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Democrat at a Trump Rally
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 3:39 pm
I’ve been a Democrat for 20 years. Here’s what I experienced at Trump’s rally in New Hampshire.

Karlyn Borysenko


Normally when I publish content online, I focus on the world of work. I hope you’ll forgive this brief departure, but I think that those of us on the left need to take a long look in the mirror and have an honest conversation about what’s going on.

If you had told me 3 years ago that I would ever attend a Donald Trump rally, I would have laughed while assuring you that was never going to happen. Heck, if you had told me I would do it 3 months ago, I probably would have done the same thing. So, how did I find myself among 11,000+ Trump supporters in Manchester NH? Believe it or not, it all started with knitting.

You might not think of the knitting world as a particularly political community, but you’d be wrong. Many knitters are particularly active in social justice communities and love to discuss the revolutionary role that knitters have played in our culture.

As a casual knitter, I never really paid attention to this. I knit as a way to relax and escape the drama of real life, not to further engage with it, but for anyone who is active in the knitting world on Instagram, it became almost impossible to avoid it. It started about a year ago when roving gangs of online social justice warriors started going after anyone who was not lockstep in their ideology. People were bullied and mobbed by hundreds of people for such offenses as publishing an article expressing excitement about going on a trip to India, posting a video saying they were leaving IG because they were uncomfortable, and posting a poem asking for kindness.

I started paying attention after one man who was attacked got mobbed so badly that he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to the hospital on suicide watch. There was something that was not right (well, so many things really) and it witnessing the vitriol coming from those who I had aligned myself with politically was a massive wake up call.

You see, I was one of those Democrats who considered anyone who voted for Trump a racist. I thought they were horrible (yes, even deplorable) and had worked very hard to eliminate their voices from my spaces by unfriending or blocking people who spoke about their support of him, however minor their comments. I watched a lot of MSNBC, was convinced that everything he had done was horrible, that he hated anyone that wasn’t a straight, white man, and that he had no redeeming qualities.

But when I witnessed the amount of hate coming from the left in this small, niche knitting community, I started to question everything. I started making a proactive effort to break my echo chamber by listening to voices I thought I would disagree with. I wanted to understand their perspective, believing it would confirm that they were filled with hate for anyone that wasn’t like them.

That turned out not to be the case. The more voices outside of the left I listened to, the more I realized that these were not bad people. They were not racists, nazis, or white supremacists. We had differences of opinions on social and economic issues, but a difference of opinion does not make your opponent inherently evil. And they could justify their opinions using arguments, rather than the shouting and ranting I had seen coming from my side of the aisle.

I started to discover (or perhaps rediscover) the #WalkAway movement. I had heard about #WalkAway when MSNBC told me it was fake and a bunch of Russian bots. But then I started to meet real people who had been Democrats who had made the decision to leave because they could not stand the way the left was acting. I watched town halls they held with different minority communities (all available in their entirety on YouTube) and I saw sane, rational discussion from people of all different races, backgrounds, orientations, and experiences. I joined the Facebook group for the community and saw stories popping up daily of people sharing why they are leaving the Democratic party. This wasn’t fake. These people are not Russian bots. And moreover, it felt like a breath of fresh air. There was not universal agreement in this group — some were Trump supporters, some weren’t — but they talked and shared their perspective without shouting or rage or trying to cancel each other.

I started to question everything. How many stories had I been sold that weren’t true? What if my perception of the other side is wrong? How is it possible that half of the country is really overtly racist? Is it possible that Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real thing, and had I been suffering from it for the past three years?

And the biggest question of all was this: Did I hate Trump so much that I wanted to see my country fail just to spite him and everyone who voted for him?

Fast forward to the New Hampshire primary and we have all the politicians running around the state making their case. I’ve seen almost every Democratic candidate in person and almost universally their message is one of doom and gloom, focusing on not only on the obvious disagreements with Donald Trump but also making sure to emphasize that the country is a horribly racist place.

Now, I do believe there are very real issues when it comes to race that we as a society have yet to reckon with. I believe that everyone from every background of every gender should have equal access to opportunities and that no one is inherently more or less valuable or worthy than anyone else. And while Charlottesville was a tragedy precipitated by real racists and real nazis and real white supremacists, I started to see that those labels simply don’t apply to most people who support Trump.

