Happy Friday everyone!

If you are reading this blog, you would probably rather be doing literally anything else in the world than listening to Donald Trump speak at Dorton Arena. FOMO? Don’t worry- I cut to the front of a mile-long line for access, got bounced from the press area by an unfriendly, walking haircut from ABC 11, received some Evangelical literature targeting the immigrant population (wtf, I know)…. but I’m here, sitting among the general public, chanting USA with a sidelong view of the Trump podium to bring you important updates live from Dorton arena (capacity 7,000) by the two minute increment.

Enjoy the live blog. Feel free to take shots of Fireball every time you read the words amazing, terrific, loser, clown, hater, classy, huge, immigrants, Mexicans , illegal aliens, China, take our country back, terrorists, jobs, who cares, dynamic, Hillary Clinton and President Obama. Let’s make America great again people!

6:43: Trump comes on in T-47 minutes. Lots of Adele playing on the loudspeakers; Trump connecting with the younger generation? . The guy behind me just yelled “this is for the Obama lovers, we just can’t snuff ’em out.”

6:45: Observation: ladies call themselves “Trumpettes” now, apparently. Clever.

6:48: Oh snap, there is a warmup. A pastor is giving us an invocation. America is in trouble, he says. And Trump could be the one to fix it, if its God’s will or whatever.

6:50: A veteran will now lead us in the pledge of allegiance. People are cheering loudly. Just went through the most enthusiastic pledge of allegiance ever. USA USA, USA!

6:52: So the director of the Trump campaign in NC is MC’ing. A stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

6:54: So Dorton is almost full, and that means almost 7,000 Trump supporters are here tonight. Trump director says our guest of honor will be out shortly!

6:59: As I allude to in the headline, virtually everyone here (including myself!) is white. That is just an observation. Carry on.

7:07: Trump seems to like the Rolling Stones song “Sympathy for the Devil.” There’s gotta be an allegory in that somewhere. Or he just got the rights to play a couple of songs, because here is Adele again.

7:09: Like some or many of you, I subscribe to the conspiracy theory that Trump is actually working for the Democrats. For Hillary specifically. What is more Clintonian in its genius and underhanded-ness than throwing off the GOP establishment by running this charismatic windbag and securing him the nomination? Hillary is laughing all the way to the White House (the Presidency is her birthright, dammit.) Reince Preibus is a Quinnipiac poll away from hurling himself off of a cliff.

7:19: I am now sitting on a concrete floor behind the standing-room only crowd. But I have found a power outlet! People in the bleachers in front of me are swaying their lighters phones and Trump signs to “Hey Jude.”

7:23: Mr. Trump will be joining us shortly! Please welcome the next president of the United States, MC Trump says. The Donald, who I cannot see yet, says “wow.” The applause is deafening. He says “Raleigh is a beautiful place and the crowd is beautiful.” Go ahead and drink on “beautiful.”

7:25: So we have a movement going on, Trump says. “We are going to take our country back, be a smart country, not a stupid country led by stupid people and we are going to win so much, we going to win again!”

7:26: Trump mentions a new CNN poll which says he is Number 1. “We beat Hillary so badly. She has got no strength, no stamina. It’s a corrupt deal and she shouldn’t be allowed to run!”

7:27: “Don’t you love this winning stuff,” he says “Republicans and conservatives have a structural disadvantage.” I guess because they keep losing Presidential elections? That’s not winning.

7:29: Lol, Trump calls Jeb Bush “not boring, but low energy.” This is his new insult for everyone. Trump says he’s spent the least amount of money with the best result. And wouldn’t it be nice if we could do that with the country?

7:31: There’s an interruption it seems. Requisite media hit: check. Calls the media dishonest. “A big percentage of it is so dishonest. They’ll make that one person the headline.”

7:32: He just told an anecdote about the protester. There were def. some protesters out there tonight. I saw them outside, and now they’re in the building, interrupting the Donald.

