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In Pennsylvania’s MAGA bubble, Trump is a beacon of ‘positivity’ that just can’t lose

BUTLER, Pa .– As you drive through Butler County, Pennsylvania, the landscape is draped in a vast phalanx of Trump 2020 props. Accountants’ offices and landscaping companies carry huge Trump banners, the owners seemingly indifferent to losing business in a county where Donald Trump defeated Hilary Clinton 64,428 to 28,584 in 2016.

Some make money on weekends setting up tents selling Trump flags and T-shirts in parking lots along Highway 8. There is a stall every few miles.

Trump chose the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport as one of his last campaign stops on Saturday, just three days before election day. And after polls showing Trump lost more than 10 points nationally and five in Pennsylvania, that may have given the president the boost he needs: Most in attendance are convinced the president will not only win, but will win in a landslide former Vice President Joe Biden. Any other result will be seen by these supporters as proof of a nefarious scheme in play.

“From what I see, he’s going to win 70-30, 80-20,” said Blane, 30, who stood on the outdoor stage of the airport, tucked his girlfriend, Lex. Both wore hoodies.

Blane and Lex are residents of Butler (population 13,557), the small town in the center of the county. Neither of them agreed to give their last name. “I’m pretty sure this is the highlighting group of Americans who are supporting Trump,” Blane said. “What you see in the news and in the media is cut and changed.”

Lex admits “It’s gonna be a landslide.” When asked how she can be sure, she points to the crowd, a crowd of MAGA hats and Trump t-shirts mostly without masks. “Do you see that?”

Because they think Trump has an unprecedented majority in the last century (not even Franklin D. Roosevelt got 70% of the popular vote), a victory for Biden must be illegitimate.

“It is a sick perversion of humanity, of what goes on in entertainment and in sport. I like to think [Trump] will crack it like an egg.“

– Blane

“If that happens, it’s all rigged and I’ve lost faith in America and humanity,” Blane said. “I’m leaving for Canada or Mexico.”

Blane hasn’t voted since he voted for Barack Obama in 2008. He said he started supporting Trump after seeing a video online called “Fall of the Cabal,” which is part of the Q Repertoire Anon ejected from YouTube, alleging pedophilia networks. among the societal elites.

“It’s a sickly perversion of humanity, of what goes on in entertainment and in sport,” Blane said. “I like to think [Trump] will crack it like an egg.

Trump delivered his usual speech, tearing Biden apart, defending his response to the “Chinese plague” and promising manufacturing jobs in a region that suffered a devastating loss of manufacturing jobs in the ’80s and’ 90s, but has for over 20 years. adapt. The event left some participants stuck in the cold, waiting for shuttles. Unlike a similar fiasco in Omaha, Nebraska, however, no one was hospitalized.

In conversations with The daily beast, crowd supporters expressed confidence that Trump would win. Some have said they will calmly accept a presidency from Biden if he doesn’t. Many have had the idea that the former vice president – by some manipulation – seems to have won the election. Some had exotic scenarios in mind.

“I believe if it was a true and honest election, Trump would win 80%,” said Bradly Burnside, 31, of Butler, who came to the rally disguised as Heath Ledger’s Joker. (It was Halloween.) “There is a lot of fraud. In general, the mechanisms are known. “

Burnside said once Trump moved up the votes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would “call his nephew and get him fixed,” although he could not name the nephew. (This could be a reference to social media misinformation that Pelosi’s nephew is California Governor Gavin Newson. He’s not.)

Seeming sober and serious, despite the attire, he claimed that Biden would then use a foreign army to “come and get my weapons.” “You’re going to be forced to wear masks, to stay in your cabin,” he says.

His girlfriend, Kyria Crawford, 31, wearing cat ears and face paint mustaches, had no such scenario but shared Burnside’s certainty that Trump would win. They attended six Trump rallies. “There’s just such positivity here,” she said. “I don’t see how he could lose.”

“It’s going to be a sweep,” said Chris Williams, 46, of Irwin, Pa., Who wore a T-shirt showing a Punisher skull topped with Trump’s iconic comb. “There are too many Trump supporters and they are the silent majority.”

He recounts predictions that Clinton would win in 2016 and thinks 2020 will be a repeat. “There is no retribution for making a mistake as a pollster,” he said. “Everything is in cahoots.”

He predicted that if Biden won one way or another, he would be arraigned by his own party, over alleged ties to China and evidence that will stem from his son Hunter’s much-discussed trade relationship. “This scandal will not go away.”

“Then they will have Kamala Harris as president, which they wanted but they knew she couldn’t win.

“They wanted to name Harris, so Biden has to survive. [After the election], they don’t need to keep it. They could just kill him.“

– Tom McHugh

Tom McHugh, Jr., 26, of Wampum, Pa., Said Biden could be installed by “voter fraud.” “They’re really pushing the mail-in ballots,” he said. “There are going to be a lot of doubts about this.”

He also believed that Harris, the running mate, had been chosen to be president and that the Democratic Party would end Biden, in a much bloodier way. “They wanted to name Harris, so Biden has to survive. [After the election], they don’t need to keep it. They could just kill him.

Her father, Tom McHugh, Jr., 57, shared his suspicions about postal voting. “I think there is going to be a lot of fraud,” he said. “You can hand in your ballot three days after the election.” (Pennsylvania will count mail-in ballots received by election officials three days after the election, if they are postmarked by November 3 or in cases where the postmark is illegible or missing. .)

As for what they would do if Biden was inaugurated, the McHughs had no specific plans. “If it’s a fair and square election, I’ll take it,” said the elder McHugh, though he has no metric by which he would judge a legitimate election.

Some rally participants had lukewarm views.

John Kowalkowski, 54, of Adams Township, Pa., Spent the hours leading up to the rally on a sofa placed outside with a group of friends, all dressed in Trump hats and sweatshirts, in a house a few kilometers from the airport. “It’s very academic,” he said, drinking his hand.

“I feel positive,” Kowalkowski added. “I think the silent majority voter Trump will come out.”

If Biden wins, Kowalkowski said, “I’m going to worry. However, there will never be a protest on my part. Here is the difference. [Trump] has not been respected since day one. I will not do that. I will worry but it will be fine. “

Her friend, Shelley Vasbinder, 51, from Mars, Pa., (Yes, it’s a real town) was a little more worried. “I don’t want socialism. I don’t want communism. This is what we’re gonna have [under Biden]. I want people to come home for Thanksgiving, for the holidays. I have two kids in college who are learning at home. I want them to come back to campus. She added that “we have to live” with the coronavirus and we sat comfortably close with friends on the sofa.

“But if he wins, it’s the president,” she said. “I’ll never be one of those people who say, ‘He’s not my president.’ I will respect the office.



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