Going to see Donald Trump in SoCal

Costa Mesa rally mobbed by Trump enthusiasts, but protest sideshow gets top media billing

ColumnLogo-1By George Miller

You probably already saw/heard about the Thursday Donald Trump rally in Costa Mesa on TV. Trump came to town with only a couple of days notice to most of us to do one of his trademark rallies, the likes of which we had never seen before the 2016 campaign. To say there was a sellout crowd would be a gross understatement. What looked like 15 or 20 thousand people to me wouldn’t fit in the eight thousand seats of the OC Fairgrounds outdoor amphitheater.

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Massive lines outside amphitheater at the Trump Costa Mesa rally at the OC fairgrounds on 4-28-16. Photo: George Miller/CitizensJournal.us.

Even the protesters (more about those later) could have filled  a section, although they were vastly outnumbered by Trump fans. There were crowd estimates of up to 31,000. Of course, the media tried to instead  make the story about three hundred protesters, not that a score of thousands of people showed up with almost no notice and people started lining up at 10:00 am for a 7 pm event, which happens in city after city, several times a week. The Trump supporters were amazingly well-behaved, but this was not always reciprocated.

See what I mean?  …

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Watch live as crowds filter into the street in Costa Mesa after Donald Trump’s rally.

We heard, like, about 2 days ago that there would be a Trump rally down in Costa Mesa. Having just gone to my one and only Trump rally in Thousand Oaks just last Saturday, I didn’t feel like braving the traffic gauntlet to darkest OC just to get another story. Then I found out it wasn’t just another sign-carrying display, but the real McCoy- or the real Donald, anyway. He was flying his 767 out from Indiana or somewhere, to speak at the Republican convention in the Bay area on Friday and decided to stop off and visit SoCal on the way. You can easily do that when you have a luxury jet, staff and money to make that all work. It’s good that California is getting so much respect from the candidates this year. Usually, the outcome is more certain by the time California’s late primary (June 7 this year) rolls around. Now they need us.


Jamiel Shaw, one of the “Stolen Lives” people, describes losses of loved ones to illegal immigrant criminals. at 4-28-16 Trump Costa Mesa rally.

I still wasn’t going to go, even to see the The Donald in the flesh. Like many others, I had seen youtube videos of such events, which all had a certain sameness to them. Tonight’s standard stump speech wasn’t too different- just a little updated for current events. But, friends talked me into it, so I ended up going with some- always more fun that way and heck, gas still isn’t exactly cheap in CA.

So, we braved the seemingly endless stop and go journey there from Ventura County and arrived on the scene before 5 PM for a 7 PM start. The lines were already monumental. Four of them stretched for as far as the eye could see. They were so long, in fact, that we never got in, even with tickets and ended up watching it on youtube on the way home. We also heard the radio reports on the protests, which KFI made into the story instead. We saw them, too. Their numbers were dwarfed by the huge crowds attracted by the event.

So, 300 protesters “trump” 20 or 30 thousand people. In fact, there are sellout crowds in city after city. No one does more or bigger events than Trump. He seeks these out with great zeal and the crowds reciprocate. So, what is attracting all of these people? People treat these as historic events, bring their kids so they will be able to say that they saw Donald Trump before he was elected (if he’s elected, of course) and makes history.

But in fact, he has already made history, first as the flamboyant real estate billionaire who got into too many other businesses he didn’t understand, crashed and burned and was seemingly reborn like a Phoenix and rose again. The stuff that legends are made of. What is he worth now- $4 billion, 9 billion, 10 billion?  There are richer people, there are more accomplished people and certainly others who have done it more professionally, more humbly and more politely. But no one does it quite like The Donald. Then, he became even more famous with his “Apprentice” “reality” TV show.

But, since he announced his run for President, his stock has risen to a new high. He didn’t have to do this. He has great wealth, fame, family, friends, connections, He’s a major player. He could just do a victory lap and coast to the finish in glory. But, instead, he is risking all of this in his controversial campaign. Why is he doing this? Some say he is a spoiled billionaire, doing it for ego, buying himself another toy. But if you listen carefully, you will see he is very concerned about his country, its security, its integrity, its economy, even its culture. Most of this he has believed for a long time and has spoken out on it, even contemplating running for office before.

His rally speeches are like high school pep rallies- simple, basic, emotional, designed to be motivating and offer hope for people who see their country going up in smoke. Although the “media” repeatedly pound the message home that Trump is racist, anti-Latino, anti-black, anti- women, the rallies are populated by lots and lots of women (women were a majority at last week’s Thousand Oaks event), lots of Latinos and a sprinkling of other ethnic groups, including blacks. Although the crowd tended to be older, there were large numbers of people in their late twenties and thirties, too.

We talked to a few of these people and some are pretty well-informed. I asked one Latino-looking fellow why he was here. He replied in perfect English that he was concerned about “losing the country.” Halting illegal immigration, borders, jobs, military strength, were on his shopping list. While we were waiting for hours on line, we heard people talking about “the wall,” “a yuuuuge wall,” that of course Mexico will pay for. I saw little enmity for the people, but resentment for breaking the law. It was some of the youngest ones who seemed the most hostile and they were the ones who were trading barbs with the protesters.

