A defining aspect of former President Donald Trump's political ascent was his infamous campaign rallies. With eager supporters cheering him on, Trump used these rallies to call for violence, amplify conspiracy theories, flout public health guidelines, and belittle the media.
Now, almost six months after he left the White House for what may be the last time, Trump is once again holding rallies in hopes of building momentum for the Republican party ahead of the 2022 midterms, and potentially hinting at a run in 2024.
Trump held a rally in Ohio this past weekend—his first rally since his January 6, when his words helped incite the deadly failed insurrection on the United States Capitol.
The next planned event was set for Independence Day weekend in Mobile, Alabama's Battleship Park. As its name implies, the veterans park boasts the 45 thousand ton USS Alabama, a World War II battleship.
Over the course of his presidency, Trump frequently opted for displays of violent American force—especially in his Fourth of July rallies. Whether it's fireworks over Mount Rushmore, tanks in the streets of D.C., or fighter jets flying over crowds of his supporters, Trump knows highlighting American iconography and aggression plays well among his supporters.
This made Battleship Park a perfect venue for the former President's first Independence Day rally as a private citizen, but now the venue has pulled out of the event only days before the Fourth of July.
As a public park, Battleship Park can be used for patriotic events, but can't be used for political ones unless all parties are represented equally.
Park commission chairman Bill Tunnell said staff realized the event would be hyper-partisan—as all Trump rallies are—after they were contacted by Republican Party officials:
"After the request was made, then there was contact with the Republican Party, they contacted us and then it became apparent that it was going to be a partisan political event, rather than just a patriotic event planned for that evening."
The permit for the event was subsequently revoked, leaving Trump short of a venue. Trump is still set to speak at a Save America event at the Sarasota fairgrounds in Florida that weekend.
Internet users mocked Trump, with some floating the "real" reason the rally was cancelled.
Others were surprised to see officials in deep-red Alabama, which Trump won by 25 points in 2020, deny the party's leader his party.
Without the perks of the presidency, it's unclear how well Trump's rallies will fare ahead of the next two election cycles.