But with all of this, I was still reticent to even consider attending a Trump event. I do not believe that Trump’s attitude is worthy of the highest office in the land. I abhor his Twitter. I am vehemently opposed to so many of his policies. But still, I wanted to see for myself.

I’m not going to lie, I was nervous, so I thought I would start my day in familiar territory at an MSNBC live show that was taking place a few blocks away from the rally. I decided to wear my red hat that looks like a Trump hat but with one small difference — it says “Make Speech Free Again” as my small protest against cancel culture. I even got a photo with MSNBC host Ari Melber while I was wearing it, just for kicks.

The funny thing about that hat is that it’s completely open to interpretation. When I wear it around left-leaning people, they think I’m talking about the right. When I wear it around right-leaning folks, they think I’m talking about the left. It’s a really stark reminder of how much our own perspectives and biases play into how we view the world.

In chatting with the folks at the taping, I said casually that I was thinking about going over to the Trump rally. The first reaction they had was a genuine fear for my safety. I had never seen people I didn’t know so passionately urge me to avoid all of those people. One woman told me that these people were the lowest of the low. Another man told me that he had gone to one of his rallies in the past and had been the target of harassment by large muscle-bound men. Another woman offered me her pepper spray. I assured them all that I thought I would be fine but that I would get the heck out of dodge if I got nervous.

What they didn’t know is that they weren’t the only ones I had heard from that were afraid. Some of my more right-leaning friends online had expressed genuine fear at my going as well….but not because they were afraid of the attendees. They were afraid of people on the left violently attacking attendees! This was one day after a man had run his car through a republican voter registration tent in Florida and there was a genuine fear that there would be a repeat, or that Antifa would bus people up from Boston for it. Just as I had assured those on the left, I told them I thought I would be fine because we don’t really have Antifa in New Hampshire.

But I’m not going to say it didn’t get to me a bit. When everyone around you is nervous for your safety, it’s hard not to question if they have a point. But it also made me more determined to see it through because it was a stark reminder that both sides view each other exactly the same way. They are both scared of the other side and what they are capable of. I couldn’t help but think that if they could just see the world through the lens of the other for a moment or two, it would be a stark revelation that they don’t know as much as they think they do.

So I headed over an hour and a half before the doors were scheduled to open (which was 4 hours before Trump was set to take the stage) and the line already stretched a mile away from the entrance to the arena. As I waited, I chatted with the folks around me. And contrary to all the fears expressed, they were so nice! I was not harassed or intimidated and was never in fear of my safety even for a moment. These were average everyday people. They were veterans, school teachers, and small business owners and they had come from all over the place for the thrill of attending this rally. They were upbeat and excited. In chatting, I even let it slip that I was a democrat and the reaction was “Good for you! Welcome!”

Once we got inside, the atmosphere was jubilant! It was more like attending a rock concert than a political rally. People were genuinely enjoying themselves. Some were even dancing to music being played over the loudspeakers! It was so different than any other political event I had ever attended. Even Obama in 2008 didn’t feel like this.

I had attended an event with all of the Democratic contenders just two days prior in exactly the same arena and the contrast was stark. First, Trump completely filled the arena all the way up to the top. Even with every major Democratic candidate in attendance the other night, and the campaigns giving away free tickets, the Democrats did not do that. With Trump, every single person was unified around a singular goal. With the Democrats, the audience booed over candidates they didn’t like and got in literal shouting matches with each other. With Trump, there was a genuinely optimistic view of the future. With the Democrats, it was doom and gloom. With Trump, there was a genuine feeling of pride of being an American. With the Democrats, they emphasized that the country was a racist place from top to bottom.

Now, Trump is always going to present the best case he can. And yes, he lies. This is provable. But the strength of this rally wasn’t about the facts and figures. It was a group of people who felt like they had someone in their corner, that would fight for them. Some people say “well obviously they’re having a great time. They’re in a cult.” I don’t think that’s true. The reality is that many people I spoke to do disagree with Trump on things. They don’t always like his attitude. They wish he wouldn’t tweet so much. People who are in cults don’t question their leaders. The people I spoke with did, but the pros in their eyes far outweighed the cons. They don’t love him because they think he’s perfect. They love him despite his flaws because they believe he has their back.

As I left the rally (walking by thousands of people who were watching it on a giant monitor outside of the arena because they couldn’t get in), I knew that there was no way Trump was going to lose in November. Absolutely no way. I truly believe that it doesn’t matter who the Democrats nominate: Trump is going to trounce them. If you don’t believe me, attend one of his rallies and see for yourself. Don’t worry, they really won’t hurt you.

