The other day my oldest daughter sent me a text saying that she could get a ticket to go and see Donald Trump in Davenport, Iowa, asking if I thought she should go. Erin is our family’s resident Trump fan, but even if she wasn’t I would have given the same answer: “Yes, go!”
You don’t need to be a big fan of a candidate to go to a campaign rally; why wouldn’t you want a seat to see history in the making? I started thinking about the presidential rallies I’ve been to; the things I’ve seen… and I had to realize that I have been quite fortunate in the things and people I’ve seen. My first ever political rally was back in ’64 when first grader me went to see Barry Goldwater speak at Hollywood-Burbank Airport. I’ll never forget the excitement… It was dusk when his aircraft landed and rolled to the platform. As it came to a stop, the Senator opened the cockpit window and waved to the crowd from the pilot’s seat, and then he came out to the cheering crowd and made his speech. I had no clue what he was talking about, but was greatly impressed by the shiny new 727, the TV cameras, the lights, the crowd; I was hooked.
Later that year we went and saw LBJ speak to much larger crowd; I remember him pounding the lectern, and my mother’s disdain for this little bit of showmanship; she was never a fan of Texas Democrats, but that is a story for another time. In ’68 I went to rallies for both Nixon and Humphrey, in ’72 I saw Nixon again. In ’76 I saw Reagan several times as a spectator, and even more as a worker in the primaries, and then both Ford and Carter in the general, and after that, it was always as a staffer. I won’t bore you with the other races I’ve been involved with as either a spectator or a worker, or the brawls and near brawls I’ve seen involving demonstrators trying to silence a candidate…
When you have a chance to witness history, take it.
If you live in a place where you can cast a vote, cast an informed vote; there are far too many elections that are decided by people who don’t know what they are talking about. Finally, most who read this post are Christian writers of blogs; many like to comment on political issues… I would suggest that you not miss the opportunity to be an eye-witness reporter whenever you can be. The reason? What you see on television is heavily edited to fit time restrictions… and all too often the opinions of the editors.
It would appear that my daughter enjoyed her experience yesterday; I hope she will do it again, and see Mrs. Clinton if the opportunity comes about. Maybe she will take a greater interest in what is going on outside of her normal routine, and learn more about how things really work in the world around her, which would be an enlightening experience for anyone.
Yep, as time goes by , as the old memories begin to fade, as the names and faces change, as society moves forward and changes, the more I realize that there is really nothing new under the sun: I seem to find myself giving the same advice that was given to me so many years ago.