Cynthia Hren: Lunch with Donald Trump |

Cynthia Hren: Lunch with Donald Trump

My husband and I were invited to attend the California Republican Convention in Burlingame. When we arrived early at the Hyatt, the police and Highway Patrol presence was strong. Uniformed officers surrounded the hotel in anticipation of a large crowd of protesters for Donald Trump’s arrival.

We were required to present our confirmed registration at a checkpoint before being admitted.

Hundreds of protesters began arriving around 9 a.m. and started pushing at the barricade in front of the hotel entrance. One protester was able to avert security and entered the hotel lobby with a bullhorn shouting “Dump Trump.” She was promptly escorted outside.

We stood in line for almost two hours before the doors to the ballroom for the luncheon were opened. People in line were friendly and we had lively conversations with other attendees. The press was aggressive with their microphones and cameras trying to interview Trump supporters. The event was sold out at more than 600 people and there were many additional press attendees. I recognized television field reporters from Fox News, CNN, and other channels. A bomb squad with a canine entered the ballroom first, then the long line of press was allowed in, and finally we were able to make it through the security checkpoint and metal detectors to find a good table close to the stage.

No matter what you think of Donald Trump, I believe he’s sincere, honest and truly cares about this country and its citizens. … He boldly states what he thinks and it resonates with a nation of people who are fed up with a corrupt government.

Meanwhile, outside the front entrance of the hotel, throngs of protesters had run over barricades and were pushing in on the glass doors. The hotel went into lockdown and kept the inside guests away from the glass for safety. At the airport, Trump’s plane had arrived and security personnel were escorting him to the hotel, but were blocked by protesters who had created a human chain across the freeway. After a brief delay, the California Highway Patrol escorted Mr. Trump toward the hotel. His SUV was stopped again with more protesters blocking the freeway near the hotel. Mr. Trump had to abandon his vehicle on the roadway. People locked inside the ballroom watched live on cell phones as Trump was escorted by security across a frontage road, over a storm drain, through a hole cut in a fence and around bushes on a muddy field to a side entrance. Our Master of Ceremony informed the attendees of the delay.

As we waited, I got to know the people seated at our table. They included two attorneys, a physician, a software engineer and her husband, an 18-year-old high school senior, a writer and a lovely young Muslim woman who said she was Persian and heartily supported Trump. Across the room I was pleased to see a woman wearing a shirt that read: “Latinos for The Wall.”

Secret Service agents entered and stationed themselves throughout the room. The chairman introduced Mr. Trump who strode on stage with his trademark hairstyle and usual pomp to enthusiastic applause. He remarked that he felt like he had “just crossed the border.” His wife phoned to say that helicopters were following his car on the passage to the hotel. He spoke about the Great Wall of China, over 13,000 miles long. If they could build that wall 2,000 years ago, we can certainly build a wall on our border. We need people to come here, but to come here legally.

He said there has to be unity and solidarity in the Republican Party. We need all freedom-loving Americans to come together, as we need to straighten out this country. He so looks forward to defeating “crooked Hillary.” He remarked that he had just hit over 1,000 delegates (in April) and has so far received the most primary votes in the history of the Republican Party. He said we are going to start winning again. We are going to win in a way that no one else has ever seen before. He referred to his campaign as “a movement” and we’ll see unbelievably good results in November. He mentioned that he wants to start winning at good trade deals with China, to bring jobs back to our country, take care of our veterans, rebuild our military and “Make America Great Again.”

No matter what you think of Donald Trump, I believe he’s sincere, honest and truly cares about this country and its citizens. He doesn’t have to run for president and risks his life daily. He boldly states what he thinks and it resonates with a nation of people who are fed up with a corrupt government. I believe he truly wants to “Make America Great Again.”

Cynthia Hren lives in Nevada City.

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