7:33: Trump is bragging on the non-use of teleprompters, which is obvious from, like, everything he says. He loves North Carolina. He name checks Trump National Golf Club in Charlotte. One of the most beautiful places, he says. For rich and or/white people, amirite.

7:34: Trump say he’s beating a Senator who never votes, in Florida (that’s Rubio) and a governor of Florida (Jeb!) That is true. “We have a situation in our country where we have a president that is out of control. He won’t say what’s happening. ISIS is trying to blow up our buildings (did that happen?), chopping off Christians heads. Drowning people in steel cases (that apparently did happen.) Trump would prefer to go “a few steps beyond waterboarding” and wonders why he “gets heat” for that.

7:36: Trump’s criticizing Bush for criticizing his tone. Shouts out to wounded warriors, but stresses “keeping the oil”- because “To the victor”…audience: “belongs the spoils,” or some botched up version of that expression.

7:38: ISIS is taking our oil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Trump wants to build a super military so nobody is going to mess with us. And BTW, let’s take care of our vets. Yes, it is pretty shitty that they are in waiting rooms for 5-7 days before they see a doctor. Not a lot of details, or any, on how Trump’s going to address that though.

7:39: And we need to give military families money. Again, lacking in details. “We are going to do it, as soon as I win. We are going to be so proud of our country again.”

7:40: “Obama didn’t read the Art of the Deal, so he is grossly incompetent. And Hillary is going to be just as bad.” Loud boos!! USA chants!!

7:41: Thousands of people are pouring in (to this room), Trump says. This rally is getting real stream of consciousness, BTW. “I have to be nice, I’m going to be nice. Hillary wakes up, she doesn’t offend, she puts on her pantsuit, she doesn’t offend, and you don’t see her for 5 days because she goes home and goes back to sleep.” Lol, OK. This has been my favorite quote of the evening. I take Hillary for a lot of things, but never considered that she’s lazy. Who wouldn’t want to sleep for 5 days though?

7:42: Yep, he is sticking with the wall thing. “We are going to build one and not let people into our country who we don’t know who they are or where they come from.”

7:43: If you look, I’ve made a lot of right decisions, Trump says. And, right, the Obamacare website sucks. What’s going in Germany is a disaster. We just don’t want these people coming to the United States. “And if I win, they have got to go back.”

7:45: More booing…Protesters? Protesters. So we are going to get our borders back. Again with the wall!

7:47: We’re onto China now. It is “ripping off” our country. Now Trump is talking about the shooting in California this week; he says someone suspected the shooters but didn’t want to report them because of racial profiling. (I had not heard that.) We’ve become too politically correct, apparently, because people were “too scared” to call out two seemingly well adjusted Muslims.

7:48: Watch the Super PACS, Trump says. They control your destiny and they are not people that have you in mind…

7:49: There is so much random booing. Trump will “focus on security. Bring the safety of our country back,” blah blah. “I take heat,” blah, blah.

7:51: We’re going to protect our Second Amendment, Trump says. To loud applause of course. One more thing: Common Core is a disaster. We have one of the worst education systems in the world, that’s going to end. “We are going to have local, beautiful education and we are going to save money.” No elaboration on how we will do that. So far the only specific policy idea I’ve heard from Trump is the wall.

7:52: OK, it’s Q and A time. But we’re struggling to get the mike on. “Who’s running this place?” Trump asks.

Q: I was wondering what you would say to President Obama…

A: You”re fired!

7:53: But seriously, Q cont.: Now that we have had a terrorist attack in California that I’m sure we did everything they could to cover it up. But its been stated today that it was a terrorist attack? How would you handle it?

A: I would handle it so tough you have no idea. You don’t want to hear! We are going to handle it so tough and get it stopped. (Strong non-answer.) And if the people in the room had guns, they would “get” the other guys. (Bc that’s how it works.)

