By Allan Stein
MESA, Ariz.—The hour is late and the choice for the United States is clear, former President Donald Trump told thousands of fired-up supporters during his third Arizona visit in a year.
“If you want the decline and fall of America, then you must vote radical left Democrat,” Trump told the capacity crowd at an “America First” rally held at the Legacy Sports Complex in Mesa on Oct. 9. “Vote Democrat. They don’t know what they’re doing—except when it comes to cheating at elections.
“But if you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American Dream—our good old American Dream—then you have to vote Republican up and down the line.”
Trump voiced support for his Republican candidates of choice in the state—Kari Lake for governor, Blake Masters for U.S. Senate, Mark Finchem for secretary of state, and Abe Hamadeh for attorney general.
It has yet to be seen whether the Oct. 9 rally was Trump’s final stop in the Grand Canyon State ahead of the November midterm elections, which are less than 30 days away.
“It’s hard to say. He only does things within a week’s notice—and look at this fantastic crowd,” said Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, a Republican, wearing a red MAGA cap.
“[Trump] understands that Arizona is at the pointy tip of the sword—that our state Legislature and these fantastic candidates will determine whether we can assert states’ rights and get our country back. Because the federal government is bent on our destruction.”
Eileen Satter of Scottsdale stood among throngs of Trump supporters in the afternoon sun’s sweltering rays, waiting to hear the 45th U.S. president speak.
Satter said she plans to vote for a straight Republican ticket on Nov. 8 to “get control of the border, get control of fentanyl coming into the country, and reduce gas prices and inflation.”
“I think it is intentional,” Satter told The Epoch Times regarding President Joe Biden tapping into the nation’s strategic oil reserves, “bringing it down a bit before the election.”
As an America First supporter, Robert Zegley of Phoenix hopes for a clean sweep by Republicans next month.
“That’s why I’m here—to support the America First movement. It might not be a clean sweep, but I think momentum is going toward the right,” Zegley said. “If they end up with the House and the Senate, they’ll have a little more leverage. With the House, they’ll be able to get some things rocking and rolling.”
He said the southern border crisis is the “big issue” for him.
“The fact that they just walk across with drugs in backpacks—I find that quite disturbing,” Zegley told The Epoch Times.
Hilda and Benjamin Reyes of Arizona said they support Trump and the Republican ticket in the state and federal elections and that they’re hoping to make a difference come November.
“We have seen the last year or two that it matters who you vote in, what they believe in, and what they want for you. I still believe it works for the people,” Hilda Reyes said. “They [the Democratic Party] is not the majority—we’re the majority. They have the bigger mouths and the media.”
The couple acknowledged that it’s difficult for traditional America and “woke” America to coexist.
“We have to mind our own business. We have to live our lives. We’re not going to let them change us,” Benjamin Reyes told The Epoch Times. “They’re blind to the fact that there’s a cliff they’re going to fall off soon. It all depends on your belief, but God is in control. Evil is not going to win. The whole battle here is good and evil.”
Hilda Reyes said life was better when Trump was president and that “we liked how we were going.”
“It’s like the woke doesn’t want anything to do with America, but they live in America. They want to change America. We don’t want that,” she told The Epoch Times.
Bridget Shay of Scottsdale said she’s a big fan of Trump and that she supports the entire list of Trump-endorsed candidates.
“We have good Republican candidates, Republican patriots, and a strong leader like Trump to pull [America] back into shape,” Shay said.
“Every day, something more negative is happening to our country,” said George W., a Trump supporter from Fountain Hills. “I think [America] can be saved, but what an uphill battle. The guy to do it is Trump.”
The rally featured two unexpected visitors—self-professed “2020 election denier” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow and an outspoken conservative critic of electronic voting machines in the 2020 election. He recently had his cellphone seized by the FBI at a fast-food outlet.
“We have to get rid of these voting machines. We have to go paper and hand counting,” Lindell said.
As for the FBI taking his phone, he told The Epoch Times: “I care that it made Fox News why [the FBI] took my phone. Why did they take it? They want my voice silenced. They can corner me in Hardee’s all they want. If they do it again, I will bash right through them. I thought they were criminals.”
Lindell said the FBI’s August raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida has backfired, saying that Trump did “nothing wrong.”
“The more they attack him, the more the people come to him. He’s the greatest president we’ve ever had,” Lindell said.
During his speech, Trump criticized what he described as a “weaponized ” Department of Justice and FBI under the Biden administration.
“I must say nothing happens to drug lords. Nothing happens to Antifa. Nothing happens to BLM. Look at what happens to patriots,” Trump said. “Before our eyes, Biden and his handlers are turning America into a police state.
“Every freedom-loving American needs to understand the time to stand up is right now [or] it’s going to be too late. We’ve got to stop this growing tyranny.”
Regarding Arizona’s southern border crisis, Trump said the border has been “obliterated” and that U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) has failed to address the problem.
“The cartels and traffickers have seen their incomes skyrocket since I left your beautiful border. They’ve seen it skyrocket 2,500 percent more from when we were in charge. We had the safest border in the history of our country. Now we have the worst border,” he said.
Trump blamed Biden for rising gasoline prices and living costs and spiking murder rates among Hispanics in Tucson.
“There’s only one way to end this madness,” he said. “On Nov. 8, Arizona can reject this miserable fate by delivering a clean sweep of every statewide office for the Republican Party. You can prove that Arizona is still a red state.”