When I went to the American Aviation Center in Dallas, Texas, for a “Historical Tour” featuring the former President Donald Trump and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, it quickly told me exactly what I was in for. Giant “Trump 2020” and “Let’s Go Brandon” flags and banners line the square outside the arena, where conservative merchandise vendors set up their wares. Among the vendors was a woman in an American flag jumpsuit holding a poster with Trump’s face inside a Q, next to a brightly painted truck advertising a group protest against drifting.
While waiting in line, a woman in front of me asked if I was a Dallas local and if it was safe for her and her husband to walk the eight blocks from their car to their after dinner dinner. sunset or not. I told her yes, Dallas is a relatively safe city, and they would be perfectly fine. “But what about those paid agitators,” she replied with serious concern. “I know they’re from out of town.”
No agitator showed up, it should be said, paid or otherwise.
The outside scene showcases the overall tone and tenor of the event, save the crowd fighting around a few beach balls while Elton John’s “Little Dancer” flares up in the background. No one could have guessed that.
Powered by O’Reilly, the “Historic Tour,” which began in Florida last week, is Trump’s chance to pitch a multitude of baseless conspiracy theories with claims that are completely unchallenged. Take, for example, O’Reilly’s opening question: Are the Democrats a socialist party? “I think they’re beyond socialism,” Trump said bluntly. “I’m talking about the big C.” Never mind that the Democrats couldn’t manage to pass their own agenda due to the recent intervention of Senator Joe Manchin – who was praised by O’Reilly and Trump.
The rest of the event was more or less the same. In a matter of hours, two unidentified men sketched their revisionist history of the Trump administration, the election, and the current state of the country to an audience who paid attention to every word. their. Trump played conspiracies to attract his base: the election was rigged (“That’s all Democrats are good at, politics and election-stealing”); President Joe Biden is deliberately encouraging criminals to cross the border (“The toughest, most stubborn people from prison are being sent here”); Covid-19 is a targeted biological attack from China (“What Comes from Wuhan Lab”); and January 6 is justifiable but the violence has nothing to do with these supporters (“BLM and Antifa in the middle of the crowd”).
The event wasn’t exactly sold out – I moved from my cheap seat in the second section to an empty row of half-empty seats not far from the stage for a better view – but the feeling of excitement in the room is visible. People sing along to the music in the hours before the conversation begins. The entire crowd stood to perform “How Wonderful Your Art,” a Christian hymn. Some were wearing church clothes, perhaps because they had just attended the First Baptist Church of Dallas Christmas service, where Trump was introduced as a special guest.
“Now, you might be wondering why not just [Trump] say now? ‘ said Pastor Robert Jeffress at the start of the service. “I will tell you why. Because I know all of you! And as soon as he’s finished, all of you will step out of here before my sermon, and more importantly, before the offering. So we won’t let you do that. “
Otherwise, the crowd looks like your typical Trump rally. A lot of seats are empty, but quite a few people go to the polls for the Sunday before Christmas. There’s no shortage of hats, shirts, and jackets bearing many of the slogans – Trump 2024, Let’s Go Brandon, I Identify as Vaccinated, Trump-themed Christmas sweaters, etc. Among the crowd were members of QAnon is obsessed with controversial JFK The cult led by Michael Protzman has been holed up at the Hyatt Regency for over two months, where they most recently held an alternative health information session (non-repetitive). They all didn’t wear the same ridiculous shirts or make up for a big Sunday afternoon shoot, instead choosing to wear lighter gear and blend in with the rest of the crowd. But they caught the attention of a local conspiracy theorist Youtuber who confronted Protzman, regarding all the unsuccessful predictions, during a live stream (the content of which was not repeated). again).
Occasionally, and somewhat surprisingly, O’Reilly will ask a conundrum. “Do you believe in climate change?” O’Reilly asked Trump directly, giving the former president ample space to spread misinformation, suspicion, and absurd slander. Even when O’Reilly asked Trump the same question about climate change a second time after not receiving a direct answer, he allowed Trump to take the blame. Trump rarely gets stuck on the subject of questions asked, twirling and switching quickly between topics, and no matter how silly the impersonator, he often finds ways to attack China or Russia. .
In some cases, the crowd responded explicitly to the discussion. Whenever Trump leans toward conspiracy or antagonism, the crowd cheers and screams. When O’Reilly asked about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, someone in the crowd shouted “slide!” And when former President Obama was mentioned, a chorus of disapproval rang out.
At times, Trump delivers a series of wonderfully rational thoughts, conveyed in his signature conscious style.
“We’ve saved tens of millions of people worldwide by creating vaccines,” Trump said, while occasionally saying “no mandate” between sentences. “It would be like the Spanish Flu without it… We should record it and you play it right in their hands. [when you doubt the vaccine]. ”
For a moment, everything seemed normal. Contact reality, even. But as O’Reilly followed up with Trump’s defense of the vaccine by saying “both the President and I are upset. We got the support,” the crowd booed.
And then it got worse.
“We don’t have anyone on the left in this room, do we?” Trump asked. “Wait, no, don’t say. We don’t want anything to happen.”
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/trump-oreilly-history-tour-dallas-qanon-1272310/ Trump in Dallas: O’Reilly Laden Historical Tour with Conspiracy Theories