A Frank Lloyd Wright statue with a mask on that reads: "BE SAFE, STAY WELL". Photo was taken in a park in Oak Park, Illinois.
As the stay-at-home order in Illinois is approaching its last week, many people in Illinois are wondering: will the order be extended? Many people are itching to go back to work and resume a normal life. As for me, online classes are approaching an end, and I wonder if I will even go back to in-person classes next semester? My summer internship is canceled, and I am wondering when life will go back to normal. Regardless of the circumstances, I am still finding the positive things in life. I am still hopeful of being credentialed to attend the RNC in Charlotte later in August. I am picking up the guitar again and brushing up on my skills. I am listening to albums I used to listen to when I was younger (Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Eagles, etc.). I am having a great time biking around my area and seeing the beauty God put in nature. I am excited to go back to a normal life, and try to have a relaxing summer. I still believe President Trump and his task team, along with the American people, will defeat this invisible enemy.
A beautiful summer day in Chicago in 2019.
Like many Americans, I know that there is an uneasy feeling in many households. If you ask older generations, many will say there has never been a time until now where all of normal life has shut down. A time where a majority of Americans are ordered to stay home and work from home. A time where college students are required to take classes online and not see any friends. A time where households do not know if they will survive financially. Streets that were once vibrant are now desolate. Speaking from personal experience, the city of Chicago with 3 million people now feels like a ghost town. The streets are empty and very few people are outside.
A desolate State Street in downtown Chicago on March 23, 2020 (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune).
The worse part about the Coronavirus is that we do not know how long this pandemic will last. As of now, it seems like there is still an exponential amount of cases everyday. Many Americans are staying home, while some are ignoring the stay at home orders and still congregating. The simple solution to reduce an increase in Corona cases is to simply stay home. All Americans need to heed this advice and only go outside for groceries, to pick up prescriptions, or exercising outside by yourself.
Another view of an empty downtown Chicago (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune).
Throughout this difficult time, I remain optimistic that President Trump and his team can lead America to the light at the end of the tunnel. I pray constantly for them and those inflicted with the Coronavirus. I pray to see the once vibrant America turn around and come together to solve this pandemic. I am very optimistic that we can get through this as a country. When the greatest country in the world is under attack, we will prevail. As the great President Ronald Reagan puts it, “Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” Let us call for God's help now and take care of those around you. God bless and stay strong throughout these trying times. Together we will prevail!
Opinion: President Trump Figuratively and Literally Taking a Victory Lap After Acquittal is what America Needed
President Trump taking a few laps at the Daytona 500 on February 16, 2020 (Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images).
President Trump definitely felt like a rock star after his acquittal on the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of congress. I am going to be frank, I loved every second of it. Trump holding up the acquittal newspaper at the prayer breakfast, calling out the impeachment sham in multiple interviews and rallies, and taking a lap in "The Beast" at a NASCAR event. These actions show that President Trump is ready for the impeachment scam to be over and to finally go back to living a "normal" life.
President Donald Trump holding up a newspaper after being acquitted in the impeachment trial in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 6, 2020. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images).
The day before President Trump got acquitted, he gave the greatest State of the Union Address that I have ever heard in my life. President Trump was in a very calm manner and spoke about the amazing ways he is helping America economically. I think it was great that the President never mentioned the impeachment and only focused on his optimism for America. All of the stories and people President Trump brought in for the State of the Union helped show how much the President is helping individuals in our country. The speech was so good that Nancy Pelosi had to rip it up because she felt powerless and was so upset at how well the President was doing. It was a shame to see most of the liberals not stand up to honor a 100 year old World War II veteran and this shows that liberals will never admit even one good thing about President Trump. Trump was speaking in a calm and well-mannered tone and this really helped to show moderates that he is not always screaming and can act calm in serious situations. Overall, the State of the Union Address truly showed America how Trump is helping the economy, his care for individuals to succeed, and his optimism for America.
President Trump at the State of the Union on February 4, 2020.