Today, I voted in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary for Pete Buttigieg. I genuinely feel that Pete would be great for this country, and maybe he’ll have his opportunity in the future. But tomorrow, I’ll be changing my voter registration from Democrat to Independent and walking away from the party I’ve spent the last 20 years in to sit in the middle for a while. There are extremes in both parties that I am uncomfortable with, but I also fundamentally believe that most people on both sides are good, decent human beings that want the best for the country but have dramatic disagreements on how to get there. But until we start seeing each other as human beings, there will be no bridging the divide. I refuse to be a part of the divisiveness any longer. I refuse to hate people I don’t know simply because they choose to vote for someone else. If we’re going to heal the country, we have to start taking steps towards one another rather than away.

I think the Democrats have an a$$-kicking coming to them in November, and I think most of them will be utterly shocked when it happens because they’re existing in an echo chamber that is not reflective of the broader reality. I hope it’s a wake-up call and causes them to take a long look in the mirror and really ask themselves how they got here. Maybe then they’ll start listening. I tend to doubt it, but I can hope.
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Fox




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 3:58 pm
See! I said in another thread that knitting is a red flag!

Seriously, though, the purge of non-leftist fiber-arts hobbyists was a total trainwreck! Thankfully quilters are still safe.
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Cheiny




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 4:05 pm
Fox wrote:
See! I said in another thread that knitting is a red flag!

Seriously, though, the purge of non-leftist fiber-arts hobbyists was a total trainwreck! Thankfully quilters are still safe.


Lol, she also admitted she had been getting her “news” from MSNBC. Fake news hate-Trump lies.
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Rubber Ducky




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 4:25 pm
Malki2, thank you for posting that!

Fox, I'm a quilter although not actively making anything right now— didn't know it was dangerous!
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 4:37 pm
Cheiny wrote:
Lol, she also admitted she had been getting her “news” from MSNBC. Fake news hate-Trump lies.


“The media, in my view, and I feel very strongly about this, is not the enemy of the people. We need a free media. That said, you have to be careful about what you are watching and reading, because the media has taken sides. So if you only watch Fox News, because it’s reinforcing what you believe, you are not an informed citizen.”

John Kelly, former White House Chief of Staff for Donald Trump
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 4:49 pm
Rubber Ducky wrote:
Malki2, thank you for posting that!

Fox, I'm a quilter although not actively making anything right now— didn't know it was dangerous!


I hadn’t realized until recently that there was such hatred for Trump on this site. I decided to do my patriotic duty and share a little truth with my fellow sisters every now and then.
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shyshira




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 4:49 pm
Quote:
But until we start seeing each other as human beings, there will be no bridging the divide. I refuse to be a part of the divisiveness any longer. I refuse to hate people I don’t know simply because they choose to vote for someone else. If we’re going to heal the country, we have to start taking steps towards one another rather than away.
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 4:54 pm
Presidential statements and tweets “about the [Justice] department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending here, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.”

Attorney General William Barr
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Rubber Ducky




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 4:55 pm
SixOfWands wrote:
Presidential statements and tweets “about the [Justice] department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending here, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.”

Attorney General William Barr


How about starting a different thread about that?
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 5:00 pm
Trump used his choice name to refer to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — “Pocahontas” — and poked fun at the pronunciation of former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s name.

“How about But-Edge-Edge?” Trump told the crowd at the rally in Des Moines. “They call him Mayor Pete. You know why? Nobody can pronounce his name.”

Trump then mentioned former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, calling him “mini Mike”

Love that uplifting, inclusive rhetoric.
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 5:03 pm
SixOfWands wrote:
Trump used his choice name to refer to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — “Pocahontas” — and poked fun at the pronunciation of former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s name.

“How about But-Edge-Edge?” Trump told the crowd at the rally in Des Moines. “They call him Mayor Pete. You know why? Nobody can pronounce his name.”

Trump then mentioned former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, calling him “mini Mike”

Love that uplifting, inclusive rhetoric.


You and the others are like a cat distracted like a laser pointer. It’s not the rhetoric that matters. It’s his policies. Focus on his policies for once.
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fleetwood




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 5:03 pm
SixOfWands wrote:
“The media, in my view, and I feel very strongly about this, is not the enemy of the people. We need a free media. That said, you have to be careful about what you are watching and reading, because the media has taken sides. So if you only watch Fox News, because it’s reinforcing what you believe, you are not an informed citizen.”

