Trump came to Washington County in an attempt to shore-up his Republican base. Despite trailing by 15% in the latest state polls, he is under the delusion that he can do what no Republican candidate has done since Reagan-carry Wisconsin. Don the Con and his advisers figured that Washington County was a safe place to hold his campaign stop. After all, we are (percentage-wise) the most Republican county in the state.
However, Washington County still has more Democratic voters than all but 14 of Wisconsin's counties. We certainly were not going to give Trump and his horde a free pass to spew their patented brand of hatred, unopposed. Not here. Not in our county. A good crowd of Dems and allies showed-up at the fairgrounds to wave the progressive flag. All of the protesters were local, most from Washington County.
At any one time, the protesters numbered about forty people. The crowd had a bi-modal age distribution. There were plenty of old people like me. Encouragingly, there were also a lot of college-aged kids. I guess neither of these groups are trying to raise a family or focus on their career right now. Both old and young have time to devote to changing the world. Everyone had a sign of some sort, many quite clever. My own sign is pictured above. (the baby is my 3-month old grandson, "Otis")
As expected, the Trump crowd was almost exclusively white, slack-jawed, and gray-haired. Many in the crowd were so decrepit that the GOP would do well to strongly encourage early voting. Men greatly outnumbered women. Almost everyone attending seemed angry. Angry at the protesters. Angry at the country. Angry at life in general.
A very long line of Trumpsters waited outside of the hall to pass through security. They must have been patting people down for smuggled copies of the Constitution.
While we were pretty far removed from the line of Trumpsters entering the auditorium, there were plenty of Cheeto-Jesus disciples walking or driving past us on their way to see their hero. Many of them felt obliged to flip us the bird, give thumbs down, or tell us in so many words that we were misguided. Pretty tame stuff for anyone involved in the recalls.
Many believed the GOP meme that we protesters were either employees of the Hillary campaign ("Who is paying you?") or don't have a job ("Go to work!"). Well, which is it?
One man must have learned his street invectives from Moe Howard, calling us "imbeciles", "morons", and "idiots". Another yelled-"We will build our wall and put you on the other side of it!" Yet another one said, "You Dems just want free things!"
To almost everyone who treated the protestors with disrespect, we answered with "Have a nice day!"
Things were just getting started about 4:30. A steady stream of cars kept coming into the Fairgrounds at least until 7:30, when a headache forced me to go home. Trump was running late and did not speak to the crowd until well after 9:00.
We were surrounded by vendors selling Trump and GOP swag. Many of these entrepreneurs travel with the campaign nationwide and contribute to the carnival atmosphere. Pundits who call Trump a carnival barker are spot on.
The biggest winners of the night were the people selling the "Hillary for Prison" t-shirts that appeared to be the uniform of choice. They succeeded in getting hundreds of gullible rubes to spend $20 apiece on something they would be ashamed (and scared) to wear outside of a Trump rally.