Even though the State of the Union was the night before his acquittal, the speech definitely sounded like a victory speech. President Trump did not make any new enemies with his speech but proved why he should be elected for another four years. Then after his acquittal, Trump was not afraid to hold back and state how much stress and turmoil he and his family had endured for four months. President Trump was then unfiltered after his State of the Union and showed that the Democrats are so desperate to remove him from office because they know they cannot beat him in the presidential election. If people were scared that Trump might be elected before the impeachment, they should be even more scared now. Many Americans think that the impeachment process wasted a lot of taxpayer money and are frustrated with the constant fighting in Congress. Many moderates will vote for Trump because of the Democrats trying to remove a President just because they do not like him.
President Trump touting his acquittal shows Americans that he knows the impeachment process was a hoax and that it shows the weakness of the Democrats. Trump showed Americans that he does not tolerate any foolishness and is not afraid to call out his enemies on their faults. Through the entire impeachment process, America was able to see a President who is not afraid to stand up for himself. During the State of the Union Address, Americans were able to see the President in a calm manner and show how he is making America a better country. After the acquittal, we were able to see the President celebrate and feel relaxed after being unfairly impeached. At the Daytona 500, we were all able to see that President still likes to have fun and do things that no president has ever done before: be a sitting President and take a lap around the Daytona 500. President Trump will move on from the impeachment sham and focus on putting America first and he will continue to improve the lives of all Americans.
I will not sugar coat it, I have supported President Donald J. Trump since he announced his presidential bid. If that sentence triggers you, I suggest that you stop reading the article now. All my life, I have been Conservative and have found it hard to openly state my political beliefs without losing friends or being shunned from friend groups. A proud Catholic and conservative from Chicago, I have been a minority and have lost many friends when I state I am not liberal and I see the world differently. Now attending Marquette University, I am experiencing a lot of more harsh critics when I say I support President Trump. I have witnessed firsthand what it is like for people preaching about "Coexisting" and not applying those same ideas to me when I say I support President Trump. Through years of being afraid to state my beliefs, I have had enough and I am no longer afraid to admit I am conservative. I hope to those reading this article realize I am not racist or a sexist, I just believe President Trump is helping America economically and making us the most powerful country in the world again.
I was fortunate enough to be approved to obtain a press badge at President Trump's Rally in Battle Creek, Michigan on Wednesday, December 18th, 2019. The rally was scheduled on a very big day: the day Congress voted for President Trump to be impeached. I knew the crowd and the President was going to be fired up, but I noticed something: everyone was in a joyous mood.
I have several theories about why the crowd was very happy at the rally. It could be that Christmas was around the corner, a small town such as Battle Creek has much more positive vibes compared to Chicago, or the residents did not ever think that Trump would come to their small town. I believe it was a combination of all three. According to the Fire Martial, about 6,500 people packed the Kellogg Arena with hundreds of people denied access due to overflow. I believe that the media has falsely accused Trump supporters to be filled with hate, but it was quite the opposite. When I stood in the crowd with a press badge with a huge camera blocking the view of a few people, no one yelled at me to put the camera down. Instead, about ten people asked me what I was doing and were happy to hear I was a conservative writing an article about my experiences at a Trump rally.
So there I was, with two cameras around my neck waiting for President Trump to speak. Trump was scheduled to speak around 7 p.m. eastern time, but speakers were scheduled to speak before him at 5:30 p.m. I was standing in the crowd and was excited to see the rally was going to start by a prayer from a preacher. After the prayer, several people from the Trump campaign spoke and reiterated the points that if they want to see more of an economic boom in Michigan, they need to vote Republican in local elections and vote for Trump in 2020. John E. James, a Republican running for the Senate seat in Michigan in 2020, spoke afterwards. All I can say is that I was very impressed by Mr. James. His ability to articulate his viewpoint that all humans were created from God and that he wanted to represent a party that respected life from conception was very moving. I had never been more proud to be a conservative.
