How bad is the traffic in Tulsa
US President Trump : The Tulsa disgrace - election campaign kick off in front of empty ranks
This weekend, it looks like being early is particularly important: According to Donald Trump, there were one million registrations for the first “Make America Great Again” campaign event since the Corona shutdown, 19,000 people fit into the multi-purpose hall of the BOK Center of downtown Tulsa in the US state of Oklahoma. People who come too late have to watch the speech outside on one of the screens, they say.
You know each other here, the men and women called "Front Row Joe’s" with politically unambiguous T-shirts and caps are always the first to arrive for the campaign rallies. They camp days in advance to be at the front when the hall doors open.
You are traveling after Donald Trump, finally back after three crippling months of corona, the President of the United States, who wants to be re-elected for a second term in November. Here to Tulsa, where the start of a tour will take place on Saturday evening under the motto: The Great American Comeback. It will not happen.
"These are historical documents"
Judy Nyegaard and Trisha Hope will probably make it in. You have a place at the front of the queue of people waiting, which was already set up on Thursday. The two sisters from Houston, Texas, have already attended 32 rallies across the country. And they turned their passion into a financial venture.
They made books from Trump's collected tweets. "These are historical documents that, unlike the distorted media reports, convey the pure message of Trump," says Trisha Hope, in normal life she is a real estate agent, she says. There is one volume for every year, the third has just been finished.
Such a work is said to cost 37 dollars, allegedly there is also a high demand in Germany. And the two firmly expect, they say, that there will be four more after volume four. "Of course, Trump will be re-elected in November," says Trisha Hope.
Sitting close together and screaming hoarsely
So that there is no doubt about it, the president fired up his fans in an email on Saturday morning and promised a rally the likes of which the world has never seen. Experts across the country - and even Trump's top virologist Anthony Fauci - have been increasingly alarmed in the past few days warning against holding such a mass event in a hall during these times.
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With thousands of spectators arriving from all over the country who are not only free to wear face masks but are expected to sit close together and scream hoarse inside, Tulsa could become a “superspread -Event "that will subsequently result in hundreds of infected people in several states.
More than 120,000 people with Covid-19 have died in the United States. Trump himself will say that evening that his government did a “phenomenal job” with Covid-19, “and even without wearing a mask”.
Proud America is back
While case numbers are falling in New York and other hard-hit places, infections elsewhere are still rising or rising again. Also in Oklahoma. All of the major news sites reported a few hours in advance that six Trump campaign workers who were involved in the preparations in Tulsa had tested positive for the virus during routine checks. Two of them are said to be Secret Service agents.
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But Trump absolutely wants to appear in the conservative Oklahoma, with pictures of jam-packed ranks in which "courageous patriots" without masks ignore distance rules that are supposed to show that proud America is back, the economy will quickly find its way back to its old strength, the more than 40 million The unemployed will soon be back in wages and bread.
And all the doubters, all those who say that it is still too early for such a mass crowd in a closed building, are in truth radical leftists and representatives of the lying press who just wanted to prevent Trump from speaking directly to the people in the country .
The polls are getting worse
The president urgently needs this appearance, less than five months before the election it should be a comeback for him too. Especially after the past week when the negative news didn't stop: The polls are getting worse, even on Fox News. Many Americans are critical of his handling of the protests over the death of the African American George Floyd.
Disclosure books from his immediate environment, extracts of which have become known in the past few days, paint a disastrous picture of this president. And then the Supreme Court, in whose conservative overweight Trump has invested so much, ruled twice in important judgments against him and his policies.
On Twitter - with the short message service, the president has recently also been in trouble because the tweets from him subjected a fact check - Trump then writes that he thinks the Supreme Court does not like him.
6,200 came - instead of 19,000
Significantly fewer than the fans announced by Trump have come: The Tulsa Fire Department will report on Sunday that it was less than 6200. The top tiers in the arena remain largely empty, and there are also a few empty sections further down.
A first evening speech that Trump wanted to give outside in the open to those who did not come in is canceled. The official reason, which the President will repeat: Left-wing demonstrators intimidated his fans and prevented them from attending the rally.
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In view of the number of police officers and soldiers of the National Guard around the arena, this explanation is not very convincing. There are demonstrations outside the cordoned off area, against Trump and against racism and police violence, here and there there is also a tussle.