John Kelly, former White House Chief of Staff for Donald Trump

Hmmm... whatever happened to John Kelly?
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 5:07 pm
FBI agents investigating Russian interference with the 2016 election are, according to Trump at another one of his uplifting, inclusive rallies, "were dirty people, these were bad people, these were evil people," "And I hope that someday I'm going to consider it my greatest, or one of my greatest, achievements getting rid of them. We have no place in our country for people like that."

Roger Stone, convicted felon, by contrast, is a "good person."

Its a theme. Anyone who opposes Trump is "evil."
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 5:15 pm
malki2 wrote:
You and the others are like a cat distracted like a laser pointer. It’s not the rhetoric that matters. It’s his policies. Focus on his policies for once.


You want to discuss his dismantling of environmental legislation?

His lawsuit to attempt to invalidate the ACA, while at the same time promoting himself as its savior?

Desecrating a Native burial ground for his border wall?

Separating children from their families at the border with no way to reunite them?

Proposed Medicare and Medicaid cuts?

Which would you like to discuss?
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Cheiny




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 5:53 pm
malki2 wrote:
I hadn’t realized until recently that there was such hatred for Trump on this site. I decided to do my patriotic duty and share a little truth with my fellow sisters every now and then.


Yes, sorry you had to be exposed to the irrational hatred.

malki2 wrote:
You and the others are like a cat distracted like a laser pointer. It’s not the rhetoric that matters. It’s his policies. Focus on his policies for once.


They can’t. Because then it will prove just how irrational the hatred is.
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 6:09 pm
malki2 wrote:
You and the others are like a cat distracted like a laser pointer. It’s not the rhetoric that matters. It’s his policies. Focus on his policies for once.


Did you read the article you posted? Its entire point is that "the strength of this rally wasn’t about the facts and figures. It was a group of people who felt like they had someone in their corner, that would fight for them." The entire POINT of your article is that the rhetoric is what matters.

Well it does.

When Trump calls the media the enemy of the people, it matters.

When Trump says "there's a lot of evil on that side. They've gone crazy, they've gone totally crazy. It's too bad" it matters

When he refers to opponents as "human scum," it matters.
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small bean




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 6:13 pm
SixOfWands wrote:
Did you read the article you posted? Its entire point is that "the strength of this rally wasn’t about the facts and figures. It was a group of people who felt like they had someone in their corner, that would fight for them." The entire POINT of your article is that the rhetoric is what matters.

Well it does.

When Trump calls the media the enemy of the people, it matters.

When Trump says "there's a lot of evil on that side. They've gone crazy, they've gone totally crazy. It's too bad" it matters

When he refers to opponents as "human scum," it matters.


Trump brings unity, patriotism and enegy to a crowd. People accross the political specteum go because it is positive energy. That is what the article is saying. She is contrasting it to the negative energy the democrats bring, which is why trump draws huge crowds. You can argue from today to tomorrow but that is the facts on the ground.
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shyshira




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 6:14 pm
malki2 wrote:
I hadn’t realized until recently that there was such hatred for Trump on this site. I decided to do my patriotic duty and share a little truth with my fellow sisters every now and then.


what truth did you share?
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 6:15 pm
Cheiny wrote:
They can’t. Because then it will prove just how irrational the hatred is.


I've listed a few policies. Please. Discuss them.

Tell me why Trump's separation of children from parents at the border in a manner that the administration admits means that they can never be reunited is such a good idea.

Immigrant children as young as 3 have been required to represent themselves in court, without counsel and without parents. Tell me why that's such a great idea.

https://vimeo.com/268812608
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 6:18 pm
small bean wrote:
Trump brings unity, patriotism and enegy to a crowd. People accross the political specteum go because it is positive energy. That is what the article is saying. She is contrasting it to the negative energy the democrats bring, which is why trump draws huge crowds. You can argue from today to tomorrow but that is the facts on the ground.


Well, people from across the political spectrum aren't welcome at Trump rallies, as you well know.

But your point, her point, is that his policies are irrelevant, its the atmosphere and aura that matter. So I argue that the atmosphere and aura are toxic, and y'all do a 180 and say its policies. I say let's discuss policies. Let's discuss work requirements for Medicaid. And then I get heavens no. Its not POLICY!
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