The folks who attend Trump rallies are more than a little unhinged, just like the guy in front of them on stage.
Believe or not, there actually people who are even worse - and they are closer to home than you might think.
In October of this year, "Trumpstock" was held in Golden Valley, Arizona, a town that is about 100 miles southeast of Las Vegas.
The speakers included the local Republican Freedom Caucus congressman, Paul Gosar, and lesser-known conservative personalities. There was a fringe 2020 Senate candidate in Arizona who ran a website that published sexually explicit photos of women without their consent; a pro-Trump rapper whose lyrics include a racist slur aimed at Barack Obama; and a North Carolina activist who once said of Muslims, “I will kill every one of them before they get to me.”
All were welcome, except liberals.
“They label us white nationalists, or white supremacists,” volunteered Guy Taiho Decker, who drove from California to attend the event. A right-wing protester, he has previously been arrested on charges of making terrorist threats.
Arizona will be a key battleground state in 2020: Democrats already flipped a Senate seat and a Tucson-based congressional district from red to blue in 2018. For Mr. Trump, big turnout from white voters in areas like Mohave County — and in rural parts of other battlegrounds like Florida, Michigan, Minnesota and Georgia — could be a lifeline in a tight election.
On Trump's Twitter account, likely the most watched in the world, he has promoted white nationalists, anti-Muslim bigots, and believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims that top Democrats are worshiping the Devil and engaging in child sex trafficking.
Brian Talbert, the founder of Deplorable Pride, was contacted by the White House after he was barred from the L.G.B.T. pride parade in Charlotte, N.C. At Trumpstock, Mr. Talbert, who has a history of expressing anti-Muslim beliefs on social media, gave voice to hatred of Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and Mr. Trump’s 2016 opponent.
“I think she should be hanging at the end of a rope for treason,” he said of Mrs. Clinton.
Trumpstock attendees say they are used to being denounced, another quality they feel they share with the president. It’s part of why they are protective of him, to the point that they refuse to acknowledge the possibility of a Trump loss in 2020.
Mark Villalta said he had been stockpiling firearms, in case Mr. Trump’s re-election is not successful.
“Nothing less than a civil war would happen,” Mr. Villalta said, his right hand reaching for a holstered handgun. “I don’t believe in violence, but I’ll do what I got to do.”
In Arizona, the most prominent pro-Trump, anti-immigrant groups are AZ Patriots and Patriot Movement AZ, but there are PLENTY of similar groups across the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) says that it is currently tracking more than 1,600 extremist groups in the country.
Closer to home, somebody in the development I live in had a yard sign stolen. I have no idea whether it was pro-Trump or anti-Trump, but in today's society, it's prudent not to have ANY political yard signs or bumper stickers. We all have a right to express our opinions, but there are enough crazy Trump supporters our there that I don't want to tempt some idiot to key my car because I've got a sticker supporting a Democratic candidate.
The hat pictured below belongs to a guy who lives in our subdivision. His profile says that he is a retired Teamster, so he is likely about my age, and he was probably a truck driver in his working years. Since I'm a substitute teacher with a college degree, and he has (at best) a high school education, we aren't going to agree on very many things.
Here's his profile picture: