There is one last story from my Rally marathon that I need to share.
Meet Mr. and Mrs. Beasley. They are from northeast Georgia but were in Cedar Rapids for an extended stay to care for two of their many grandchildren. It was just about 3:00 when I arrived to stand in line next to them. Mr. Beasley was my first interview of the Trump rally,
In the six hours we would spend together waiting (Trump’s arrival was almost 2 hours late), I would learn that Mr. and Mrs. Beasley also struggled with Secretary Clinton’s role in the Benghazi deaths. Deeply skeptical of media and the polls, in many ways they might have been just about the best representation of a centrist Trump supporter I have encountered.
In the final moments before the rally began, as we sat along side each other, Mrs. Beasley asked me if I supported Mr. Trump. She asked in earnest and in that moment, I decided to put aside my neutral facade. Mr Beasley took note and leaned in to hear my answer,
“I do have several concerns about Mr. Trump but in the end it has come down to this for me… Mr. Trump has demonstrated a lifelong pattern of cruelty. By this I mean inflicting pain and distress on people senselessly, to further no cause, to achieve no end. And I can think of no time in our history when a manifestly cruel person was given power and a military that ended well.”
There was a pause. Mr Beasley had been looking down as I spoke, but he raised his eyes and there was a softness in his face. This is not to say he agreed. But he heard me.