President Donald J. Trump has at least some supporters in Southern California, a place that is usually written off by Republicans as a Democrat Stronghold. According to organizers of the rally, on October 18, 2020, it was initially just an idea that took on its own form through patriots who support their pop-up Trump merchandise booth usually set up on the corner of Beach Blvd and Imperial Highway in La Habra, California.
Barbara Scanlon, an avid supporter of president Trump, could not be missed. She walked through the crowd cheering and yelling, “Four more years!” while using a cowbell to get the attention of drivers on Imperial Highway. “We love our president in Southern California and Orange County!” Scanlon said. “He’s done so much for our country… he loves Americans and he puts America before himself… Keep America Great!” Scanlon’s enthusiasm was shared by many in the group of supporters.
Caroline Hesse, one of the organizers said that the rally, which drew at least 100 or more supporters, was done so on short notice. “This is sort of, um, it was a little bit last minute, we organized it last Sunday.” Hesse said. Hesse and boyfriend, Steven Johnson, run a Trump merchandise stand that they set up on the corner of Beach Blvd and Imperial Highway on the weekends.
“We have some amazing Patriot customers that decided to do a rally here today.” Hesse said. “So many La Habrans are Trump (supporters), we were the first people to have a merch [sic] pop-up here and we usually come with “Recall Newsom.”
Hesse said that the recall effort was going well and that they had received more signatures in La Habra than anywhere else. “As far as I know, there are 1.2 to 1.3 million signatures of the 1.5. (needed to recall the governor)” She said the deadline of November 17 has been extended to collect more signatures.
Gavin Newsom, the governor of California has initiated some extremely unpopular rules for every day Californians’ in the name of the Covid-19 pandemic. The locking down of the economy has meant the loss of many jobs. So many have now turned their ire on the governor whom they blame for their inability to pay their bills or put food on the table.
Bill Thomas, a Chiropractor and his wife, Carla Thomas, of Whittier, California, were at the rally to show support for the president and, as Latinos, they wanted to share that there was a lot more support for the president among Latinos than people think. He joked with me about his last name. He is of Mexican and European heritage, like I am. Recently though Ancestry, I found out that I am mostly Irish, with a Hispanic last name (Marquez). Thomas, on the other hand, is mostly Mexican, with an English last name.
This was not the only rally he had attended. He was at an earlier rally at Newport Beach, CA and was able to get a glimpse of the president while driving by in a motorcade. “My wife is more political than I am.” Thomas said. “She actually took a picture of the president as he waved and smiled at her from inside the limousine.” Thomas began to change his views when he attended a, “Walk Away” rally in Beverly Hills and noticed that there were a lot of Latinos and and other minorities attending.
According to it’s web site (https://www.walkawaycampaign.com/our-mission): “The #WalkAway Campaign is dedicated to bringing Americans together to #WalkAway from intolerance and societal discord; to leave identity politics behind; and to walk towards unity, civility, respect, and the American ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.”
“Latinos as a whole are being lied too,” Thomas said holding a blue Trump flag along Imperial Highway, “They are being told that Trump is racist. I know he’s not, he’s just for pro legal immigration. My parents did it right, my wife’s parents, they did it all right, so, he’s not anti-immigration, he just wants people to do it the right way.” Thomas said. Many believe that Latinos believe in illegal immigration, especially in an election year, but Thomas disagrees. “When people are coming here illegally, and just kind of living off the system, that’s not helpful to America at all.”
Ronnie Tagle, a small business owner, carrying his large American flag, and one of the few wearing a mask at the event, made an issue of it. “The only thing I don’t like among Trump supporters is the lack of wearing a mask. I have had friends die of the virus so I don’t just believe, I know it is real. Even the president said that it was the invisible enemy and we should take it serious.” Otherwise, Tagle is an avid supporter of the president. “He kept his promises.” Tagle said. “I used to be a Democrat and voted for Obama. But everything he said he would do for us he didn’t do.” Tagle saw in the president a new opportunity and when Donald J. Trump ran, Tagle was on board. “The president does more for minorities than any other president.”
Many in the group did not want their pictures taken, nor their names mentioned in this BLOG for fear of backlash or violence. At one point a young adult driver stopped in front of the rally at a left turn bay waiting for the light to change got out of his car and danced while using both hands to make obscene gestures. One of the persons not wanting to be identified said, “See, this is why I don’t want my name out there.”
I spoke to Tagle about this and he said that there was a real backlash when it comes to the president and those who support him. He told me stories of children being singled out and even given failing grades because their family supports the president. Others, Tagle said, feared what may happen at work. “There are people whom, if identified, could lose their jobs.” There are those who are so averse to supporters of the president that they complain about a “hostile work environment” if Trump supporters are allowed to stay. Unfortunately, these people usually win and the Trump supporter is fired.
This brings up an interesting debate. Should families divide over their support of the president? Should those on one side tell the other that they never want to see them again because of politics? Is it at all possible to love each other rather than devour one another? These are important questions because if we can not even do it in our families, how are we supposed to do it in the public square?
Organizers of the rally, according to their Facebook group post, said that they would be back at that corner for at least the next two Sundays between 2pm and 5pm and all Patriots were welcome to attend.
For more information about the organizers, please follow their Instagram Page: @redpilledmerch
And for more information regarding upcoming Trump rallies in Southern California, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3059046177539124/
For information about the organizers the Trump Rally in La Habra, please follow their Instagram Page: @redpilledmerch
If you would like more information on future Trump rallies in Southern California, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3059046177539124/