Donald Trump Gives Hope to Angry People in Tyngsborough
They came by the thousands to Tyngsborough Elementary School to see the billionaire real estate developer turned Republican presidential candidate.
They stood in a meticulously organized crowd control area, waiting to be herded into a gymnasium and overflow rooms to see Donald Trump put on a show that gave voice to their angers, fears, and most importantly, their hopes.
Many in the chattering classes cheekishly mock Trump’s “Make America Great Again!” campaign slogan but to the people packed inside this elementary school gymnasium, it’s no joke. The dozens of people wearing Trump’s now iconic red hat are not ironic Somerville hipsters, they’re deeply worried working class people from outside Route 128 who genuinely believe the slogan embroidered on their heads. Their concerns about the state of the nation makes what Trump says and, more importantly, how he says it, the Tylenol to their anger induced headache.
Trump supporters told Boston with deep sincerity they believe President Trump will “Make America Great Again!” and save the country. Trump taps into a deep sense of nostalgia held by many of the Tyngsborough rally attendees. They express a form of grievance politics commonly found in forwarded chain emails you receive from an older relative. They yearn, misty eyed, for the “good ‘ol days” of the 1980s and 1990s when, they say, America was strong and our political leaders had backbone. One attendee who declined to give her name suggested the political class in America has grown out of touch with the needs of everyday working people in a Hunger Games like fashion where everything flows to the Beltway.
“He’s not a politician. He’s authentic, real,” said Todd Bried, 45, of Revere.
Bried, joined by two friends, including Lola Chadwick, 42, of Nashua, New Hampshire, said they plan on voting for Trump because “he says it the way it is.
“He does not back down if someone goes after him,” said Chadwick.
Trump’s brashness and total rejection of political correctness endears him even more to the disaffected “silent majority” in attendance in Tyngsborough.
“I love that he says want he wants to say. He’s like one of us, he’s real,” said Susan Mooney, 62, of Brighton.
Trump’s “backbone” was on full display last night during his hour long speech that bordered sometimes between an unnecessarily long improv stand up routine, a Rush Limbaugh rant about the liberal media, and an early 90s Ross Perot anti-NAFTA seminar. Oh, and by the way, Perot won Tyngsborough by six votes in 1992.
Near the end of his meandering stemwinder, Trump blasted the media one last time and pointed at the press riser where two-dozen media members were gathered.
“You’re dishonest! You’re bad people!”
Trump then proceeded to goad his adoring crowd into joining him and mocking the press.
All of this made for great grievance politics masquerading as entertainment but behind the scenes of the the made-for-television spectacle, a real authentic campaign and political movement is growing.
It may not have perfectly formed edges or ideology, but roughly defined outrage at the status quo is a great unifier. Everyone in attendance had to register online and provide very crucial contact information to the campaign. Upon arrival they checked in with an army of campaign volunteers and met with other potential Trump voters, many political neophytes. Upon their departure, nobody appeared to leave empty handed as hundreds of people carried signs, bumper stickers, and other Trump campaign swag.
There is a method to the madness of Trump’s bombastic rally model because it has allowed him to quietly build a database of potential voters and volunteers in crucial early primary states. It will only be a matter of time now before his campaign reaches out to the rally’s attendees and asks them to make phone calls for him.
The Trump phenomenon appeared at first to be a traveling political reality show that was destined to fly off the side of the road and crash to earth in a magical ball of fire but something real is happening now. This is no longer just a gathering of angry people listening to some man shout for an hour about how immigrants are taking their jobs and free trade has destroyed the American economy.
Trump and the angry people backing him are no joke, they’re real.