After Mr. James spoke, I stood in the crowd for an hour and a half waiting for Vice President Mike Pence to speak. When Mike Pence came out, the crowd erupted in applause. The arena suddenly felt like a concert cheering for the opener about to perform. Vice President Pence did a very good job stating how Michigan has flourished under President Trump's economy and the addition of many new manufacturing jobs. He also emphasized the federal judges the Trump administration has appointed that will preserve the Constitution and protect the rights of the unborn. Overall, Vice President Mike Pence did a great job preempting the crowd to celebrate when President Trump walks on stage.
After Pence spoke, the crowd patiently waited for President Trump to come on stage. The suspense to see the President could be felt throughout the whole crowd as Billy Joel, Tina Turner, The Rolling Stones, and other 60s, 70s, and 80s bands were being played through the speakers. Every time a song ended, people were ready to start screaming thinking President Trump was about to be introduced. After about twenty minutes of suspense, the wait was finally over. The arena became very enthusiastic and became so loud when President Trump came on stage. Even though he came on stage around 8 p.m. when he was supposed to come around 7 p.m., that did not damper the mood. As Trump walked out to "God Bless the U.S.A", I felt a sudden rush of patriotism and unconditional love for The United States of America I have never felt before.
President Trump wasted no time talking about the impeachment sham and criticizing the Democrats for doing nothing and only trying to impeach him. Trump then went on to highlight the accomplishments of his presidency such as decreasing illegal drugs coming into the country, decreasing the unemployment rate, and increasing the stock market to new heights never seen before. President Trump was clearly fired up about the impeachment and the crowd was feeding into his energy. Trump was not afraid to mention the media as Fake News in his speech several times. The crowd would then boo and flip off the cameras in the media pen filming him. President Trump then mentioned his commitment for people to not be afraid to say "Merry Christmas" in public and to keep God in schools. President Trump touted the booming economy, specifically in Michigan under his administration. Trump was able to show off the booming economy and how he helped Americans across the country, even in small towns like Battle Creek. What Trump did very well in his speech was being able to connect to his supporters and show how much he loves America and wants to help the country. The crowd became very enthusiastic when President Trump stated for his continual support of the second Amendment and Pro-Life policies under his administration. The crowd became loud when Trump stated his beliefs. It felt like I was watching Michael Jordan securing his sixth championship in the 1998 Finals with a clutch shot. I was able to witness what Trump has done so effectively since his 2016 campaign: the ability to rile up a crowd and show his love and desire to make America a better place for everybody. I witnessed live Trump's longest campaign speech ever of about 2 hours and 15 minutes and loved every second of it. I was able to meet many nice people who love America just as much as I do in Battle Creek, Michigan.
After a couple of weeks, I noticed the Trump Campaign posted another rally. The rally happened to be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and was four blocks away from where I am currently living. The rally happened to be on a Tuesday, January 14th, 2020. I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity and once again applied to be a media person for the rally. Sure enough, I was approved and thrilled to see President Trump speak in a medium-sized city in America. I was curious to see how Trump was going to show how he was improving the lives of those in urban cities instead of a small town like Battle Creek.
A day later, I got an email from someone on the campaign team to see if I wanted to interview somebody on the campaign team. One of the people listed was Kayleigh McEnany, the National Press Secretary for the Trump 2020 Presidential Campaign. I asked to interview her and got approved. I am not going to lie, this was my first time interviewing somebody part of a campaign team and I did not want to mess it up. I wanted to focus on what advice Ms. McEnany would give to college kids who supported Trump on liberal college campuses. I also wanted to get a feel for McEnany's favorite Trump rally and what she loves most about her job. I also wanted to get a feel for the larger scope of the Trump campaign team and the next plans for their upcoming rallies. Below is the video link of the interview and I was very happy with the results.
