WAUKESHA - Cold temperatures and a long drive didn't stop Brian Byrne and John Holden from making the trip from Chicago to the Waukesha County Airport on Saturday, Oct. 24 for President Donald Trump¹s campaign rally.
“He (Trump) tells it like it is,” Byrne said. “We're sick of being lied to. A lot of people think he's not transparent, but that's why we love him, because he's the most transparent president we've ever had.”
This is the second Trump rally that they've attended. Holden said they come out to see how many Trump supporters there are for themselves, rather than relying on the media.
“We don't believe the polls. We think the media is lying to us,” Holden said. “And we want to see for ourselves all the energy that we see on TV and all the people.”
Byrne and Holden were among the thousands of supporters waiting outside to enter the rally. Vendors lined up, offering a wide range of Trump merchandise, such as hats, flags, scarves and blankets. Some supporters stopped to take a photo with a life-size Melania Trump cutout.
There were a few scattered people with masks, and free, optional masks were offered at the beginning of the line to get inside. However, one supporter, Amy Prens, said that those who are critical of the lack of masks should turn to religious faith.
“It's (COVID-19) a non-issue for me,” Prens said. “If God wants me sick, I'll be sick. But I think it's fake. The whole thing is fake.”
Prens said that Trump is helping the United States return to Christian values.
“I think he is a Godsend, and I back him up and there's a movement in this country,” Prens said. “And even though it's not being seen on regular television, there's a lot of people following him and believing what he's doing.”
As groups of supporters walked past, Bryan Holland, who came from Monroe, stopped them to ask if they'd sign his petition to recall Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. Holland said he knew he had to do something after the riots in Kenosha. He said Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Evers “practically incited the riot.”
“I wish he (Evers) would maintain law and order to where they can protest, but they shouldn't be blocking traffic,” Holland said. “They shouldn't be vandalizing our state property and they shouldn't be looting.”
Many stopped to sign his petition.
Across the road from the rally, Jenn, who declined to give her last name, stood alone with a sign that read: “Stop the Hate, Dump Trump.” She said a couple other people joined her for a short period of time, but for the four hours that she stood there, she was mostly alone.
“I just think that Trump has brought the hate to the surface that people might have not brought and said out loud before,” Jenn said.
She said that, for her, being against Trump is not a matter of politics, and it is more so about promoting love and equality.
During her time standing outside with her sign, she said, supporters have yelled hateful things at her, calling her derogatory names and telling her she should be killed. However, she said that people driving by and showing her support keep her going.
Jenn is from Waukesha, and she said Trump supporters in the city should consider what it is like to live as someone who is discriminated against.
“I just think there's a large white middle- to upper-class population that has never experienced hardship,” Jenn said. “They've never been discriminated against and they just don't know what it's like to be living in somebody else's shoes.”
Supporters continued to line up to get inside the rally that was expected to begin at 7 p.m. According to Byrne, these rallies are places of friendship and supportiveness.
“There's just great energy. I mean, everybody's having a good time,” Byrn said. “They're laughing. Everybody's friendly. Yeah, it's really awesome. It's a great experience.”