FRONT ROYAL – On February 14, 2018, with temperatures climbing into the 50’s at least one person identified as a faith-based supporter returned to join Ralph and Michael Waller on the Trump side of Chester Street in Historic Downtown Front Royal. The occasion, other than an expression of Valentine’s Day love for the president, was Front Royal’s dueling weekly perspectives on exactly what the Trump presidency means for the nation.
To bolster the pro-Trump contingent, flat-Trump, a life-size cardboard cutout of the president, also returned in the company of his faith-based handler. As for signs indicating issues on the pro-Trump side in mid-February the Waller’s held several featuring immigration concerns, fears of social engineering and Trump’s Electoral College victory.
Across the Chester Street political divide about a dozen anti-Trump Vigil for Democracy participants also displayed signs about immigration and the 2016 presidential election result, albeit from different perspectives – pro-immigration and DACA, and the fact Trump lost the popular election by about 3-million votes. Other prominent issues included Trump and Congressional Republican efforts to cut Medicaid and Medicare benefits; what the president may have known and when about Russian efforts to assure his election and Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016.
Related to the latter, was Vigil organizer Len Sherp’s sign questioning whether Trump’s clearly pro-Russian, pro-Vladimir Putin public stances on economic sanctions and election interference may indicate that the president himself is a national security risk. – And those questions were posed two days before Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller handed down indictments against 13 Russian people and 3 Russian “entities”, most prominently among the latter the so-called “Internet Research Agency”, regarding direct pro-Republican, anti-Clinton meddling in the 2016 presidential election campaign.
Those special prosecutor indictments led Trump’s own National Security Advisor Lt. General H.R. McMaster to state there was now “incontrovertible evidence” of Russian interference in America’s electoral processes leading up to the 2016 election. Perhaps ironically, McMaster replaced Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn. Flynn has been indicted by the special prosecutor and pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts. Flynn remains at the point of Special Prosecutor Mueller’s Russian meddling investigation.
Some on the vigil side noted that Flynn was so highly thought of by Trump that prior to being fired as FBI director James Comey said the president suggested any FBI investigation into Flynn’s Russian contacts be dropped.
However, on the Trump side of the street such details are taken in stride, dismissed as irrelevant or part of a sour-grapes effort to discredit the president and his administration.