Decoding the Vibe: Trump clapped for himself, waved to the crowd in Manchester

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Susan Dromey Heeter

Susan Dromey Heeter is pictured in front of a poster of President Donald Trump at the SNHU Arena in Manchester Thursday.

Welcome to Decoding the Vibe where I tell it like it really is as the first-in-the-nation primary parade of candidates comes to town. Join me behind the scenes where you might just find out what the candidate is really like. Today, I decode the President. – Susan Dromey Heeter

By SUSAN DROMEY HEETER, Decoding the Vibe

MANCHESTER, N.H. – So, Decoding the Vibe was inside the Southern New Hampshire University Arena at the Trump Rally Thursday night. The music blared, the lights were bright, the sea of red hats abundant – it felt very show boaty, very hyped, very orchestrated.  

It felt very Deutschland Über Alles.

The newscasters wore their makeup; they looked like movie stars.  I’ve never been to a World Wide Wrestling Event, nor have I ever been to jail. The vibe felt like a crowd that would go to both.

Susan Dromey Heeter

The crowd was a mixture of old, young, excited and energetic. Shoes varied between flip flops, sneakers and the occasional leather shoes. The uniform of Trump is a t-shirt, a red hat, a few Trump banners worked double duty as capes.   

There was a vibe of hope, excitement, belonging, community; fans wore suits, dresses, glittery t-shirts that read, “Chicks for Trump.”

And the vibe? It was disconcerting. I’ve been to presidential events before – the first George Bush’s inauguration, events by Presidents Clinton, Obama. 

The vibe here felt about as presidential as a colonoscopy. 

The vibe felt more raucous, more sportsy, more “I’ve got the t-shirt AND the hat.” 

People really liked their props; MAGA signs were freely distributed. There were sparkles, there was no college attire, no t-shirt fashion that indicated brand loyalty to anything but Trump. There was popcorn. People sported the Donald Uniform of MAGA t-shirts and hats.  

The vibe?  I belong, I’m part of.  I don’t care what the facts are, I’ve got the shirt! I’ve got the hat! I’ve got my pals!  I belong; I’m here. It’s a party, it’s an event.

There was pride, there was reverence. Everyone stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem.  

There was patriotism in full swing, full tilt.  Red, white and blue were in bold caps followed by an army of exclamation points.  

There were beach balls in the stands. There were lots and lots of hats.

The vibe: Deutschland Über Alles.

There were quite a few unfilled seats. Yes. Really.  

Chants of USA, USA, USA  and Four More Years, Four More Years.

And then there was Donald. 

His entrance came with a raucous hugely high-decibel “Thunder” song. I was entirely grateful one of the reporters shared ear plugs; the vibe, again, felt loud, loud, loud. Ignorant. Ignorant. Ignorant.

He came out to “God Bless the USA,”  waved to the crowd, sported the usual red tie but no hat.

He clapped for himself; waved to the crowd.

And then he spoke. 

“I will never, ever let you down…”

His people chanted over him, yelled.

The vibe felt vile, enthusiastic, rehearsed.

And then I left.

Decoding the Vibe of Donald Trump and a Trump rally?  

My favorite part was leaving, walking out into a warm summer night and celebrating my freedom to vote, to support a free press, to walk, walk, walk away.

I took out my ear plugs, looked up to the full moon and whispered …thank you.  And thank you for reading Decoding the Vibe, celebrating your own freedom to support a free press and your own freedom to vote.  I implore you to do both. 

Susan Dromey Heeter is a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards.

The opinions expressed are those of the writer. takes no position on politics, but welcomes diverse opinions. email

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