Rally in The Sunflower State
October 23, 2018
Two years ago, the United States was split into two groups: supporting and refusing to do so. This is due to the election of our 45th president, Donald Trump. He is a man of opinion, after all, and seeing him as so has given citizens one of their own. As of October 6th, Topekans were able to witness him in person.
President Trump arrived by limousine on Topeka Boulevard that Saturday. His black carriage was drawn by an arrangement of motorcycles – complemented by various guard vehicles and standbyes as they waved and welcomed with red, white, and blue held upward in recognition. Signs dressed the streets on which storefronts could witness his arrival, portraying phrases such as “welcome home, Mr. President,” and “make this country proud again.” And, for a short moment, those differing on perspective all stopped to take out their phones and agree on the fact that capturing a president’s arrival could have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Those who admire the president took extreme precautions to make their place at his event. Chayce Sleep, a senior and supporter here at Troy, camped in his car.
“I wanted to be first in line to get a great spot to see my emperor,” Sleep said.
At the rally itself, President Trump waited patiently as speakers appeared before him. There was music, leniency in seating, and a dormant energy amongst the waiting crowd. To Sleep, it was an enjoyable experience to be amongst those who shared his humor and point of view.
“Everyone was there for the same reason as me and it was great,” he said.
Parker Jackson, junior and non-supporter, was one of many to also attend. He states that a prayer was said in preparation.
“He seemed kind of disingenuous,” Jackson said. “There was this energy. It was weird, like nothing I’ve ever experienced.”
After waiting a very long time, that familiar face finally came from behind the curtain. The sound of cameras was deafening in unison with cheers from the audience as signs rose from the mass. According to junior and mixed-opinionated Jack Murphy, they had been handed out beforehand with other merchandise. To him, it was a rather standard setup.
“I learned a lot about crowd mentality,” he said. “It was pretty fun.”
“The crowd was electrified,” Ally Watson, Junior and democrat, said. “It was honestly kind of scary, because they were going so crazy.”
Both Watson and Jackson said that it was incredibly strange to see a man on television appear before them that day.
“It was surreal,” Jackson said. “He’s the most accessible man on the earth. You see him everywhere you look. But seeing him in the flesh is like nothing I’ve ever experienced.”
To most who shared their story of this rally, descriptions of the crowd were hectic and sleepless as if describing some seasonal concert. For Murphy – though ‘supporting’ was not of his ability – he happened to agree on some policies. However, not everyone was as accepting. Protesters lined the sides of the ExpoCenter that day, voicing their opinions at the opposing party.
“They were kind of hostile,” Murphy said. “They thought we were Trump supporters.”
According to multiple sources, some conflict broke out between the differing perspectives; but according to Watson: “You can’t have a rally without someone else opposing it. It’s part of democracy, what they were doing.”
Later that day, Trump left state and returned to his place behind television screens and twitter keyboards.