Supporters came out across the country Saturday, March 4, to show support for the 45th president, including some in Plant City.
Supporters of President Donald J. Trump gathered at the intersection of James L. Redman Parkway and Alexander Street Saturday, March 4, as part of a nationwide effort to combat what the event’s organizers called an “insidious propaganda apparatus” intent on “further shredding the truth” with regards to Trump.
The flagship ‘March 4 Trump’ event was held in Washington D.C. that same day. Thousands gathered in cities across the country, including the dozens in Plant City to show additional support. These grassroots rallies were organized through local GOP organizations and on social media. The crowd — comprised of GOP members from Brandon, Valrico and Plant City — swelled to about 30 people around 11 a.m., with a steady average of 20 supporters.
A few were in town from across the country. Heidi and Jerome Powers were visiting their friend Steve Emerson from their hometown of Wagner, South Dakota, when they decided to take part in the rally. Wagner is a rural town of 1,500 people, where the Powers’ said traffic is sparse.
“We don’t get to do this back home,” Jerome Powers said. “You can stand on a street corner there, but no one would drive by.”
Many of the supporters said they were there in response to what they see as unfair treatment of Trump in the media.
“He’ll never get a fair show in most of the media,” Emerson said. “That’s a shame.”
“It’s all smoke and mirrors. I think ... the Democrats and the media are being obstructionists,” Mike McKeithan, a local Trump supporter said. “They see the president succeeding, and they want him to fail.”
Mike Clemons said he was there to show a general support for the presidency.
“I’m here for the love of the United States, not Trump,” he said. “Regardless of who won, I would support the President of the United States. Even if it was Hillary (Clinton), I’d still be out here with my American flag.”
Clemons said he was pleased with Trump’s progress so far, and that any negative coverage of Trump has been the fault of the media covering him.
“The blame is on the media for the scandals that are going on,” Clemons said. “It’s making it difficult for the American people to know what’s true.”
Clemson added that, because Trump and news outlets often appear to conflict with one another, it's up to the public to make up their own minds on what's factual.
Some in attendance, like Cheryl Stanton and Ivette Marrero-Urbina, said they were there to support Trump’s straight forward, tell-it-like-it-is style of handling the country and his business acumen.
“He’s a business man who knows how to (create incentives for) jobs, get rid of regulations and allow businesses to open up,” Stanton said.
Many drivers passing through the intersection were eager to show support. They rolled down windows and gave a thumbs up or thrust their fists in the air. Some even climbed out of windows to cheer and others honked.
Not everyone was pleased with the support rally, however. Many passers by gave supporters a thumbs down and vocally expressed their dissatisfaction with the current administration. No fewer than four cars driving by rolled down their windows to blast the anti-Trump song, “FDT,” by YG, G-Eazy and Macklemore. A few made sure to pass through multiple times.
Some who passed expressed confusion as to the need and purpose for such a rally, wondering if it wouldn’t be more productive to get together to support a cause in the name of Trump rather than stand around with signs.
“It’s good that they're supporting Trump,” Sylvester Burt Jr., a passerby, said. “But what’s that going to do? Is this the best use of the time we have?”
Burt said he accepts Trump as his president despite not voting for him, and that he thinks Trump ran a good campaign. He added that he is so far disappointed in a lack of significant and honest action from the White House.
“He won. Now it’s time to do something,” Burt said. “All he’s doing right now is telling people what they want to hear. It’s like mixing Kool-Aid and water. It’s got no substance without a little sugar. We need some substance.”
Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at [email protected].