Stalking the Wild Trumpster
May 29, 2017
I encountered another one close up and personal this weekend. It was while on our daily walk, in the woods. Larry (my dog) and I had just finished lap one in our daily three lap regiment. We had just emerged from the thick into the eastern clearing, and there he was – attending the tiny veteran’s memorial area the local Girls Scouts had built last year.
The memorial is a small mowed area containing a couple benches, a flower bed and four granite headstones, one for each branch of our military. The Trumpster was mowing and hacking back the overgrowth. He wasn’t wearing an village worker uniform; so, he must have been a volunteer I figured – or maybe, just one of the locals who compulsively improves our surroundings whether we want those improvements or not.
He wasn’t immediately identifiable as a Trump follower – while he was a white guy, in his fifties, he didn’t appear to be angry and wasn’t wearing the red hat, there was no “Make America Great Again” bumper sticker on his pickup truck.
Nevertheless, I had pretty much decided to walk on by, not interact – Larry and I were there to exercise, not socialize. The woods were relatively unknown and mostly unmaintained – quiet. We preferred it that way. (I don’t think Larry cares, he just likes being in the woods – regardless of company.) Plus, on three previous occasions, I had encountered Trumpsters in these woods and didn’t want to risk it again.
But the Trumpster had a dog and his dog was off-leash, and untrained. Hence, when we emerged, his designer golden-doodle scampered up to Larry – and initiated the dog greeting ritual, nose rubbing and butt sniffing.
So, to control his dog, the Trumpster joined us and attempted to put his pup on “sit” – to little avail. While calming his canine, he struck up a conversation about the memorial – about how his daughter’s Scout troop built it. For reasons unclear even to myself, I asked if he was a vet. He said no – he wanted to join, but health prevented him – so he went to aviation school and became a commercial pilot instead. (His answer, of course, begged several of questions, but I choose to not pursue.)
I, once again don’t know why – probably because we were talking about a veteran’s memorial, told him I was a vet – Air Force. (I didn’t share that, as a vet, I preferred the overgrowth to the grave like memorial.)
Then, out of nowhere, he identified. “I’m a conservative guy,” he confided. “I voted for Trump and really wish he’d stop with that Twitter stuff! Ya know?”
I nodded, but offered no help with conversation. I’ve found that when Trumpsters self-identify they want to talk, not listen. There’s no point in trying to engage when they first come out of the closet. I’ve tried three times before and it never works.
He bemoaned that the Donald had failed to accomplish anything, but felt good about Trump’s confrontational tone with our NATO allies. “They should pay up,” he declared.
At this point, I identified as a liberal, but he seemed to either know or didn’t care and just kept on speaking, complaining about the national divisiveness and the fake news. In his first pause in well over two hundred words, I offered only my formula response of, “Yeah, if they’re going to tell us lies, at least thy should take the time to make up good ones – what they tell us is insulting.”
He responded with a smile and agreed, “Yeah, see we can discuss things civilly – so what’s the problem?”
I nodded and like with all my other previous interactions with Trumpsters in the wild ended the conversation there. I begged off, perhaps a little abruptly, and resumed our walk. There’s just so much a guy can take and Larry could tell I was getting agitated, he insisted on moving on. Good boy!
The Trumpster thought we were having a dialog, but he did all the talking, while I filled in the pauses with flat non-provocative markers. I offered no opinions, other than that the press had shitty story tellers. I didn’t correct his NATO bullshit – a topic he seemingly cared about, but couldn’t be bothered with understanding. Not once during the talk did he ask my opinion or allow time for me to express one. He talked, I listened – just like every other Trumpster in the wild interaction I’ve ever had. Just like the Donald.
Over the last two-hundred-two days, since Trump talked his way into the White House, increasingly Trump supports have come out of the closet. They all seem like lovely people who’d turn their heads as their neighbors were dragged away.
Larry and the republic have little time for their shitty stories; we prefer those who are not so nice – resisters.
In Peace and Justice,