Ms. McEnany had a clear message to conservatives on liberal college campuses: to not be afraid of their political beliefs and realize there are many closet conservatives on campus who support Trump. I learned that it is time to not be afraid to voice your opinion and be true to yourself by being yourself. I know it sounds cheesy, but I used to be afraid to disagree with someone vocally in fear they will not like me anymore since I am conservative. Then I realized if people do not like me just because of my political beliefs, then they are too self-centered and are not good friends anyway. I learned to be outspoken with my beliefs in order to show the world that is okay for people to disagree politically. I have a lot of liberal friends and we still get along. I believe that humans need to realize that we all come from different backgrounds and it is okay to think differently on certain issues. I also enjoyed Ms. McEnany's answer that her favorite part about her job was going to all the Trump rallies and meeting all the people that make America so amazing. Because of the diversity of people in America, we all work together in order to create the most powerful country in the world economically. I also confirmed that the Trump campaign will visit the key swing states of Michigan and Wisconsin many more times. I was happy to learn this information because I know I have many more opportunities to be a press person at even more Trump rallies.
Now onto the main event: President Trump speaking in Milwaukee. The rally process was very similar to Battle Creek: a preacher starting the rally with a prayer, the Vice President speaking, and then President Trump speaking. This crowd environment was different though. The people in Battle Creek seemed much more happy and lively compared to Milwaukee. The crowd in Milwaukee was much more tense and I tended to have better conversations with supporters in Battle Creek. The Milwaukee crowd being less happy could be the fact that the rally had many more city people attendees and the Christmas season was over. Trust me, if you do not believe that city people tend to be less happy and more aggressive, you clearly have not walked around Chicago compared to a rural town.
The music was the same and the anticipation for President Trump was the same as Battle Creek. Around 12,000 people roared as soon as Trump walked on stage. It was interesting to see Trump talk to a more urban crowd of Milwaukee compared to the small town of Battle Creek. President Trump focused on his contributions to healthcare in America in Milwaukee due to Milwaukee being one of the poorer major cities in America. Trump also mentioned that the black unemployment rate is at an all time low since, Milwaukee is rated as one of the most segregated cities in America. The big news at the rally was the killing of the Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani. The crowd celebrated when Trump killed the Iranian terrorist and approved of his decision to protect us from foreign terrorists. The Trump campaign strategically made the rally during the Democratic Debate in order for the media to not entirely focus on the Democratic Presidential Nominees. President Trump's campaign team is operating very efficiently and are using smart tactics in order to ensure Trump will win the re-election in 2020. Trump also catered towards Wisconsin during his speech, ensuring the farmers and dairy farmers that they need to buy more land in order to keep up with the demand. The optimism of the booming economy and creation of many jobs made the crowd very happy knowing that they have a president who is making their country a whole lot better. Overall, I was still able to meet many nice people in Milwaukee who cared about making America a better country. I met lots of passionate citizens who wanted to see President Trump improve their lives even more.
At both of the rallies, President Trump was able to illuminate optimism. It feels great to know that America has a president who wants the best of his country and wants to make America a place where anybody can succeed. At the rallies, I was able to see many people who were just excited as me to see a president who defends our Constitutional rights. President Trump is able to connect with the middle-class of America and ensure that their hard work will go noticed. Blue-collared workers are able to have a sense of pride knowing that their work is helping the country economically and that President Trump is very appreciative of their hard work. Overall, President Trump is very popular with the working-class because of his ability to recognize that blue-collared workers improve the U.S. economy. He is helping the common worker by creating new manufacturing jobs and cutting taxes. When people and the media wonder why Donald Trump gets reelected in 2020, maybe it should be no surprise. He will win because America is more economically successful, he appeals to the working-class, has created millions of jobs, lowered the unemployment, and has incredible optimism for America.
Mark Williams is currently a Sophomore at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is currently studying Civil Engineering with a specialization in Environmental Engineering. From Chicago, Mark is a big fan of Da Bears, White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks. He also loves deep dish pizza, Italian Beef, and Chicago style hot dogs.