DIMONDALE, Mich.-- An hour before Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took the stage at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex in Dimondale, the crowd swayed and enjoyed back-to-back loudspeaker playings of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones. The music selection at political rallies is usually noticeably pointed.
Not always getting what you want was a central message of the campaign stop, as Trump preached parsimony and scolded the current administration and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for trade partnerships, such as NAFTA, and tax plans that have allegedly scared jobs away. It was an issue that was especially pertinent to the Michiganders present, eliciting loud cheers of approval at the mention of the auto industry.
“Donald Trump says he’s going to bring back manufacturing,” said Patrick Morgan, a Hudsonville delegate who traveled to Cleveland during the Republican Convention to support Trump.
Trump emphasized that very issue most heavily during his trip to Dimondale.
“The Michigan manufacturing sector is a disaster,” Trump said to the thousands of people that made up the crowd. “You’re losing your businesses. It’s like taking candy away from the baby.”
The criticism for Michigan and Detroit’s economic faltering was primarily heaped on Democrats. Trump promised to reverse the trend of, from his perspective, outward-going jobs across the country.
“Look at what the Democratic Party, as an example and there are many others, has done to the city of Detroit,” Trump said. “Your companies are leaving Michigan… They’re going everywhere but here.
“We are going to bring back jobs to America, and we are going to bring back jobs to Michigan.”
Although Trump’s primary appeal was job growth, he also tried to persuade the sympathetic crowd that he was right for the domestic matters of race and safety.
“Why will I be voting for Trump? Well, he’s pro-life, pro-family, pro-gun, pro-America,” Morgan said.
The billionaire businessman simultaneously branded himself again as a movement away from the norms of politics, labeling himself as the messenger and merchant of “progress.”
“I am the change agent… Hillary Clinton is the defendant of the status quo,” Trump said to a frenzied reaction.
Trump’s indifference to standard politics is what first reeled in Debra Mantey during the primaries.
“Hillary (Clinton) is eight more years of Obama, and she’ll put Supreme Court justices in place who will change our country, and we’ll never get it back,” said Mantey, who travelled to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. “So this is what we need. We’re ready for a new president, ready for change, ready to get rid of the status quo.”
Amongst the crowd, there were no visible demonstrations that received any sort of backlash. Outside, however, protestors did “exercise their first amendment” and try to lay out alternatives.
“Look what’s going on. We have Trump, and he’s making fun of disabled people and insulting all of the immigrants,” said Brandon Withers, a Libertarian Gary Johnson supporter, who carried a sign reading “Dump Trump" outside of the complex. "And [Clinton], I mean, she’s done a lot of criminal acts and stuff like that, and now she’s trying to run for president. You don’t even have a choice either way."
As the crowd filed out of the arena, with some muttering criticisms from Withers and others, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” again sounded.
Mantey and her friend Heather Helm straggled behind the mass, enjoying the atmosphere and baby-boomer era rock and roll, which they said stood for their values.
“I think that goes back to the status quo. Always getting the same thing from the same results from the same leaders, it’s not going to get the results that we want,” Mantey said about the song’s meaning. “So we need change.”
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