Trump would actually welcome it happily. It's because of liberals, the man said, that he isn't allowed to bring his guns inside.
  • A man who refused to talk to me in the slightest until I bought and wore a MAGA hat from him.
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  • A young woman drinking from a reusable Starbucks cup adorned with snowflakes.
  • A man who was selling hats alone at the back entrance of the rally. Honestly, good business move. He was making a killing.
  • Not a person, but an AARP-branded sign, which read "Stop Greed," planted in the ground next to a "Trump 2020" sign. No sense of irony here either.
  • An older gentleman who believes that Trump has already made America great, because he has brought people of all ethnicities together in harmony.
  • A TV reporter desperately trying to get people to talk to him on camera, only to be met with choruses of "Fake news!"
  • An man from Ukraine who had no idea there was a rally going on as he picked up rides for Uber and Lyft as a way to help him learn English.


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