Crowds ‘Love’ Trump

People chanted 'we love you' for JPII and Princess Di, likewise with Donald Trump. Why?

I was amazed the first time I heard it. President Trump apparently was too. People started chanting “We love you!” at his 2020 rallies, and this has continued into the current election cycle. Perhaps you haven’t known about this. For your sake, then, I found a few instances online: Nov. 2, 2020, at Avoca, Pennsylvania (near Scranton), videoclip at 1:47, click here; Oct. 26, 2020 rally at Allentown, videoclip at 14:47, click here; see also Susan B. Glasser, “Donald Trump’s 2020 Superspreader Campaign: A Diary,” New Yorker, Nov. 2, 2020 (regarding first of 3 rallies in Pennsylvania on Oct. 26), click here; Dec. 16, 2023 in New Hampshire, videoclip at 1:00, click here.

I can think of only two other public figures to whom crowds have said/chanted “We love you!”: Pope St. John Paul II and Princess Diana. Here are two examples of the chant “John Paul 2, We love you”: Oct. 7, 1979, outside Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC, Address to students of Catholic University of America; videoclip at 2:52, click here; World Youth Day 2000, Rome, click here.

Here are two examples of Princess Di being the object of this affection: “Screams of ‘We love you’ and ‘You’re beautiful’ rang out as the Princess and university president Henry Bienen walked across the grounds,” at Northwestern University outside Chicago, June 4, 1996; click here; “As Princess Diana entered the University of Ulster’s art college in central Belfast, there were shouts of ‘’Well done, Di!’’ and ‘’It’s good to see you!’’ Art students quickly scrawled posters saying, ‘’Hi Di,’’ and ‘’We love you, babe,’’ and dangled them from windows,” AP, “Diana, On Visit to Ulster, Mingles with the Crowds,” Y. Times, Oct. 22, 1985, click here.

Can you think of anyone else for whom people have chanted “we love you”?

Would you yourself join others in saying or chanting “we love you” to public figures like the few I’ve listed below? (The slogan “We like Ike” does not qualify.)

  • Sports: Roger Federer, Muhammad Ali, Walter Payton, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, Knute Rockne, coach Nick Saban, “Coach K” (Mike Krzyzewski)
  • Film: Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Ward Bond, Dean Jagger, Princess Grace/Grace Kelly, Goldie Hawn, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Lorne Greene, Mary Tyler Moore
  • Music: Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Karen Carpenter, John Lennon, Paul McCarthy (I point out the novelty number by the Carefrees, We Love You Beatles, 1964, which I don’t think qualifies)
  • Politics/Government: Jack Kemp, Dr. Ben Carson, Joe Lieberman, Abraham Lincoln, George Mitchell, Tip O’Neill, JFK, RFK, James Baker, Howard Baker, Robert Strauss, Vernon Jordan
  • Religion: Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
  • Academics: Mitch Daniels, Father Hesburgh, Thomas Sowell, Milton and Rose Friedman, Michael Novak
  • Business/Science: Thomas Edison, Booker T. Washington, William E. Simon
  • Philanthropy: Danny Thomas, Julius Rosenwald, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates
  • Writers: J.K. Rowling, Rev. Richard John Neuhaus
  • Other: Martin Luther King, Jr., Phyllis Schlafly, Helen Keller, William F. Buckley, Jr.

Consider those who have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Nobel Prize, the Medal of Honor, and other such awards.

If we don’t chant “we love you” in the presence of any such people, why don’t we? No group of people have chanted “we love you” for Biden, Obama, Clinton (Bill or Hillary), Jimmy Carter, or Ronald Reagan. Why did some people do so with Pope St. John Paul II and Princess Di, and why do they with Donald Trump?

I can think of two reasons with respect to Donald Trump. One could be deep gratitude for what some consider his long list of accomplishments, and for fighting for America, Americans, and American workers. (Just before he left office, the White House posted this list of accomplishments: here. To check on its completeness, I looked for and found the Right to Try law, obtaining the release of 56 hostages, pro-life work, and the recognition of Jerusalem.)

Another reason for the chant for Trump could be because he hadn’t wilted or been cowed under unrelenting pressure since 2015. A friend has suggested that what the objects of these chants (Pope St. John Paul II, Princess Diana, and President Trump) have in common is that all three have been relatable people. What do you think?


James M. Thunder has left the practice of law but continues to write. He has published widely, including a Narthex series on lay holiness. He and his wife Ann are currently writing on the relationship between Father Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope) and lay people.

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