Kirk: Trump Rallies the Modern Woodstock

Woodstocko, Trump Rally jpg
AP/Getty Images

Earlier this week we learned that the planned 50th anniversary revival of Woodstock had its investor funding withdrawn. There were concerns that the celebration simply would not be able to meet the high bar set back in 1969 by arguably the greatest music event of all time. Sometimes something is just so special it cannot be replicated.

I have some appreciation for that after this past Saturday, when I had the opportunity to attend a rally held by President Trump in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The difference between our Rockstar President and Woodstock planners is that what they couldn’t pull off with 50 years notice, he pulls off routinely each time he hosts an event.

Despite the opportunity I have had to work closely with this administration on a variety of policy issues, one thing I had yet to do since the president took office was attend one of his rallies. In fact, the last one I did attend was the night before the 2016 election when he addressed an enthusiastic crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Prior to the event starting, I’ll admit to just enjoying the people and the atmosphere. The crowd had been lined up for hours – days even. One gentleman told me he had been there for five days just to make sure he would get a great spot. When they opened the doors and the people started pouring in, I thought this must be what it’s like at a Rolling Stones concert.  Maybe I need to get to one of those, too?

My giddiness soon faded and was replaced by serious and inspiring observations that, to me, were so profound I wanted to share them with you.

The first thing I noticed was the combination of excitement and focus simultaneously present in the eyes and facial expressions of the audience as they entered the facility. These were not people who were settling in for an entertainment event. This was not a Rolling Stones concert.  These were folks on a civic mission to do their part to support the man they have come to recognize as their voice in government.

There are millions of Americans who feel like I do that the United States has been rapidly losing its identity as the greatest nation on earth. We feel like President Trump is working to reverse that trend on our behalf. In the United States, unlike in Venezuela, people can still gather together through election and association to try to initiate change. The people at this rally shared that call to duty.

As the President’s speech started and progressed, I realized that this was not the speech of a typical politician delivering canned and hyperbolic talking points. President Trump was talking as if he were addressing shareholders at an annual meeting. He reads an audience so well; he tests things as he moves along and based upon reactions from the crowd he adjusts, and he emphasizes. He is listening. He is responding to them; not just talking at them. CEOYou get the distinct feeling that he knows the citizens are the owners of the country and he is just an interim CEO.

In that vein, I noticed how he’d always use the term “we” instead my “my” when referencing his administration. It was so distinct that I almost hesitate in typing the word “his” because I do not think he would write it that way. The habitual use of the word “we” indicates how he believes that the people matter more than he does. He is serving in the ultimate turnaround CEO role, and he sees himself only as a servant of the American shareholders, assigned to reverse the course of their lagging enterprise and then hand them back the reins.

These rallies are an opportunity, in real-time, for the President to report on all of the various initiatives that are underway to reclaim the country.  It is an opportunity for him to listen to the people, and they know that he is listening. One of the most intriguing things I noticed at the rally is what I didn’t see. When I looked out at the crowd during the speech, I did not see thousands of people looking down at their cell phone screens.  They were looking up. They were engaged. They were working, too.

President Trump has managed to make Americans put down their cell phone and pay attention. Perhaps he should teach high school when he is done shepherding the country?

The mainstream media does not like to talk about these rallies in general, but in particular they don’t like to talk about their size. The president is drawing larger crowds than he drew during the campaign. This is unheard of. It reflects the commitment his supporters have to him, and his commitment to them.

The media likes to characterize the kind of people who were at the Green Bay rally as being some sort of primitive hillbillies, crowd extras from The Hills Have Eyes, but they aren’t. I witnessed a room filled with intelligent, patriotic, and engaged citizens. Every one of them wanted to know their assignment in taking back America.

The president’s report to the shareholders as of right now shows significant progress despite facing strong pushback from outside the company (Democrats) and inside the company (Republicans). He has outlasted a significant competitor and forced it out of business (Mueller investigation team). There are still significant market forces working against “us” but the company is stronger and ready to launch phase two of the turnaround plan.

The President is going to win reelection.I am confident of that. When he does, we need to make sure that the new policies and procedures he has helped to write for our American company protect us from future attempts to alter our course. WE cannot count on the next CEO being as responsive to the shareholders.


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