Whether it was at the bar when I saw Fox, CNN, and HLN with their breaking news about Trump's Chicago rally, or my phone blowing up with all the social media comments about it, I calmly set my phone down, returned to my coffee, and continued my conversation with my friends because I knew something about political rallies most people don't. And that is...
They don't matter.
And so before we waste precious hours of our finite lives come Monday morning, listening to the talking heads on talk radio or Fox News be "aghast" at the tyrannical behavior of leftist thugs, let the Ole Captain put things in context for you, so you not only save yourself some blood pressure, but hours of your lives you can't be wasting on what amounts to nothing more than never-ending political soap operas.
First, you need to understand that political rallies are very much like concerts. If you think about it, concerts are stupid. You spend your time and money to drive through rush hour-esque traffic, pay for parking, then like cattle shuffle into a euphemistically called "auditorium," where the acoustics are so poor a tinny 1930's radio sounds better. Yes you get to see "your band," but the truth is for a fraction of the cost and hassle, you could have just stayed at home, fired up your MP3 player, with your home stereo system and enjoyed a much higher quality of music than what you'd hear at any concert.
Political rallies are the same thing. You would have done a lot more had you stayed at home, penned off three letters to your congressman, donated what you would have paid for in parking or gas to your candidate's campaign fund, or merely wrote a thoughtful piece to convince your FB friends to vote for your candidate.
Second, political rallies are obsolete. If this were the 1880's, sure. Political rallies would have made sense. Your only form of media was newspapers and a visual display of mass numbers of people may inspire (or intimidate) others to vote a certain way. But with television, radio, not to mention this thing called "the internet," the mass groupings of people to convince the king he was 10 minutes from the guillotine if he didn't change aren't necessary. A flood of e-mails, polls, or just watching the news will inform people and politicians what the nation thinks, much more than a mass of rally goers.
Third, the numbers of rallies no longer mean anything.
Trump claims there were 35,000 people at his rally in Chicago. Which is fine and great, but...
Tennessee, just one state, experienced a 17% increase in primary votes, with a 2-1 margin of those being Republicans (all I'd say due to Trump), before any major rallies.
You do some quick math and those extra 56,000 Tennessean voters, 2/3rds of which were Trump-inspired Republican primary votes means without a rally, just the mere internet and news coverage of Trump, ONE moderately populated state produced 37,000 primary votes for Trump.
And VOTES are what matters, not attendees to a rally.
In other words, just like concerts, only die hard fans attend political rallies. But also just like concerts, musicians don't much care about concert attendance as much as they do album sales, and ergo, politicians should be more concerned about prompting the silent majority to vote (ie - "buy their album") than merely attend their concert.
And Trump has obviously done that.
Fourth, political rallies are horrendously inefficient and horrendous wastes of resources, especially in the internet era.
In light of point #1, I remember attending ONE political rally and it's inefficiency became very apparent to me. No politician saw us, I could not see how we would make a difference, and in the end it cost me about half a day of my time. Had I instead done something else aside from standing there with a sign, it would have gone a much longer way to defeat the legislation I was hoping to defeat.
Now imagine you take that 4 hours (and say, $20 in gas and parking), and multiply that times the 35,000 Trump supporters at the Chicago rally.
Instead of the shit show anti-American, racist, socialist thugs made it, it could have instead been:
140,000 hours of Trump volunteers making calls to potential supporters.
140,000 well-thought pieces written to newspapers, new shows, talk shows, and social media
140,000 hours of people writing counter-pieces against Cruz, Bernie, Hillary, or Move On.org.
140,000 hours of canvassing, postering, etc.
$750,000 in donations ($20 in expenses those 35,000 could have donated instead)
And if you pro-rate those human hours at a $15/hour wage, that's $2.1 million these rally goers could have worked and donated to his campaign anyway.
And that's just Chicago!
Of course, the Ole Captain knows his SAEG (TM) will never be fully realized and to get political candidates to think with this laser like level of precise logic, let alone hire Asshole Consulting as an advisory, is wishful thinking. But that doesn't mean we individuals have to make the same mistake twice. So don't waste your time this upcoming Monday listening to the talk shows analyzing something that TRULY doesn't matter. Spend the time instead defeating socialism in a manner that is useful, practical, and effective instead.