The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, is kicking off his 2020 campaign in Orlando, Florida today. I live in Orlando. One of the things I’ve noticed since Trump became President is that people don’t casually discuss politics anymore. If you want to talk politics with someone you don’t know where they stand and feel the exact same way. A literal fight may break out. A general rule in the workplace is don’t mention Trump. No good can come from it.
One of the exceptions to that rule is the traffic. When Presidents come to town they tend to screw up traffic. Besides fouling up air traffic at the 11th busiest airport in the nation, streets are blocked for the motorcade. Trump is coming downtown to the Amway Center where the Orlando Magic play. But for a couple of reasons, traffic will be worse than your average Magic game.
To get tickets for the event. You have to go to a Trump web site and register for no more than 2 tickets per mobile number. Tickets do not guarantee though, it’s first to come first serve. According to Trump (always a questionable proposition), they have received over a hundred thousand requests for an event which can seat 20,000 people. Simple math suggests 80,000 Trump fans who came to see his act live, some from as far away as Georgia and Alabama, will be left outside, possibly in the rain. The first man in line arrived at 2 a.m. on Monday morning, 37hours before the doors open. Some camped in tents, others took turns in line swapping with partners at nearby hotels.
Hard to believe I know, there are people who actually don’t like the President and are making a point of saying so. Orlando has a large Puerto Rican community who haven’t forgotten Trump holding up disaster aid after recent hurricanes and his insults aimed at the popular Mayor of San Juan. A week ago, Orlando noted the third anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting at a gay dance club. A local Republican leader shrugged off suggestions of Trump bigotry.
“For them to say Donald Trump doesn’t like gay people is wrong. For them to say Donald Trump doesn’t like Hispanics is wrong,” said Charles Hart, chairman of the Orange County Republican Executive Committee.”
Mr. Hart may wish to add to his list of people Donald Trump allegedly doesn’t like; Muslims, black people, Native Americans, women, and voracious readers.
Despite the previously mentioned aversion to talking politics during the Age of Trump; in the hours leading up to the event, people did express their concerns. They worried about violence; when Trump’s most ardent supporters meet his equally intense foes, things might happen. Note: For those expecting Trump to cover your legal fees — he didn’t really mean it. People in workplaces throughout, The City Beautiful, demonstrated they could talk politics and ultimately agree to disagree. The vast majority of the 1.5 million people in the metropolitan area will simply stay away, hoping things go back to normal after the event when they can go back to not talking about Trump.
White Nationalist group Proud Boys stopped by police before reaching Anti-Trump protesters. This too will happen when the President comes to your town.