They lined up in droves.
Young people, older people all braved the beautiful March weather to see the Donald as he continues his presidential campaign.
While many were wondering how Trump would be received at the Tampa Convention Center, especially after the controversial aborted rally in Chicago, supporters and protestors alike lined up to show their support for and against the presidential candidate.
The reasons given varied, some wanted to experience their first political experience to wanting to show their support for their candidate who they believe who should be the next president.
“Well I thought it would be interesting experience to come and see a political candidate,” one person said while waiting in line. “I’m old enough to vote but I just haven’t thought about it.”
While that person may have not thought about who they are going to vote for, there were plenty decked out in “Make America Great” swag who wanted to get their candidate’s message across. Of course, there was a bit of confusion as to what Donald Trump’s message and campaign actually is, well, it tended to vary a lot and many supporters were a bit vague on the subject. Some said it involved his controversial immigration policies while others gave more puzzling reasons.
“He’s going to shake things up,” another supporter said. However, when asked on what specific policies, he couldn’t really clarify what policies he wants Trump to change. “Nothing specific, but he’s got the top three or four buttons pushed.” The person couldn’t clarify what those top three or four buttons were.
Down the line, the masses each had something different to say on why they were going to vote for the businessman who the GOP establishment is starting to feel threatened by as it worries about his policies. One supporter said that “you can’t stump the Trump” as he donned a Trump toque. He and his group of friends traveled from Melbourne in order to see the former Apprentice super star.
Now, the GOP establishment is trying to do everything they can to “stump the Trump.” However, Trump may want to expand on his policies as it seems his supporters were more stumped by his policies, which they could only discuss in vague terms. Some of them included the controversial immigration policy with neighboring Mexico and building a wall.
“We need someone who is going to come in and rebuild our country again,” another supporter who was wearing a military outfit said. “We have 11 million illegals in this country and we don’t know how many soldiers we have here. Mr. Trump is the primer and he is going to start it. We are only speaking the truth. ”
Per Politifact, a fact-checking site, says that roughly 11.1 million immigrants exist, which isn’t the problem. The real problem is that Donald Trump has gone on record to say that there are more illegal immigrants than what’s been reported by the Department of Homeland Security, which is not the case.
“I don’t think the 11 million — which is a number you have been hearing for many many years, I’ve been hearing that number for five years — I don’t think that is an accurate number anymore,” Trump said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on July 24. “I am now hearing it’s 30 million, it could be 34 million, which is a much bigger problem.”
This inaccuracy didn’t deter his enthusiastic followers. There were some who felt Trump, regardless of how incorrect he might be on certain facts and policies, had the intangibles to succeed.
“Well, the most important thing from my perspective is that it’s less about policy although policy is important,” another supporter said. “He’s saying things that other candidates can’t say because they are beholden by companies who pay them to say the things that they say. [Trump] doesn’t have to worry about that because he uses his own money to put it on the line.”
With someone as controversial as Donald Trump, there’s bound to be a difference of opinion. There were some who disagree vehemently with the controversial candidate. Whether it’s due to his bullish behavior or how he seems to present his immigration policies, there are some who don’t agree with him at all–they decided to publicly share this.
“I was a Ferguson protestor. I just moved down and I couldn’t stand by and not do anything,” a protestor supporting Native American rights said. “Aside from his blatant racism, there’s several reasons as to why we don’t want to see him in office.”
It wasn’t Chicago and it wasn’t Cleveland but the same spirit of discord was at the Tampa Bay Convention. It was just a group of people wanting to express their First Amendment right–even if someone of them didn’t know what their candidate was campaigning.
One could say, they were “stumped by the Trump” and they just don’t know it yet.
photos courtesy of Desiree Smith, SIU student