Trump comes to New Orleans

Eliza Jay, Contributing Reporter

Lines of eager New Orleans residents packed the Landmark Aviation Friday as Donald Trump appeared for the first time as a presidential candidate in the city.

Despite a 45-minute car ride, the event in New Orleans east attracted Tulane students, along with many other college students, to attend as protestors.

Closing the doors before six, when the rally was said to begin, according to Trump’s campaign website, it was difficult for many to get into the rally; however, staying in was even more difficult, according to many protesters, who said the rally used half its time to target people and kick them out.

Many heated arguments took place outside the rally, creating a hostile political climate. Some arguments came close to violent outbreaks, requiring police intervention. Between those advocating for the Black Lives Matter Movement, Bernie Sanders fans and many others simply against hateful and racist rhetoric, there was much opposition to the Trump Campaign. Black Lives Matter activists stood outside the rally chanting “USA No Trump, No KKK, no Fascists.” Other protestors expressed their anger through humor, holding signs that said, “Trump has small hands,” and “Drumpf equals Bigot.”

“There was no political thought at the rally,” Tulane junior Zach Kalish said. He described Trump supporters as being more interested in Trump’s sense of humor than his political agenda. Trump discussed vague plans of building a wall between the United States and Mexico but apparently didn’t go into much detail, leaving out vital detailing including how it will be financed and who will build it. Additionally, Trump was almost impossible to hear for those not in the front, contributing negatively to the already lacking political discussion.

“The atmosphere was hostile,” said Kalish. Apparently, not getting kicked out of the rally meant being discreet for those who weren’t Donald Trump supporters. Despite great opposition to his political campaign, students expressed their openness towards listening to what Trump had to say, and were upset they were denied entrance into the rally, taking away their opportunity to do so.

“I would have listened to what he had to say, I wasn’t going to go to in there and be disrespectful, but I wasn’t given that opportunity,” said Caroline Yerkes, junior at Tulane.

Young Trump supporters were hard to find; however, a group of male Louisiana State University students held Trump signs expressing their support. Despite being Republicans, they said that Trump wasn’t their first choice as Presidential Candidate. They suggested that attending the rally was more about the entertainment value and observing the crowd.

Those who were Trump supporters, assuming based on their apparel sporting Trump, weren’t all that interested in discussing their political views in depth. Efforts to ask for comments on the rally were denied.

Despite the great opposition Trump faced in New Orleans, he came out victoriously the republican Louisiana Primaries. Trumps radical views may be appalling to some, but are successful at resonating with others. 

Based on Tulane students who attended the rally, it is apparent that Trump’s overall views do not align with the majority of Tulane student’s views. It could be inferred from attending the rally that the support for Trump was coming mainly from an older demographic. While Millennials outnumber baby-boomers today, they are continually underrepresented in the polls– an important reminder to college students that every vote counts.