What I Learned Standing In Line at a Trump Rally
Alex Boggs, Staff Writer
Early Sunday morning, I found myself running through my house, throwing on jeans and my Trump shirt, donning my red “Make America Great Again” hat, and trying desperately to find my earbuds. I was going to President Trump’s rally for Marsha Blackburn. At this time, I was excited for the rally, but hesitant about waiting in line from seven in the morning to two in the afternoon. Looking back on it, I am glad I waited in that line because it taught me numerous life lessons.
Dedication is always worth it
As we walked up to the barricades to get in line, I was amazed at the crowd that was already there. This crowd had at least a hundred people. The best part was that they were all excited and happy. I expected them to be bored and annoyed at their wait, but they were anything but.
As we finally got our place in line, I felt the energy flowing through me. These people impacted everyone around them. We couldn’t help but smile, even though we were yawning and freezing. This experience taught me that being dedicated to something, even if it is hard or painful, is beneficial and will make you and others around you happy and refreshed.
Caring does mean sharing
As the hours rolled by, we were all cold and hungry. This group of people in front of us consisted of a kind blonde woman and her sarcastic yet funny husband. All of a sudden they had two boxes of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and a dozen doughnuts. I was sitting there on the cold asphalt and thinking that even though I hate plain coffee, I sure bet it would be warm.
After they poured themselves a cup of coffee, they began asking if anyone else wanted a cup. I was confused. I didn’t understand why they wanted to share. We all had to stay all day, so why wouldn’t they want to keep their coffee? At first no one said they wanted any. The blonde woman began walking around the line, starting conversations with us, and then asking if we wanted any coffee. At least thirty people came and got coffee. And every time someone finished pouring a cup, the blonde woman would ask again if anyone wanted coffee, or if anyone wanted a refill. Many more people came and got coffee. I felt like I was watching a modern version of the feeding the five thousand miracle, because that coffee never ran out.
This caring blonde woman shared her coffee with almost everyone in our section. She had no need to do this. None of us expected her to share either. I was flabbergasted that she would share with so many people. But she did. She showed an overflowing kindness that filled more than a coffee cup. I was warmed by her kindness and compassion, and she proved to me the meaning and impact of caring.
Perseverance is key
The longer we sat on the freezing asphalt, I began to question why I was really there. It hit me that I was just sitting, wasting time, just to see someone speak. I truly began to wonder if it was worth it. Eventually at one point, I desperately wanted to go home. I was over the cold and wind, the constant shuffling from one foot to another, and the occasional shove from the inpatient elderly woman behind me. I just wanted to go home.
But I did not. I stayed and that made all the difference. As soon as Trump showed up, I knew that it was worth it. Not only did I get to see Trump, but I learned the power of perseverance. I learned that waiting for what I wanted is worth it. Even though I about froze, it was worth it and I understood the meaning of perseverance better than ever before.
The Secret Service are people too…and nice ones at that
As the hours rolled closer and closer to two o’clock, the security became tighter and tighter. At the beginning of the morning, the line was very relaxed. You could get in and out of it to use the restroom or get some food or just about anything. Everyone was very nice about letting you get your spot back. But when it hit about noon, a shirt occured. The gates which were almost always open began to be shut. The line become tighter and us more shoved together. And, more official looking people began coming out of the arena and standing a few feet in front of the line.
Just after noon, a rumor began spreading through the line that purses and bags were not going to be allowed in the arena. This did not set well with my family, who each had one back, except for myself. We were all beginning to slowly panic, because we were upset that after we stood in line so long, we might not get in because of a bag. We did not believe the rumor, so when we saw the first official looking man come near us, we asked.
Our target was a middle aged bald man wearing a black suit and listening to an earpiece. We thought he might be secret service, but we weren’t sure. We just knew that he looked official and like he would have answers. We asked him about the rumor. He said that even though he was secret service, the rules really just depended on the venue. The “official” answer was no, but normally they let you in.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I would never have imagined a secret service agent first off stopping to speak to the crowd, but especially not giving an “official” and “unofficial” answer. I thought the Secret Service was all work and no play. But here was an agent being completely honest and telling us like it was.
He even stood there and joked with us for a while. This man was supposed to be protecting the President of the United States against crowds, and here he was being kind and funny to people in those crowds. As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen a Secret Service Agent even crack a smile. They are always so stoic looking standing between you and the President, looking as if they believed anyone at any moment could become a threat. It was so mind blowing to be standing around joking with one. I’ve never considered Secret Service Agents as individuals, but let me tell you, they are really humorous and down to Earth.
All in all, going to the rally was definitely worth it. I enjoyed seeing President Trump, but I also enjoyed the lessons learned from just standing in the line. The experience was truly amazing. Standing in a line for numerous hours can teach almost everyone something, so go find your line.