Big, bold, beautiful, and very Trump: The president takes El Paso

President Trump visited the Texas border city of El Paso to make a case for his border wall, and press pooh-poohing to the contrary, it was big.  Real big.  The press fell over itself to downplay claims about the actual crowd size, but 16,000 people, if the numbers were as low as that, is still an amazing number, respect-inducing numbers, particularly in a blue city like El Paso.  If this trip was Trump's kickoff to his 2020 presidential re-election run, the Democratic clown car of candidates getting all the press these days has something to worry about, because it looks a lot like 2016, except it's even bigger.

Here's what even the grizzled old political editor of the Daily Mail had to say about it:

President Trump visited the Texas border city of El Paso to make a case for his border wall, and press pooh-poohing to the contrary, it was big.  Real big.  The press fell over itself to downplay claims about the actual crowd size, but 16,000 people, if the numbers were as low as that, is still an amazing number, respect-inducing numbers, particularly in a blue city like El Paso.  If this trip was Trump's kickoff to his 2020 presidential re-election run, the Democratic clown car of candidates getting all the press these days has something to worry about, because it looks a lot like 2016, except it's even bigger.

Here's what even the grizzled old political editor of the Daily Mail had to say about it:

 

Here's the USA Today report:

The Trump rally, held in strongly Democratic El Paso, came a week after the president's State of the Union address, where he angered many locals by saying El Paso was "once considered one of our nation's most dangerous cities" until a security fence was erected.  Trump has asked for $5.7 billion to build a border wall, a key sticking point in a recent government shutdown that dragged for 35 days.

Monday's rally, Trump's first political event of 2019, is likely a harbinger of more to come to garner support for the wall and his reelection campaign.

This is really what it comes down to.  The press had been trying to downplay this event even before it happened and has put out a slew of stories to suggest that everyone in El Paso is against him. 

Apparently, quite a few of them are not.  Yes, it's likely that many have come from outside of El Paso, given that the core of the city is pretty blue, but those people count, too, many of them ranchers whose properties have been despoiled by illegal immigration, the human-smuggling trade, and cartels transporting illegal drugs . If they had the motivation to drive a hundred miles to come to such a rally, as the USA Today report suggested, what does this say about their voting commitment?  In the past, they've been known as "broken glass Republicans," and apparently, they're back.

It goes to show that Trump's signature issue, the building of a border wall, is powerful with voters and likely to win him re-election in 2020.  Nobody expected crowds to be this big, at least in the press, and the fact that a potential Trump rival in 2020, failed Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, held a rival rally right in the heart of the blue city of El Paso, with far smaller numbers, around 7,000, says a lot.  It was reported that cheers from the Trump rally a quarter mile away actually drowned Beto out.

With a hat tip to Instapundit, here's a tweeted summary of it:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">You never want to be that guy who throws the lame party right across the street from the booming kegger<br><br>Beto is that guy. <a href="https://t.co/jykWkgwIbv">https://t.co/jykWkgwIbv</a></p>&mdash; Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) <a href="https://twitter.com/BuckSexton/status/1095151604758691842?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 12, 2019</a></blockquote>

<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

 

The press, of course, tried to portray Beto as the winner, but the numbers don't support it.

Here's what the Beto rally had to show for itself:

 

 

Way to win the voters over, Beto.  (Is this guy running for president of Mexico? Maybe he should decide which country he'd like to run for president of.)

Nor does the fact that Trump's poll numbers now sport a 52% approval rating suggest that there's anything errant about Trump's crowd showing.  As his campaign kicks off in El Paso, that figure suggests soaring support.  I have always been skeptical of the low numbers in the past, given the revolution that Trump represents, but now the numbers aren't even borderline enough to manipulate below the 50 line.  I suspect that the 52% is much higher, actually, given the low base of previous polls.  Polls during campaign 2016 all had Trump below the water line, and, well, he pulled out an upset victory, stunning the Washington swamp.  Now he's at 52%, signaling that people want that wall.  And the reality is, the U.S. is in a crisis at the border, something that actually affects people in their daily lives as illegals and their cartel sponsors lower property values, force tax hikes, and inflict crime on the citizens.  Trump's State of the Union speech and his determined stance to erect a border wall is obviously playing well with voters.

This, in addition to his awesome economic record quite unlike any other, with job creation exploding, and his stellar foreign policy record which has overseas nationals begging for a Trump of their own.  The Middle East is a success, the South China Sea is a success, the Korean peninsula is a success, and now Venezuela is getting set to be a success — with Democrats utterly terrified of losing Florida.  How can this not be a sign of the election to come? 

El Paso, which I have some familiarity with, having spent time with one of its very nice moderate Democratic mayors and written about its development, is a pretty interesting city, but there are a lot of crossed wires about what's going on there.  It's blue, but it's a moderate blue, and right now, it has a Republican mayor.  It's also something unique: a border city, and as a border city, it very much resembles border cities around the world, where families are intermingled on both sides of the national line, and they come and go all the time.  It's a very stable situation, actually, and that explains why the city is famous for its lack of crime, which the press is jumping all over Trump for as it tries to claim that the president, in citing crime as the case for a wall, is lying.  The president seems to have framed that somewhat poorly.  El Paso, yes, indeed, is a low-crime place.  But its peaceful social capital and harmonious border interactions had been disturbed in recent years in a way that would get worse without a wall.  Mexico's internationally connected drug- and human-smuggling cartels did encroach on the Mexican side, and cartel bullets most certainly did hit El Paso's city hall and El Paso's residents from Mexico in the past decade.  That spillover from Mexico's drug war is the result of cartels growing powerful in the absence of a wall, which is why a wall is necessary. 

The wall is a separate issue from one that preoccupies El Paso's peaceable people — which is the need for a door, and Trump would do well to provide assurances that the wall is targeted only at cartels and their human and drug cargoes, not the natural social arrangements of the border people.  Trump should assure the El Pasoans that the wall is what it's going to take to restore their natural border arrangements, and it's going to have a great big easy-to-enter door for the locals to come and go.  Trump could win the bluest El Pasoans over with that one, and it's likely he eventually will.

Bottom line?  Democrats have something to worry about with a Trump rally of strength in one of Texas's bluest cities.