A couple of days ago, I had to make a quick run to the Dollar General down the road from my house for some Diet Coke Zero, cat litter, and a couple of other items we were out of. As I was pushing my cart through the store, I overheard a couple of the employees talking about the fact that Trump is supposed to be in Richmond on the 13th to campaign for Andy Barr. One was a woman of about 60 years, the other was a young millennial-age man.
They were saying they couldn’t stand him, and both said they were pro-choice. I was shocked. Around here, you would assume that most older white women and young, white, dudebro-looking guys would be Trump supporters. He won Madison county by over 30 points. Come to think of it, though, the only people I have seen around here openly supporting Trump are the right-wing Christians and old white men. Hmmm…
I am in that store nearly every week, so I knew they would both recognize me as a regular. I said, “You all talking about Trump? You know, there is a group around here organizing a protest against him. Already, over a thousand people have said they are interested in going. I know I’m going to be there!”
Then the woman said something that really warmed my heart and made my day: “I don’t blame them after he put that rapist on the Supreme Court! I’ll be right there beside you, sister; give me the name of that group!”
A few of the women standing in the checkout line nodded in agreement. One of them got me to write down the name of the group (Bluegrass Activist Alliance) for her, too. I asked them “Are you all registered to vote?” The young man said he was not, because he had not had time to go to the courthouse to register. I told him, “That’s no problem, you can do it online!” He pulled out his phone, and I showed him how to find the link to the Kentucky Online Voter Registration page. He registered to vote right there on the spot.
Later that night, at work, one of my co-workers was watching the TV in the lobby when Trump came up on the news. She was another one I would have never thought would care much for politics, and if she did, I had assumed she would probably vote Republican. “Ugh. He put a rapist on the Supreme Court. I’m voting against every Republican.” Right on, girlfriend!
Over the last few days, a lot of people around here have been openly voicing their opposition to Trump coming here, not only because they disagree with him, but also because they don’t want all the problems it will bring to our town with all the out-of-town yahoos who will be coming here to support him. A number of students on EKU campus don’t want him at their school, and the word around here is they are planning their own protests in addition to the one announced by the Bluegrass Activist Alliance.
Related: BGAA plans protest at Trump rally
There have already been Trump supporters on Facebook threatening to assault protesters – who I, and I suspect a few other people, have already reported to the Richmond Police. Hopefully, they followed up on it. The University is working with local, state, and federal officials to address safety concerns during the event. One thing is certain – if Trump insults the locals, or if any students or local people are attacked by Trump supporters, it will hurt Andy Barr in a big way. This is a small community where people all know each other. Calling local protesters “a mob” or that they “are being paid” won’t sit too well with many of the folks around here.
I kind of suspect that opposition to Trump has grown a good deal in this area since 2016. About twice as many Democrats voted in the primary as Republicans. We keep hearing about the way Trump’s tariffs are going to hurt local industries. In Lexington, the Trane Factory just announced the will be laying off 600 workers a few days ago. If you read the comments on the news article, you will see that many people directly blame Trump and the Republicans.
Right now according to a lot of polls, Amy McGrath is running neck and neck with Andy Barr. If you live in the area, you can volunteer for her here. On Friday, Joe Biden will be at the Bath County High School to campaign for her; you can get tickets here. I will be there—I hope I can meet Joe!
If you’re in the area and want to come to Richmond and protest against Trump, you can sign up on Facebook with the Bluegrass Activist Alliance – or simply show up! As of now, over 1800 have expressed an interest in going to the protest – and Alumni Coliseum only holds 6500 people. There will be a designated area for protesters, I am told. If you need parking, I have a friend who lives near campus who might be able to allow a few people to use her driveway. Send me a Kosmail if you are going and need a place to park. EKU police are very strict about ticketing people who don’t have a parking permit.
The signs on the ground are that many people in this area are angry, frightened, and ready to kick the GOP to the curb. We can make the Blue Wave happen – even in places like Kentucky!
Written by Daily Kos user tonyahky. Cross-posted
from Daily Kos with permission of the author.