“We’re just tired of paying for people who don’t deserve to be here,” says Nina Lewis, a blue-eyed 33-year-old former sheriff’s deputy who is going back to school to be a veterinary technician. She has brought a giant handmade sign that says “TRUMP: FOR THE VOICE OF THE AMERICAN WORKING CLASS CITIZENS.” “He stands up for the blue-collar people everywhere. He speaks for us,” she says. There is no one else she would vote for.
These people aren’t skinheads. They don’t seem like jerks. Most of them are wearing jeans. There are guys with mullets and satin jackets, and well-groomed young men in blue blazers with gold buttons. There are people with babies and people with canes. There are women in plaid shirts and women in tight dresses and matrons with pearl earrings. There are trucker-hat versions of Trump’s famous Make America Great Again cap, and camo versions, and one in hunting-vest blaze orange. There are a lot of couples. They are, it is true, overwhelmingly white people. Do you have a problem with that?
The other night, at a Trump rally in Alabama, a black protester who shouted “All lives matter!” was surrounded by white men who punched and kicked him. Far from apologizing for this, Trump is gloating about it: “What an obnoxious, terrible guy that was,” he tells the crowd in Myrtle Beach, who turn around and hiss at the press on his cue. In August, two Boston men said Trump inspired their vicious beating of a homeless Mexican immigrant. This week, a group of civil-rights protesters in Minneapolis was fired upon by four white men in masks and camouflage.
So, America, it seems we do not like each other very much right now. But is this a momentary phenomenon, a passing, mad-as-hell instant? Or is this the eternal darkness of the human heart?