STEVE MOSHER writes for LifeSiteNews — There are some American conservatives who despise Trump and would only begrudgingly vote for him as little better than having a Democrat in power.
Take Trump critic extraordinaire Rod Dreher, for instance. He is terribly upset by what goes on at Trump rallies. “Trump is summoning demons,” he solemnly intones in a piece published last year.
As a metaphor for evil, “demons” is about as dark as it gets. It conjures up images of witches and warlocks, Black Masses and demonic possession, and heads that spin 360 degrees without somehow ripping themselves from their bodies.
What sort of evil ritual or incantation does Trump use at his rallies to summons demons, you ask. Were chickens sacrificed and their bloody entrails flung out over the swaying, chanting masses? Did Trump perhaps lead the assembled thousands in reciting the Humanist Manifesto?
No, Trump did none of these things. Rather he took Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and the other members of “The Squad” to task for opposing his America First immigration policies.
Omar, you will recall, is the infamous Somali-American politico suspected of committing immigration fraud by marrying her brother. Among other things.
At the sound of Omar’s name “the mob”—as Dreher referred to the assembled tens of thousands of ordinary Americans,–started chanting “Send her back! Send her back!”
Trump’s rhetoric had, in Dreher’s view, cast an evil spell on the audience. And he, for one, could not contain his outrage.
“Where does [Trump] think this is all going to go?” Dreher asked rhetorically. “This is horrifying. Republican members of Congress need to stand up right now and say that this is unacceptable behavior in a president, whipping up a mob like this.”
Doubling down, Dreher then went on to claim that all Trump rallies were coming to resemble the “Two Minutes of Hate” that George Orwell described in 1984:
The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretense was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledgehammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.
Now the innocent reader might imagine that Dreher has witnessed this hate-filled “ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness” up close and personal. He certainly writes as if he had experienced the hate firsthand, and was profoundly shocked to see the bodies of those standing closest to him began to shake with uncontrolled fury as their eyes rolled up in their heads.
But if you thought that he was writing an eyewitness account, you would be wrong. It seems that Dreher has never actually attended a Trump rally. Rather, he has formed his low opinion of them from the safety of his living room couch.
Anyone who has actually been present at even one Trump rally knows that the primary emotion displayed by the attendees is an overwhelming love for their country, their families and their fellow man—and for the man who is standing up for them and their values at great personal cost.
This is even more surprising because, in order to attend a rally, you have to stand in line for up to eight hours and then, after you file into the auditorium, you have to wait for another couple of hours for the Big Man himself to appear. Long lines are generally the enemy of amity. After all, there are precious few smiles on the faces of those waiting in Venezuelan breadlines.
Yet smiles there are in abundance in the lines of those waiting to attend a Trump rally. Everyone is friendly almost to a fault, eager to meet and greet those around them. Perfect strangers walk up to you, compliment you on your MAGA gear, and start conversations about their favorite Trump policy.
I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m not an introvert, but after a while, the bonhomie is almost too much to bear. If these people are possessed by anything, it is by love for their fellow man.
Someone might object that, even if the rallies begin well, they must end badly. After all, once the orange man begins spewing his hate, the audience becomes a howling mob—or so some may imagine.
Do the attendees, whipped up to a frenzy by Trump’s rhetoric, attack the press gaggle filming from a cordoned off area in the back of the stadium? Do they run out of the stadium to brutally confront the counter-demonstrators who haunt Trump rallies, beating them to a bloody pulp? Do they get in their cars, pull out their concealed carries, and go hunt down illegal immigrants?
No. They do none of these things.
After listening to the president, these ordinary, decent Americans are in even better humor than when they arrived. They shake hands with their new friends, pick up any trash they might have dropped, and file out of the stadium in good order. They drive straight home—it’s been a long day—but they go to bed happy.
They had come to see their champion and he had not disappointed them.
Now I get that some conservatives really, really, really don’t like President Trump. And they clearly don’t like his rhetoric, his mannerisms, and his public-speaking style.
Dreher has even gone as far as comparing Trump to China’s Communist dictator who is responsible for the persecution of millions of Catholic, Christians, Uyghurs, Tibetans, political dissidents—not to mention a coronavirus epidemic, stating: “I put about as much stock in [Trump’s] word as I do Xi Jinping’s.” John Zmirak, senior editor at The Stream, has roundly criticized Dreher for his “sloppy reading” of Trump and his supporters.
Well over half of Americans, including the vast majority of Christians, will find such sentiments repugnant. They like President Trump’s plainspokenness, and they like even more what he has done for our country, and for its people, these past four years. That’s why the energy in his rallies is electric, not evil.
Millions of Americans come to Trump’s rallies not so much to hear what he has to say—after all, he’s been saying the same things for four years now—but simply to hear him say it. They know that—unlike nearly every other political figure they have known in their lifetime—he really means it. Three years of promises kept are a testament to this.
They come to his rallies out of respect for the man who has stood up for Main Street and who, belying all the experts, has brought back industry and jobs to forgotten parts of the country.
They come to his rallies as well out of admiration for his courage and stamina. Few men could have taken the beating that Trump has endured over the past four years from the self-interested power centers of this country—the media, Wall Street, and Washington—and still be standing.
Lastly, they come to his rallies because they know that the job of draining the swamp is far from finished. They are there to encourage him to carry on bravely as he fights for their country, their future, and their children’s future. They know that if he goes down, they all go down.
In short, they come to the rallies out of hope, not hate: hope that America’s best days are still ahead of it; hope that their children will enjoy the same blessings of liberty that they have enjoyed; hope that this good man who is our president will be able to accomplish even more his second term than he was during his first. That’s why the energy in these rallies is electric, not evil.
All of these disenchanted conservatives would know if they had attended even one rally, as my family has.
As for the rest of us, we will continue to rally round the President, for we have a country, our families, and babies to save.
And, if you’re not going to help us, then get out of the way, and take your demons with you.
[Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order. He is following the coronavirus epidemic on Twitter @StevenWMosher]