He ennobles them as "warriors", as warriors
At the end of the evening, when asked whether people were actually prevented from entering the premises, an African-American police officer would only smile and say: “No, that was not the case. We would never have allowed that. ”The other explanation: The interest in seeing Trump live was not so great in view of the risks.
Trump speaks to his super fans for 90 minutes, right at the beginning he ennobles them as "warriors", as warriors, they are here despite all resistance. The resistance, he means the “very bad” people out there, the “lying press” that tried to prevent him from communicating directly with the American people through false corona reporting. It is like this: "The silent majority is stronger than ever before."
“The silent majority” is quoted again and again by the perplexed, many of whom there are in and outside the USA after Trump's 2016 election victory. How could that be? Why hadn't anyone seen this coming? What was overlooked in all the clever analysis?
Exaggerate loudly and then don't deliver
The lesson that many seem to have drawn from the surprise victory of then-political freshman Trump is that he is believed to have magical powers.
No matter how the polls develop, no matter how severe the criticism of the 45th US president is, no matter what lies and wrong decisions he is convicted: an election victory in November is always likely based on this logic. He did it once, he can do it again. Super fans share this thought with many Trump critics.
But this evening is a turning point: very few would have believed the Trump campaign to be capable of such a misjudgment of their own mobilization forces.
It could have turned out differently: If Trump hadn't raised expectations so exaggerated, the ridicule that is now pouring over him would probably not be so caustic either. But so many state on social media: Exaggerating loudly and then not delivering, that's typical Trump. And: The silent majority is apparently also invisible.
"Puppet of China"
Inside in the hall are the convinced, those who are used to being ridiculed. They get themselves in the mood for evergreens from the Trump rally such as the hit "YMCA".
They are an extremely important target group for the campaign, on which it can be tested which statements, which attacks are the best.
Is it: to call competitor Joe Biden a “puppet of China”, the warning of an election victory by the “socialists” who would destroy the country, it is tirades on other countries, first and foremost Germany, which the USA has been cheating on the US for far too long ? Is it the promise that only with Trump would the economy be successful again and the right to bear arms defended?
The new topics, like solidarity with the police, the claim that his way of doing politics is more useful to African Americans than anything else, as well as the urge to "reopen" the country, get caught here.
A tweet as a threat
This is already indicated by the new fan articles. Sure, “Trump 2020” -, “Make America Great Again” - or the pink “Women for Trump” T-shirts are still around. But this time around, you can also see “Unmask America”, “Baby Lives Matter”, “White Lives Matter” and “Defend the Police” prints. They are responses to protesters who are shouting “Black Lives Matter” in Tulsa and other cities these days to demonstrate against racist police violence.
Before the performance, Trump dropped a tweet addressed to these protesters, which many understood as a threat. “To any protester, anarchist, agitator, looter or other pack that makes its way to Oklahoma, you have to understand that you will not be treated like in New York, Seattle or Minneapolis. It will be very different, ”he wrote on Thursday.
His appearance, originally scheduled for Friday - to remember the anniversary of the official end of slavery - had caused unrest. Whether calculated or wrongly planned by mistake: An election rally by this president on this very day and then in this city was seen as a provocation.
The answer: no protest, a party
Hundreds of African Americans were killed in a racist massacre in Tulsa 99 years ago: in Greenwood, a neighborhood that was then called Black Wall Street because of its burgeoning population and has not recovered from the days of 1921 for a long time.
The people's response to Trump's threat is not an angry protest, but a happy, colorful street festival on Friday that lasts for hours. With food stands, large stages, gospel music and dance performances on a freshly painted yellow “Black Lives Matter”.
"This is my community"
Lapin Hunt, an aeronautical engineer from Oklahoma City, 57, had come Friday with his daughter for the anniversary called "Juneteenth". He does not want to see or hear anything from Trump, he says, he is a die-hard racist who endangers the country and the people with his politics. “It's all very exhausting. There are constant attacks by the police on African Americans, and I am repeatedly stopped and checked for no reason. The inequality and injustice are enormous. ”This is another reason why he is“ here today ”.
Emily, a black cop, 34, who grew up in Tulsa, volunteered for duty to join the party. “This is my community,” he says. "You can only overcome anger when you speak it out."
He hands out golden stars to the children who scurry around here. It says “Junior Cop” and “Justice for All”. He says, “The kids then go home and maybe say, Mom, I played with a policeman today. That is important and helps to relieve tension. ”A black young man passes by, the two clap each other.
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