Earlier this week, the hashtag #EmptySeatMAGATour trended on Twitter after video of a Trump rally started circulating. The clip showed lots of empty seats, as you might guess.
The president isn’t the most popular guy on the planet at the moment, but his rallies have reliably been a place where he can expect to get cheered for saying any inane, racist thing he wants. If people stop showing up to those, how will this baby grandpa get his jollies?
Trump has been saying all of his rallies are packed to the rafters. This may seem like just one more stupid lie to throw on the pile, but of course he is incensed about having it pointed out.
If there’s one thing Trump can’t stand it is people thinking he’s not popular. He tweeted a response on Friday morning:
Biggest crowd EVER, according to Arena people. Thousands outside trying to get in. Place was packed! Radical Left Dems & their Partner, LameStream Media, saying Arena empty. Check out pictures. Fake News. The Enemy of the People! https://t.co/KkZWspM93a— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2019
Ah, another attack against journalism, the Democrats, and the LameStream Media. I thought that was something people only said ironically, but I don’t think Trump understands irony.
Before that tweet, he was insisting that there was an enormous crowd and sharing pictures to prove it:
Great time in New Hampshire last night. Placed was maxed out, totally packed, with thousands coming to the arena floor at start. Thousands more outside that were not allowed in per code. Energy was really great to see. We will win New Hampshire in 2020!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2019
Look at the tremendous overflow at packed arena in New Hampshire last night. Sorry we couldn’t get you in, will be back soon! pic.twitter.com/Rvd2TeJrpo— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2019
It’s honestly kind of hard to tell what the truth was.
In other photos and the video of Trump speaking, it does seems as though the mezzanine seats are pretty empty:
The Daily Mail spoke with the fire marshal at the arena, and it seems as though Trump was right—there were lots of people at the event, more than 11,000 and a few more watching in the overflow area. It’s unclear why those people wouldn’t fill in the seats at the top. Presumably, they wanted to be closer to their man.
It’s fun to poke the bear, but it might be more useful to acknowledge how many people are still standing behind him. Or in front of him, to be more accurate. Attend a rally for someone you support for 2020, and fill in those background seats.