Trump protesters an anticlimax


Dimitrios Spanos ’24 turned out to support former President Trump. (Photo by Kathryn Williams)

Jacob Akey, Opinion Editor

The off-campus Town Hall protests could have gone one of two ways. The way it went down was boring. Demoralized by recent court proceedings and the physical distance from their messiah, Trump supporters barely showed. Their counterparts, unlike student protesters, did not show either. The other scenario, which most seemed to expect, was Helter Skelter. Dozens or hundreds of protesters, both pro- and anti-Trump, would assemble. Supporters would, like Moonies or JWs, await imminent Parousia. There would be shouting, shoving, and a trial-by-fire for the Hilltop’s election season.

Instead, fifteen people assembled in front of the lower entrance to campus to shout at cars. Seven were there to protest Trump, both his existence and his presence. Eight were waving pro-Trump signs and planting them on campus property (hmph). The Trump supporters were hesitant to be interviewed, but I spoke with several detractors. One was a very nice man from a Catholic Worker’s organization in Massachusetts. He and a partner were passing out papers specifically calling out President Favazza for hosting President Trump at a Catholic college. I will say their claim the college would likely refuse to host President Biden due to his pro-abortion stances is historically illiterate. If Biden has been here once, he has been here a dozen times. In fact, Saint Anselm College has hosted every presidential candidate since the 60s, regardless of their position on abortion. Another protester I spoke with used chiefly four-letter words.

The smell of pot wafted down from the dorms, perfuming the unhappy fifteen. A few students watched, bemused from the hill behind LLC. The students admitted that much like it was for the one interviewing them, viewing the protest was a form of procrastination. The students enjoyed watching the two groups of protesters shout at one another and were entertained by an LED billboard truck driving up and down Saint Anselm Drive. Many more watched the Town Hall in their dorms, self-segregating by politics.

Prior to the event and all of reading day, there was a sense of trepidation on campus. The library received calls from people asking about their political views, and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics received some unsolicited email advice. The College Republicans, most of whose members attended the town hall, got Instagram DMs from strangers looking to score a ticket all day. Students glanced nervously at the news crews and talked about the inconvenience of then-hypothetical police checkpoints. There was a prevailing wind blowing towards the evening being a disaster. This has obviously proven untrue. Apart from some chalk drawings, trod-on grass, and a little bit of litter, our campus remained unspoiled. No one was harmed. The doomsayers crying wolf about student safety proved hyperbolic, and my own fears of broad disruption proved unfounded. If this is how all significant events of election season will be conducted, bring it on.

As a final note, Kaitlan Collins should know there is a line between firmness and belligerence. Trump lives on the latter side, but Collins crossed over far too often, correcting statements of opinion. It is tempting to excuse a wrong in response to another, but a pair of obnoxious belligerents is not becoming of CNN.