Thursday, October 22, 2020

A "mostly peaceful"Trump parade on Paseo del Pueblo Norte in Taos, NM: A non-partisan field report

I was dining al fresco with my wife at Martyr's Steakhouse in Taos, NM. The weather was lovely on the restaurant patio, and I was enjoying a heart-healthy lunch and a margarita grande.

Suddenly, I heard shouting and blaring car horns coming from the direction of the Taos Plaza. Then, to my utter amazement, I saw a Trump parade appear on Paseo del Pueblo Norte--passing right in front of the restaurant.  Trump supporters, mostly driving pickup trucks and SUVs, were shouting and waving flags: the American flag and big Trump-Pence banners.

What the hell, I thought. The northern Rio Grande valley has been a Democratic stronghold for decades. I would have been surprised if there were even a dozen Trump supporters in all of Taos County.  But here they were--a gaggle of Trumpsters, chortling and cheering on a fine autumn day.

These folks must be Texans,  I concluded---maybe people from the town of Red River, where a lot of Texans have New Mexico summer homes. But no. All the cars had New Mexico license plates. They were locals.

Judging from the reaction of my fellow diners, most of the people sitting around me were Never-Trumpers. "Fascists!" one guy shouted from the table next to me. "Racists!" a woman screamed from another table.

Two young women seated near the Paseo spewed forth obscenities at the Trumpians, but this only seemed to heighten their merriment. One Trump supporter in the back of a pickup truck responded to the curses by saying, "You can't trust Joe." His voice didn't have a hostile tone. Actually, he sounded calm and reassuring, as if he was trying to talk someone off a ledge.

In a moment, the parade passed by, and we turned our attention back to our lunches. But then another Trump parade passed by--more flag-waving, more cheering, more horn honking.

Are these more Trump fanatics disturbing our midday repast, I wondered? Or did the first group circle back on Don Fernando Street for a second appearance to create the illusion of greater numbers?   

It was hard to tell. These Trump zealots all look alike.

And then a third Trump parade went by the restaurant, this one coming from a different direction. This group included an equestrian unit. Two men wearing western hats came by on horseback. One held the pole of a large American flag, and the other waved an equally large Trump-Pence flag.

Behind these two rode a little girl, who looked to be about 11 years old. She was wearing a large, red Make-America -Great-Again hat. And when I say large, I mean enormous. It was a gag hat, with a  brim about half the size of a coffee table and a crown that extended at least six inches on either side of her head.

By this time, the restaurant patrons conceded defeat. No one said anything as the third unit of Trumpsterism passed by on horseback. Perhaps the guy next to me thought it would be unseemly to shout "Fascist!" at a child--even a child wearing a MAGA hat.

Thus concludes my non-partisan and unbiased report on a Trump demonstration in the northern Rio Grande valley.  It was "mostly peaceful," as a CNN reporter might say. Nobody got shot. I saw no signs of arson or looting. 

And this was disappointing. If a riot broke out, I planned to break into the art gallery on Bent Street and steal a Victor Higgins painting. 

This Victor Higgins painting would look great in my home office.

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