Third Debate Watch Party: Liberty University Observations


[October 21, 2016] Wednesday Night I was at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA under the invite of the Liberty Trump Coalition, arranged through Josh Rosene.  Alexis Rucker ran the event with many very enthusiastic students of the campus. Alexis is a well-spoken and enthusiastic Trump supporter at a school divided by the election and who is in the contention.

Arriving early I saw the event room setup for a huge crowd. Refreshments and décor of things important to supporters were in place.  An effigy of Hillary Clinton to the viewer right of the stage, donning an orange jumpsuit typical of prison wear attracted numerous people for “selfies” and some group shots.  It is not secret that Hillary lies and obfuscates questions given to her and the suit symbolizes the arguable belief that Clinton should be prosecuted, as Mr. Trump alluded to in the second debate.

To the left of the stage was a cutout of Trump and Pence that attracted some attention but mostly stood as a testament to their presence in the room during the debate watch event.

We were told by announcement from Josh Rosene that the school had mixed up the announcement to students and a 7:30p door opening was sent out as a 9pm door opening, though the debate started at 9pm local time, thus we would watch on a short delay to allow time for students to arrive and have the time for the main speaker, Corey Stewart, to speak with us prior to the debate.  It was a fair compromise in timing. It ended up being not as many as was expected to attend, but a large crowd nonetheless as the room could likely hold 800, at a guess.  The usual curfew for students at the campus was also extended to 11pm.

The hall had equal opportunity for opposing viewpoints with students there to represent alternate candidates.  Notably, Johnson had a handful of students there offering the solution seen by many as “opposed to Hillary, but not really into Trump” and generally former Bernie Sanders supporters who were left abandoned by their candidate when he allied with Clinton despite his past honest negative assessment of her.  In a contest where it will either be Hillary or Trump, the third party candidate represents an idealist stance for some who may just need to realize that there is no perfect candidate, but there are realistic options for a vote that counts.

Other media from various outlets had arrived to do their filming and interviews and I had a scheduled opportunity to have personal and frank discussion with Corey Stewart, which I write about separately.   I will say that he is a well-spoken man with a sincere manner and the ethics to be a solid governor for the state of Virginia when that race takes place.

During the time before the debate I had been seated at times listening to students chatting about various topics and one young man stuck out to me.  I asked his first name, and he replied it was Ezra.  What I had heard him discussing with other students was largely the unfounded accusations toward Mr. Trump and I politely asked to interject. Ezra being a thoughtful man accepted my rebuttal.  My intent being to fuse fact into a dialog that had taken a course toward the hateful accusations lodged on Clinton PAC blog posts and cable media talking points with Clinton campaign collusion, as the recent DNC and WikiLeaks releases have proven.

Frankly, this young man and I ended up having a thoughtful discussion as he is undecided and admitted he may not actually vote saying what some others have said online, that he may not vote at all because of what they see in media that discredits both main candidates.  I told the young man that no one disputes Mrs. Clinton is a liar, and that is why he is reading so many things about Mr. Trump that have been proven false yet are being pushed to make a narrative.

As we closed in on the debate start, Corey Stewart spoke to us and provided more energy to the room.  He has a charisma and forthright manner.  So, with a prayer, we settled in to watch the event. Maybe that is an odd word to use to describe the debate, but to be frank; there has been little that can be called normal in this election cycle.

When the introductions for the candidates began, Hillary Clinton was introduced first and a single young man to the right clapped vigorously for her.  With Donald Trump the room erupted with many more applauding.  Granted, this was a Trump campaign event, but it is telling for the true conscious of the country.


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