By Paul Gable
I went to the Donald Trump campaign rally Tuesday night at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in order to experience the current Trump phenomenon first hand.
I came away less than impressed.
Whoever did advance, if anyone, for the Trump visit blew it by ultimately choosing the convention center. Neither the advance team nor the convention center staff had any idea how to set up the site for a political rally.
The Mitt Romney event of 2012 at Horry Georgetown Technical College on the old air force base, while much smaller was much better put together with only one day notice.
To any candidate looking to hold a rally in Myrtle Beach in the future, don’t choose the convention center.
Now to Trump.
His speech, if you can call it that, he proudly said was without teleprompters. Of course, it would have been hard to put it on a teleprompter because even he, apparently, did not know what he was going to say before he got up to the microphone.
The first 20 minutes was a recitation of what great crowds attend his events, polling numbers from many of the early primary states that show him in the lead and how great he is compared to the other candidates.
He felt the need to introduce all his family members who had accompanied him to Myrtle Beach and gave the microphone to his current (third) wife, Melania, for a few comments about what a great president Trump would be.
Then, we heard about the wall between the U.S. and Mexico (so tall the illegals wouldn’t dare to jump off the top), what horrible deals we had with Iran and China and what a great negotiator he is.
When he did try to get specific on an issue, Trump said he loved Myrtle Beach, had been here many times, and it was time to get I-85 built.
It made no difference that he was really talking about the proposed I-73. If the devil is in the details of most political speeches, there are very few details in Trump’s presentation.
By this time, I had basically shut Trump off as had a number of others who formed a steady stream of people leaving the event while the candidate was still speaking.
Once he gets past feeding his huge ego, a little jingoism and constant repetition of ‘We’re going to make America great again’ with no specifics, Trump has nothing to say.
I believe Trump’s support, like his knowledge of issues, is a mile wide and an inch deep.
He leads the Republican polls based on his name, his wealth and his celebrity. The crowds show up to get a glimpse of him, not to hear any message he may be trying to deliver.
Once they’ve seen and heard Trump for a little while, they are ready to leave.
There is much outrageous right now about the 2016 presidential field. Trump may be the most outrageous.
It will be interesting to see how far the current trend of ‘reality TV’ goes in this campaign. If it holds to the end, Trump may be the next president.
You can’t overestimate the gullibility of the American public.