I “attended” the Trump rally in Des Moines Thursday night. I say, “attended,” because I was one of at least 2,000 people who did not get in and spent time wandering the street in front of the venue.
There was a jovial atmosphere, no one complained about the weather, people were chatting, visiting the food trucks, buying hats and T-shirts, being interviewed by the press, waiting for the program to be displayed on the huge screen set up in the street. I bought a hat and the vendor gave me too much change. I had to convince him I had too much before he would take it back – he was surprised. I said, “Welcome to Iowa, you give us too much change, we give it back!” He said he liked it here.
The program began with the Pledge of Allegiance, and the crowd fell silent, then joined in. Men took their hats off; most covered their heart with their hand. We stayed that way through the National Anthem, too, and then cheers rang out. The first couple speakers were met with cheers – and some silences, too, and I thought I was not missing much by not being inside.
In fact, I think among those hearty souls I was immersed in Iowa Pride.