I never in a million years thought that I'd be getting up at 7 in the morning so I could go stand in line for two hours to see Donald Trump, but that's exactly what happened this morning, and honestly, it was kind of fun!
I should probably tell you that less than 48 hours ago, my college campus was informed that Trump would be making a campaign stop at our school, specifically in the form of a town hall the would take place smack dab in the middle of the music building, where I have all of my Wednesday classes. As you can imagine, the stop messed up my music classes, but my friend Brian and I were lucky enough to just make it in the door before they closed it off. I took the below picture as we got closer to the door (which was teemed with secret service, metal detectors, and TSA), but even where we were standing (about a 1/4 of the way through the line), we were some of the last to get inside. The other thousand or so people behind us weren't so fortunate.
This isn't the first time a presidential candidate has visited our campus, as Hilary Clinton was here a few years ago, and Michelle Obama has visited as well, but Trump made for an extremely interesting experience for all. While there were only about 800 people in the auditorium and the event itself, there were also the people who didn't get in, those watching from home or on TV, and then a whole line of protesters, including some of my fellow SNC students who participated in an extremely well done silent protest. We're all pretty proud of the way the campus has dealt with the situation despite the fact that the large majority of us don't align with his views.
As I'm sure you can imagine, I'm not about to endorse Trump (I prefer to stay out of politics as much as possible online, the same way I do with religion. Life is easier that way), but we couldn't really pass up the opportunity to attend an event like this. Not only did we get a chance to lay our own eyes on Trump himself, but we got to hear him speak about success (which actually made some small resemblance of sense) and experience a real political press conference. A good chunk of the theater was absolutely filled with media, and the constant click of cameras reminded us more than a few times that the man in front of us is one of the most talked about people in the world right now.
We did end up standing rather than sitting, meaning that we stood in line outside for about an hour and half and then for almost two hours inside before Trump finally appeared. He proceeded to talk for roughly an hour, so by the end of the entire thing we were more than ready to sit down for jazz band afterwards.
The thought didn't occur to me until I was pulling up blogger to write this post though - this visit sort of reminded me of Disney, but not in the way you might think. Despite the fact that some of the music leading up to Trump's speech reminded me of Epcot (I even commented on it to Brian) and I realized that if Trump wins he'll be in the Hall of Presidents (and wouldn't that be interesting), it was actually the media coverage that got me thinking. My college has been the top trend on Facebook for a good part of the afternoon, and it hasn't entirely set in that I just attended a historic event that could actually make an impact on both the country we live in and the world as a whole. That's actually pretty awesome, but it also reminded me of the fact that I've actually had the chance to do some really spectacular things in my life. The cameras hardly phased me, seemingly natural for someone who has, in the past year, attended the D23 Expo, started making regular YouTube videos, and attended a film festival to see the world premiere of a movie. I wouldn't have had those opportunities without Disney, and I'm so excited to see what the next few years have to offer as well.
The town hall with Trump this morning seemed very small in comparison, but I'm absolutely glad I had an opportunity to attend. As I said once already, I do not endorse Trump in any way, but I do think that it's extremely important to seek out and invest in experiences like this. Even if you don't agree with the views of a particular candidate, it is important to showcase hospitality to everyone you meet, and that's exactly what St. Norbert College did this morning. We may not agree with what was said, but my fellow students and everyone around me was so accommodating and welcoming to the generous and kind members of Trump's campaign crew. I am looking forward to not having to walk through secret service to get to class over the next few days, but all in all, I'm sort of glad that Trump decided to stop here. It woke so many of us up to the world of politics, began meaningful discussions across campus, and was a worthwhile experience.
Have a magical day!