Trump Rally Brings International Attention
On Saturday, July 09, Donald Trump came to Anchorage, Alaska.
It was a surprisingly huge event that seemed to come out of nowhere. For somewhere like Anchorage, having someone worth covering by international news sources — Australia’s News.com and the United Kingdom’s Independent — is admittedly a big deal, not just for the city, but for the entire state.
Trump came to Anchorage on his newest round of political speeches, which blur the lines between a political campaign and an extension of his “Big Lie” that Biden stole the 2020 election. While Trump made no comments about whether or not he’d be running in 2024, the response from the crowd said all we need to know: Trump still has a huge following, and as long as he continues to affirm what they already believe, they’re not going anywhere.
Driving up to the event — nestled strategically between Providence and UAA — the energy was extremely familiar, like a football game between East’s Thunderbirds and West’s Eagles, except with the added weight that the outcome of this event affects us all.
Beyond the gated sidewalks, carefully plotted police patrol vehicles, and the crawling traffic, all you could see were people. There were people waiting in line, people protesting (and counter-protesting), and plenty of people selling Trump merchandise. Whatever merchandise you wanted, it was there: shirts, hats, glasses, flags, keychains, bobbleheads, cardboard cutouts, and even balloons. All of Trump, of course.
To get into the 5,000-seat Alaska Airlines Center, you had to be both an avid Trump supporter and an early arriver. According to the Washington Post, attendees were lined up by how much they paid to get in. And based on the text messages received leading up to the event, it was clear that while Trump wasn’t technically selling reserved tickets, the follow-up text messages ensured you knew you were meant to donate with contents like, “Please contribute any amount IMMEDIATELY to ACTIVATE your Official 2022 Trump Founding Membership.”
The event began with a small (Christian) prayer before any other operation — before the pledge of allegiance, national anthem, and the Alaska Flag Song. It also came before the endless chants of, “USA! USA! USA!” between the list of featured speakers.
The guests spoke as follows: MyPillow CEO, Mike Lindell, Senate candidate, Kelly Tshibaka, former Governor, Sarah Palin, and finally, Trump himself.
First up was Mike Lindell. Lindell has been an active partner in Trump’s campaign for years now and has said himself how he was investing over $25 million in 2021 alone to fuel Trump’s “Big Lie.”
“I will spend whatever it takes,” Lindell told CNBC, suggesting he’s continued to spend as much as possible into 2022 and beyond.
He started a speech that would soon be repeated in many different ways by the following speakers. Once that became obvious, the full composition of the event was then clear: Trump wasn’t necessarily here to improve his 2024 election chances, he was here to push Murkowski out.
“I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be —” Trump said to The Hill in early 2021, “in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator.”
Murkowski, a Republican, has been publicly against Trump for some time. She was one of seven Republicans to vote to indict Trump based on his involvement with the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, and is the only remaining Republican to indict him that is still running for Senate in 2022.
Her competitor, according to Trump’s campaign, at least, is Kelly Tshibaka, “a Conservative Warrior,” as Trump calls her.
“This Senate seat often is the deciding vote that can affect the entire course of the nation,” Tshibaka said during her speech. The seat she’s referring to is the one up for grabs this November — Murkowski could be replaced.
There are currently 19 candidates slotted for the Senate primary occurring on August 16. Shortly after that, the general election will commence on November 8.