7:55: Q: You have tapped into American consciousness of “we the people,” a woman says. not a question, but Trump says “beautiful.” New question: “First of all I would like to say ‘merry Christmas.” Oh, the ole war on Christmas trope.

7:56: A: That’s another thing we will bring back, Merry Christmas. Ok, here’s actual the Q: Will you stop the use of “undocumented alien” and call them illegal alien? Will you have that stopped in Congress? Because they are illegal aliens..(.whyyyyyy are people so stupid?)

7:57: Trump brings up the man in California who was shot by an illegal alien. Moves on. New Q: Can we prosecute Hillary? A: What she did was illegal (Benghazi, I’m thinking) Other people went to jail for much less than she did. I think she’s going to get off and it will be her greatest achievement. She is one of the worst in history, the world grew up during that regime. (No idea what that means.)

7:59: New Q: A black woman is letting everyone know “we stand behind Donald J Trump, we support and endorse Donald J. Trump and this is going to be our next president. The silent majority has spoken. Don’t get it twisted. He’s going to build that wall, build it tall and it’s going to protect us all. We don’t want this country to fall. Build that wall Donald J. trump.” Trump has the African American vote, then. I guess that settles that.

8:01: New Q: (He’s going to talk military.) Why do we have all the foreigners come over and get a green card and then they have their own practices and take our money and no matter which way we look it we lose.

A: The illegal immigrants get treated better than our vets and it’s not going to happen anymore.

8:02: Q: how quickly can you kick Common Core to the curb? A: It’s going to be gone very quickly. “Take care of your mommy.”- no context for that, I apologize.

8:03: Q: A Campbell University kid rep-ing students for Trump. Here we go. I missed the question but the answer is, we are “taking the jobs back from China and Japan.” From our ally, Japan. But don’t worry, bc you will have jobs, students. Trump will make sure of it.

8:04: Q: Do you think the refugees trying to come here are going to become priests or become celibate? If not, what will happen to women in the countries they are going to? Ummmm. Trump does not understand the question, neither does anyone. A: “I don’t want to get into that question.” Good call.


8:06: A protester yelling “we do not hate, we are not a fascist country” interrupts. I’m watching him as he’s led out by police, chanting all the way. Frankly, I am scared of the 12-year old from Virginia.

8:07: Here goes a 13-year-old. A lot of kids here. Q: China is stealing our jobs; why? A: China, Japan and Mexico’s leaders are so much more cunning than our leaders. (Mmmmmk.) Blah, blah, taking our country back, blah.

8:11: Some more protesters just got dragged out. Our country is so divided, Trump says. There is hatred between people and we want to bring it together. We have a horrible President, he can’t get much worse. I always thought Obama would be a cheerleader, a unify-er, but he’s been a great divider. (Maybe if he wasn’t being perpetually harassed over his citizenship

8:12: Lol Q, how will Trump regulate Wall Street? He will stop taxing the middle class. It’s going to be so beautiful. Dynamic economy. manufacturing. Trillions of dollars. You are going to be very happy. Wall Street is actually not a bad couple of words though, Trump says. TLDR: it’s going to be “dynamic.”

8:13 One or 2 more questions. Q: What would you do on your first day on office?

A: He would sign an executive order ending Obama’s executive order….drowned out by applause. He will help vets immediately. He will start building the military, make it really powerful and strong. Nobody’s going to mess with us.

8:14: People are filing out. More protesters. “Don’t worry about them,” Trump says. But he knows it’s over. Trump says “this has been an honor. We are sitting on something that is bigger than anyone understands or knows. We are going to make our country greater than ever before, I love you, thank you very much.”

8:31: Well that was a riveting half hour, I’m sure you’ll agree. With an anticlimactic end. Thanks, protesters! But no really, thanks. Some Raleigh hospitality right there. Personally, the last time I was this embarrassed to be white was the Holdernesses Christmas special. Good night everyone. Happy holidays Merry Christmas.