Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.
It all started on Sun., Nov. 1, when hundreds took to the streets of Humboldt County to embark on a political car rally to voice adamant support for current President Donald Trump. The organized caravan of Trump loyalists began the trek in Fortuna around 2 p.m., ending in McKinleyville later that afternoon.
What came as no I surprise to me with a track record of bad luck, I got stuck in the middle of this parade while out in Eureka doing my normal, weekend errands.
Once I merged from the corner of Sixth street onto Broadway, I knew I was in trouble.
Surrounding me was a fleet of lifted trucks and muscle cars boasting banners and American flags flooding the majority of the street. The sounds of revved truck engines and chants of USA from vehicles grew louder as we traveled north towards Arcata.
As we approached the Eureka courthouse I could see protestors lining the sidewalks on both sides of the street. The small restless crowds chanted in disapproval of the arrival of the conservative coalition. Adversaries were clearly at odds with one another, each party growing more aggressive in verbal taunts. At one point while waiting for the street light to turn green I looked to the individuals on the left side of the road and gave a small smile of approval against the other vehicles stuck in traffic. Evidently, this smirk was mistaken as a sign of disrespect and two female protestors began to shout and throw middle fingers at me while I sat in dismay.
After what seemed like an eternity the light finally turned green. Trying my best to maneuver past the vehicles participating in the rally, I couldn’t help but begin to read the flags plastered with Trump propaganda. Amongst the various banners that waved freely through Highway 101, one struck me in particular:
“Trump 2020 NO MORE BULLSHIT.”
The irony of watching the divide between local, sprung a question into my mind that I’m still trying to come to terms with: how did we become this divided as a nation?
In the last four years since Trump’s administration has taken office, our culture has become separated in which respecting political beliefs that differ from your own is increasingly more difficult. Polarizing topics such as immigration reform, the constant fight for equality amongst BIPOC, climate change and dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19 have added fuel to the already volatile fire that is in America.
As time grew closer to election day, the uncertainty of what direction the United States would be headed towards became nerve racking. Attending college during a pandemic in a rural area that lacks diversity has been shrouded in lingering doubts. Paying full-priced tuition for an education that feels subpar, while studying an industry that has been bastardized by Donald Trump is hard to reconcile with. The feelings of frivolity I’ve felt as a college student in such an uncertain era have been amplified by the fear of what is to come in Humboldt County since Trump has lost the election.
Four days after Tuesday’s, Nov. 3, election it has been officially announced democrat candidate, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., has won the presidential race of 2020. Though the future seems hopeful, the divide in our nation doesn’t dissipate when Biden takes his eventual oath in office.
On Nov. 7, Biden held a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware to announce his victory. Within minutes of his speech, it felt incredibly refreshing to not be subjected to coded language and devised rhetoric that became the norm in past years.