Donald Trump is speaking in Grand Rapids tonight. Thats right, you still have a chance to see a presidential candidate make some wildly offensive statements IRL.
The rally will be held tonight (Monday Dec. 21, 2015) in Grand Rapid's Deltaplex Arena & Conference Center at 7:30 PM. Tickets are FREE and you can reserve them here on Eventbrite.
As of December 18, when Public Policy Polling released its latest poll results, Donald Trump is leading the GOP race with 34 percent support — 15 percent more than his closest competitor Ted Cruz. Trump has been champion of the Republican polls since he first announced his candidacy this summer, however, many have long predicted this was nothing more than an election hiccup that would wane over time. With the primary elections looming — this is looking less and less like a fad. In other words — and this is scary — you may have a chance to see the 45th US president speak tonight.
So beyond the no-longer-novelty of hearing Trump speak (thanks cable news for giving this man such a wide platform), what else may happen tonight? Let's take a look at some of the most interesting, crazy and down right horrifying debacles that have occurred on Trump's campaign trail (in no particular order).
Dec. 14, 2015 - Las Vegas
At the rally an African American man was pushed to the ground and shoved after he voiced disdain for Trump (this is not the first time this has happened, see below). A Buzzfeed News political reporter McKay Coppins captured the affair and also posted a video of another physical confrontation to Twitter.
This is the 5th or 6th scuffle to break out at Trump rally between activists and security (w/ Trump fans cheering) pic.twitter.com/sxL2OnZg2g
NBC reported that the crowd of Trump fans went crazy — spouting all types of hate — as more people were dragged out. Per NBC: "As one man was dragged away, Trump supporters variously yelled, “Shoot him!” “Kick his ass,” and “Light the motherf——r on fire!” A large middle aged man shouted, “Sieg heil!” — a Nazi Germany-era salute — as the protester was taken away.“He’s a Muslim!” another man in a glittering black suit shouted as another protester was removed. “He’s a Muslim!”"
If that doesn't make you embarrassed about the state of America, I don't know what will ... perhaps an account from another rally.
Dec. 7, 2015 - Mount Pleasant, South Carolina This was the rally where Donald Trump officially stated his belief that there should be a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” After reading his official statement — which he had released earlier that day — on banning Muslims the crowd of supporters whooped and cheered in agreement. “We have no choice. We can’t live like this. It’s gonna get worse and worse," Trump added.
So perhaps you'll have the opportunity — who are we kidding you'll definitely have the opportunity — to see hateful people and hear hateful cheering — in person. Part disgusting, part interesting like a sociology project.
**Note: This was the same rally where Trump suggested "closing the internet in some way."
Dec. 2, 2015 - Manassas, Virginia A mix of comedy (thank you internet GIFs) and horror. At the rally in Virginia, Trump lifted up a young boy who wanted to know, "What will the wall be made out of?" The kid was, of course (ugh), talking about the wall that would bar Mexican immigrants from entering the United States (a big point of Trump's campaign since his announcement speech when he accused Mexican immigrants of being "rapists" who bring drugs and crime to the United States.) Trump did not answer the boy's question but rather cooed "So cute!” before kissing him on his head.
The interaction is sort scary and sad — but thankful the internet made it into a sort of funny GIF, in which the boy looks INCREDIBLY uncomfortable in the hands of Donald Trump.
At this same rally a man carrying a confederate flag was thrown out of the rally by the Trump campaign, according to Yahoo Political writer Jon Ward.
Nov. 28, 2015 - Sarasota, Florida According to the The Tampa Bay Times, thousands of people showed up to the rally after Donald Trump made an announcement that we was looking for "beautiful children" to accompany him on his jet. Per the times: "Trump just landed outside the arena, where he asked someone to find him six or seven beautiful children to hop onto his helicopter. He says 6,000 people have showed up.Were this another candidate, he said, it would be “50, 75 people. They’re going to fall asleep, go home.”"
Perhaps he'll scour MI for beautiful children as well!
**Note: The same rally featured Essex, an Asian elephant, who was walking around with "Trump make America great again," written in white paint on its side. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported the the elephant belonged to circus elephant exhibitor Frank Murray who “is such a big Trump fan he decided to donate the free use of his elephant for the campaign event.” One problem: Murray is a known animal abuser has been arrested for animal cruelty on multiple charges. Sort places a sour note on the whole affair.
Nov. 21, 2015 - Birmingham, Alabama This is the rally when the potential next president made fun of a man with arthrogryposis (a congenital musculoskeletal disorder). For a long time now Trump has cited seeing Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. While this occurrence has largely been debunked, Trump has been citing a Washington Post article that incorrectly also stated this. While the writer, Serge Kovaleski, has walked back on what he wrote at the time, saying he was mistaken, Trump is not letting it go. At this rally Trump not only pushed forward with the wrong accusation of celebratory Muslims, but he made fun of Kovaleski — specifically his disability.
Per Politico: "Trump went on, “Now the poor guy — you ought to see the guy: ‘Uhh I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember.’ He’s going, ‘I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I said.’” As he spoke, Trump launched into an impression which involved gyrating his arms wildly and imitating the unusual angle at which Kovaleski’s hand sometimes rests.“We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,” said a spokeswoman for the Times."
** Note: This is the same rally where an African American protestor wearing a "back lives matter" shirt was filmed being kicked and pummeled by Donald Trump supporters.