FRONT ROYAL – Stopping by to photograph and stay in contact with both sides of the dueling pro and anti-Trump demonstrations across Chester Street in Historic Downtown Front Royal over the first weeks of 2018, we witnessed an unexpected development. – That was that the faith-based pro-Trump Catholics who had joined original pro-Trump demonstrators Michael and Ralph Waller in front of their East Main Street pawn shop in late May 2017 had vanished.
According to both sides of the street, as of January 31 it had been three weeks since a representative of the pro-Trump Catholic contingent of about eight to 15 adults had been seen. Well, it was cold through much of January – too cold apparently for even flat-Trump, the life-size cardboard cutout of the president who became a regular along with some of his new Front Royal pals.
But in the mid-to-late January absence of the faith-based Trump supporters, the more playful interaction between the two opposing sides of the political street re-emerged. As Royal Examiner has reported in past coverage of these dueling political camps, the emergence of a faith-based group of Trump supporters had diminished the positive dialogue that had begun between Vigil for Democracy participants and the Wallers between March and early May 2017 (The trend of a faith-based unwillingness to seek common ground for political dialogue will be explored in depth in a coming Royal Examiner feature story).
But back to the final three Wednesdays of January 2018 – as illustrated in some of the accompanying photographs, a more playful crossing of political lines was evident as Vigil for Democracy organizer Len Sherp and Bob Hill crossed Chester Street to re-engage the Wallers in dialogue and some pointed, aggressive, yet humorous political banter.
As Sherp and Hill returned to the Vigil for Democracy side of the street, this reporter remained on the pro-Trump side to discuss the previous evening’s State of the “Uniom” (how early tickets were distributed by the White House, spelling error included) speech, as well as evolving situations surrounding the Trump presidency. A major sticking point was the special prosecutor’s investigation of any possible Trump campaign ties to Russian efforts to assist them in the election, as well as what some perceive as an escalating partisan panic from Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill as that investigation closes in on the Trump inner circle.
My parting shot was to note the supposedly compromised law enforcement officials around that investigation are virtually all Republicans by Party preference and/or appointment, including Trump-appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the ultimate target, Special Prosecutor and life-long Republican and George W. Bush appointee to head the FBI, Robert Mueller.
As our decades-old opposing perspectives were re-engaged, Ralph offered that your humble reporter was “sick in the head” to distrust the veracity of the president, or to trust existing or former leadership of the FBI to engage in a fair investigation of Trump and his team.
“And tell them over there they are sick in the head too,” Ralph offered as I began to cross the street to photograph the loyal opposition.
But you know what? – Those assessments were offered with a smile, a laugh and no indication we could not re-engage our discussion of varying perspectives the following week.
As for those varying perspectives expressed on January 31, 2018 …
PIX-Russian spy, Wallers, Not Above the Law, DACA group long&short (6)