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Opinion: Five things to watch for during Trump’s Phoenix rally

President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, before his departure to Arizona and Nevada. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Now that the Valley has taken off its eclipse sunglasses — be honest: most of you actually tried to look at the sun without them — Air Force One was expected to land in Phoenix on Tuesday.

If you think a semi-rare celestial event monopolized the attention of the Valley, wait until President Donald Trump’s rally at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Here are a few things to watch out for as the president of the United States graces us with his presence.


And I mean freeways-shutting-down kind of traffic. We are the only nation that treats our highest elected official as if he had been placed here by the almighty himself.

A multibillion dollar bulletproof parade of limousines and black SUVs will need all five lanes of the freeway to get to where they’re going. No, they don’t care that you have to pick up your kid from school early.

Be sure to keep it tuned to KTAR News 92.3 FM for traffic updates all day.

Media freak out

Each news outlet in Phoenix will have wall-to-wall coverage when Trump is in the Valley.

Surprisingly, I don’t have much of a problem with this. I like the fact that we are the sixth-largest city in the nation, yet we lose our minds about events like this as if we were a small town somewhere in the Midwest.

A pardon for Arpaio?

Rumors have been circulating over the past days that Trump will announce a full pardon for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

If you remember, Arpaio was one of then-candidate Trump’s biggest supporters, both as a talking head on the news networks and on the campaign trail. This could be seen as a thank you for Arpaio’s work.

As you know, Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court and is awaiting sentencing. Tuesday, we get to find out just how above the law both Trump and Arpaio really think they are.

The wall

Do you remember when the wall was all the nation could talk about?

Trump may visit the border Tuesday, so here’s hoping for a few more gems about how huge it will be, how Mexico will foot the bill and how everyone will but love it.

But let’s hope we actually get some details. How about an update, Mr. President?


Sure, there will be a handful of people that just want to see a presidential motorcade or that want to attend the rally, but let’s be honest with ourselves: Those that want to peacefully observe or attend are going to be in the minority.

Protests, marches and rallies are planned. If we’ve learned anything from Charlottesville, Virginia and Boston over the past few days, things are probably going to get a bit hairy.

Both sides who will be attending are fueled by rage — primarily aimed at the opposing viewpoint.

So if you’re attending one of these protests or marches, be honest with yourself: You were either going there with the intent to start trouble, the knowledge that there’s a potential for trouble or you were just too naïve to see the trouble coming.

My advice is to stay home. Focus on making it, your neighborhood and your city better — you know, things you can actually affect.

If you think the president of the United States will change his course of action because of what you wrote on a poster board, well, you have too much time on your hands.

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