Trump was in the Coachella Valley in Southern California today with Larry Ellison who was hosting a fundraiser for POTUS at Porcupine Creek, the country club he owns in Rancho Mirage. Ellison is a co-founder, Executive Chairman, and Chief Technology Officer of Redwood City based tech giant Oracle. Ellison’s support for Trump is causing some dissent among Oracle employees.
I was at a protest to greet Trump a couple of blocks from the club. I wore a kippah and a chai necklace. I wanted to be a visible Jew. I didn’t want to hide.
We watched Air Force One coming in for a landing at PSP. A little later Trump’s motorcade went whizzing by a block away avoiding us and the main entrance to the club. They had enough CHP, Sheriff deputies, and city cops to handle a small riot but the demographics of the protest, people largely in their 60’s -80’s were probably not going to go all Antifa on them. No storming the barricades with walkers, canes, and electric wheelchairs. A bit of overkill on the part of law enforcement I think. Suffice to say a granny riot did not ensue.
There were so many creative signs. My phone died before I even photographed half of them. (Note to self: remember to bring power bank to next protest.)
A little while later we left en masse, marching through the quiet streets of upscale Rancho Mirage. Many of us walked into a MAGA rally. We crossed the street and joined counter protesters already there. Here I am with my signs.
It was the first time I’d interacted with MAGA types. Wow. The big American flags, the HUGE Trump 2020 banners, the Keep America Great signs, and the crazy Q Anon cultists were all there. There was even one crazy Croatian fascist waving her country’s flag. Totally weird. Totally white.
While standing on the curb a guy with a tube in his nose leading to an oxygen tank yelled at me from the driver’s seat, his wife laughing next him, his young teenage son smiling in the back. That weirded me out. There was one guy who kept crossing the street with an American flag yelling “four more years”. Several counter-protesters trolled him with signs of their own. My favorite troll was an elderly lady in a tutu with pom-poms. I wish I had a picture of her but, like I said, my damn phone died. A MAGA teen with her family flipped us the bird. Racists can be so charming.
Trump’s motorcade avoided all the protesters and supporters on the way back to PSP and Air Force one. He took other people’s money and no doubt fired up Fox News and his Twitter App. When Larry Ellison gets back to the Bay Area the greeting HE receives may not be so grand, nor should it be. In an odd way I have more respect (that is if I harbored ANY respect) for the true white Supremacists who make up Trump’s base and apparently make up at least 30% of America’s population. Their fears, their racism, their xenophobia, and on and on, is heartfelt, which is terrifying. What bothers me even more, are the establishment Republicans that make up the rest of his 49% support among the American people. People like Larry Ellison. They are in it solely for greed and expediency. They are holding their noses while they watch this Democracy die.