Watching the speech on the way home and at home, I noticed that it was again delivered in sort of  a stream of consciousness, storytelling style. This was engaging when I first heard it, but is getting a bit long in the tooth. I’m sure that many people are not hearing it for the first time and it could stand some changes, although there’s lots of “raw meat” in there for his growing constituency. He has done a good job of surfacing these issues, giving form to them and selling them to the public. I heard recurring themes from past rallies and a couple of new ones:

  • He started out by spying a “Latinos for Trump” sign and thanking Latinos for their support. He picked a good place to do it.
  • He quickly brought out Jamiel Shaw, an LA black man who lost his high potential son with great athletic and school smarts to an illegal immigrant just released from  prison. He was joined on the stage by several other people from the “Stolen Lives” group with similar situations and signs explaining it. Some have accompanied Trump at rallies throughout the nation.
  • He thanked African-Americans for Trump.
  • He said we need to bring God back to America.
  • He decried Islamic terror and said he would work to help end the threat.
  • He spent some time attacking his chief Republican rival, who is back to being “Lyin’ Ted Cruz,” even after promises to be more respectful to him.
  • He decried that Cruz accused him of wanting “socialized” medicine” and “absolutely ending the Second Amendment,” even though Trump wants to “repeal and replace Obamacare” and supports the Second Amendment strongly.
  • He opposes the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) trade deal, while certain other candidates have not.
  • Criticized Cruz and Kasich for “double teaming” him, sacrificing votes to each other to erode Trump’s delegate count.
  • Criticized the byzantine complexity and arbitrariness of the delegate system, controlled totally by the Republican Party. He said it is even worse than the  Democrat “Superdelegate” system for nominations. As to how he’ll deal with this: he likened it to a boxer complaining about the referee’s scoring, but overcoming that by knocking out his opponent.
  • Warned that If we don’t have borders, we’re not going to have a country.
  • Says he is now even in the polls with Hillary Clinton and will improve that considerably after he dispatches his primary opponents and goes after her in a very serious way.
  • He knows people are tired of the country losing: losing on trade, losing on jobs, losing on immigration, losing on crime and he wants to help end that and start winning again, winning and winning and ….
  • There was more, but you probably get the drift. Watch the video.


Hearing these sentiments, then looking at  the protesters’ signs and hearing some of their words, I can see some contrasts and some disconnects. But, for the most part, unless protesters are illegal aliens or criminals, and some are, they should have little to complain about in Trump’s message. He is not against immigrants, or minorities, but he is opposed to illegal immigration and crime.

He’s certainly not anti-woman either, based on his exemplary treatment of women in his companies. Although he has gone through quite a few women in his personal life, he seems to have a stable situation now and has done right by his daughters. The misogynist charge derives from his heavy criticism of a few opponent women via comments perceived by many to be sexist.

But there are also some who accuse him of being a “Fascist” or “Nazi,” probably because he said he would do this or that, without mentioning how. Being accustomed to Bush and Obama doing much unilaterally and unconstitutionally, maybe opponents are assuming he will attempt to do the same. He needs to talk about his approach more.

Now that he has amped up his message on foreign policy, he has incurred even more ire from the establishment elite for wanting to cut back on interventionism and make allies bear more of the defense burden. They are also alarmed by his stated intention to attempt rapprochement with Russia and China, each a longtime nemesis. So, it is surprising that the protesters accuse him of being a warmonger.

The only areas of conflict he would step up would be against ISIS and Islamic terrorism in general. they are unhappy with his intensified screening and the “pause.” He does want to strengthen the military to make it into an overpowering deterrent to prevent potential adversaries from even thinking about messing with us. But would that make it more likely that our fearsome weaponry would be used?

The establishment elite (of both big parties) are also upset about his unabashedly nationalistic reaction to Globalism. He doesn’t want it and feels that we have gotten the short end of the stick with it. This would overturn decades of Globalist attempts to erase borders and homogenize world commerce, law and maybe even culture. This is a policy arrived at, for the most part, without approval of national electorates, after two ruinous world wars and a stated belief that such conflicts were all the fault of nationalism and private property.

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Orange County Sheriffs’ mounted platoon prepares for crowd control at the Trump Costa Mesa Rally, 4-28-16 Photo: George Miller/CitizensJournal.us.


See Video: Trump Rally Protest 042816 035

The protesters were more creative than usual. To begin with, most had their own signs, not the George Soros Astroturf pre-printed ones. Most were Latino protesters on immigration issues, using the standard “racism” accusation, even though Trump loves legal immigrants, especially law-abiding ones. It especially infuriates them to see so many pro-Trump Latinos some wearing Latinos for Trump attire and a sprinkling of blacks on the long lines to get in,.

Protesters’ leadership pushed the crowds toward civil disobedience, which included blocking thoroughfares, violent destruction of property (private and police cars were damaged) and attempted intimidation of rally attendees. Someone later told us that he had seen an attacked, bloodied man on TV. But it’s not easy for a few hundred protesters to scare tens of thousands of attendees.  But they did succeed in causing the inconvenience of monumental delays for people trying to depart. But, Sheriffs drew the line at property damage, especially to their own squad cars, bringing the hammer down, breaking up the protest and detaining some protesters. We don’t know if there were arrests and bookings.

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About 300 protesters massed near the entrance, restrained by Sheriff’s Deputies at the Trump Costa Mesa rally at the OC fairgrounds on 4-28-16. Photo: George Miller/CitizensJournal.us.


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Protesters moving along Fair Drive flying a Mexican flag as we were going by. Others were attempting to block the road. Photo: George Miller/CitizensJournal.us.



Protesters blocking road ordered to disperse. Source: KCAL

Watch: Exiting young ralliers interviewed

George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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Greg Aprahamian

Great report! Thank you for your observations!

Doug Miller

Thanks for that article. I don’t know if the left is getting tired of protesting, but I expected more trouble from them.
Go Trump!

William "Bill" Hicks

Although I’m more of a Cruz person, Those that call Trump a “fascist” should look in the dictionary and consider what the word really means.