Trump supporters didn’t mind that their choice for president was nearly a half-hour late taking the stage at Stephen Decatur High School on Wednesday night.
Hundreds of backers had begun waiting three hours earlier, forming long lines across from the high school as more, in cars backed up a half-mile, searched for parking while security helicopters circled overhead.
Inside, every guest who got free tickets went through electronic security.
Not everybody was pleased with his visit to Berlin, though. Protesters from Wicomico and Worcester counties gathered on property nearby. Some teachers objected to his message of hate of certain groups, saying it isn’t a proper lesson for children.
When, finally, spotlights crisscrossed the makeshift stage in the gym, and pounding music played, Trump supporters –crowded together on bleachers, standing, sitting on the floor where they could find a spot –made a deafening roar of approval.
“This place looks vibrant. This is a vibrant place,” Trump, wearing a navy suit and red tie, bellowed as he waved and smiled.
He introduced a man on his staff named Kevin, who once attended Stephen Decatur High School. “This guy’s a gem. Whenever there’s a problem he runs right in. Runs in. Is everybody like that in this school?” he asked to hearty applause.
A Maryland property owner, Trump said he loves the state, then wasted no time getting to opponent Hillary Clinton, calling her “Crooked Hillary” and saying she “doesn’t have a chance.”
“She uses bad judgment. She’s got bad judgment. We are going to beat her so badly,” he said to waves of applause.
“Nobody is going to mess with us, right? She’s done. She’s terrible … we’re going to make our country so great. You’re going to be so happy,” the Republican presidential nominee said.
Like most of his speeches, this local one – that drew hundreds of people from the region and surprised the Shore when it was announced Monday – touched on losing jobs to Mexico, making the country’s military strong again, taking care of veterans, honoring police officers and fire fighters, building a wall against immigrants, lowering taxes for the middle class and not allowing the country to be taken advantage of.
“We want Trump! We want Trump!” the audience chanted, as they waved cardboard signs that had been handed out, with his name in bold letters. In another room, scores more who couldn’t fit in the gym watched on a screen.
“Hey, is it fun to be at a Trump rally?” he asked, saying Lyin’ Ted (Cruz) and Crooked Hillary (Clinton) gatherings are dull by comparison, especially since Cruz can only attract a handful of supporters.
Tough-guy gang members who terrorize in the U.S.A. won’t be tolerated if he’s elected, he promised, saying, “We’ll get them the hell out of here when I am president.”
“You know, it takes guts to do this, folks. It’s not an easy thing to do,” then he sounded a bit softer saying, “Without you there’s no me.”
His wife, he said, advises him to be more presidential, but he considers that the easy way out. His style, with passion, takes more energy.
“We’re going to be a strong nation again. We’re going to have Social Security. We will bring our schools back locally and end Common Core. And we will save the Second Amendment,” he said, launching into a scenario how victims of random shootings wouldn’t be killed if they were carrying guns.
As for being politically correct? He isn’t in favor.
“This politically correct is killing us,” he said to a roar of approval.
“We’re going to bring jobs back,” he said, urging supporters to vote for him in Maryland’s primary Tuesday.
“We’re not going to get beat up anymore, folks. We’re not gonna get beat up.”
Reach Susan Canfora at firstname.lastname@example.org.