If you want evidence of America’s political divide, go to one of President Donald Trump’s rallies.
During Trump’s recent visit to central Ohio to campaign for Troy Balderson, a pack of traveling die-hard Trump fans made an appearance, surrounded by both Trump supporters and opponents alike.
“We get ‘em fired up for the experience they’re going to have,” Randal Thom said. Thom travels the country following the president from rally to rally along with 23 other Trump groupies.
“We tell ‘em it’s a love fest,” Thom said. This was his 37th rally.
Not everyone sees it that way.
“Currently, we live in a culture of hate, and I think Trump is a symptom of that,” Andrew Lantanelli said. He was at Olentangy Orange High School to protest Trump’s appearance, and he’s not the only one who feels like the times we are living in are anything but loving.
“I’m just so tired of the racism, the hatred, the divisiveness that this president – and I use that term loosely – is putting on this country,” fellow protester Natasha West said.
But Thom is willing to leave his home in Minnesota, travel the country and camp out to support Trump. He even designed a special flag, and ran it up the nearest flagpole at Olentangy Orange, sans permission.
“So I brought the American flag down and put our Trump flag underneath it,” Thom said. “It’s beautiful, it’s flying so pretty up there.”
Thom stands as a symbol of the Trump base — true believers who call themselves the true patriots. He doesn’t understand Trump’s opponents but says he respects them.
“We are all Americans!” he said. “At the end of the day, we should all bleed one color, and when I say one color, it’s red, white, and blue.”