It was the best of crowds; it was the worst of crowds.
Thousands of patriotic Americans showed up to attend President Trump’s rally in El Paso Monday night. The throng filled the El Paso County Coliseum to capacity, while thousands more watched the president’s speech on monitors in the parking lot. All told, the crowd likely numbered at least 20,000 people.
The rally headlined by former Congressman Robert O’Rourke, on the other hand, attracted fewer than half as many attendees — some of the more generous estimates peg the crowd size for his speech at around 7,000. And based on video from the event, there’s no way those estimates are true, the place was empty!
In fact, the president’s overflow crowd alone exceeded O’Rourke’s entire audience, and the effect was audible.
Throughout the first half of his speech, O’Rourke had to compete to be heard over the music coming from the parking lot outside the president’s rally. As he began to wind down his remarks, President Trump took the stage, and a series of roars went up from the MAGA crowd that temporarily drowned out the counter-rally.
Crowd size wasn’t the only difference between the two rallies, though. The president’s audience took every opportunity to show off their patriotism, but participants in the counter-rally made clear that their loyalties lie elsewhere.
Whereas Trump’s supporters erupted into chants of “USA, USA, USA!” in response to his optimistic vision of safety and prosperity for America, O’Rourke’s audience cheered his calls for amnesty and open borders.
The president’s audience donned red MAGA hats, while O’Rourke’s carried Mexican flags — one photo even showed a large Mexican flag being held higher than the American flag next to it.
Trump promised to protect American communities from the gangs, drug dealers, and human traffickers that exploit our unsecured border — 80 percent of the illegal aliens arrested by ICE last year have criminal convictions — while O’Rourke denied that those dangers even exist, insisting that Border Patrol was mainly apprehending “kids.”
O’Rourke declared that “we are going to show the country who we are,” and that’s exactly what his supporters did — the problem is that the country probably won’t like what it sees.
That’s why President Trump chose El Paso as the site of his rally — it provides a perfect example of how effective border walls can be, and presents a stark contrast between the placid streets north of the border and the rampant violence on the other side of the wall in Juarez, Mexico.
Considering the contrast between the president’s America First message and O’Rourke’s America last rhetoric, it’s hardly surprising that President Trump’s crowd dwarfed the former congressman’s.
Harlan Hill is president of the Logan Circle Group and an advisory board member for the Trump-Pence 2020 re-election campaign.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.