Surviving as a Trump supporter in Cali: ‘Keep your head down’, get ‘a big German shepherd’

by WorldTribune Staff, April 6, 2017

The first rule of being a Trump supporter in California is not to talk about being a Trump supporter in California.

For those who dare to go public in their backing of the 45th president, one supporter has the following advice – get a big dog.

Ariana Rowlands, president of the University of California Irvine College Republicans

“Living behind the Blue Curtain requires certain survival skills, backers of the president say. No bumper stickers, lest someone key your car. No signs, in the window or planted on your front lawn, to prevent vandalism. Steer clear of Facebook and other online forums, and don’t discuss politics in the real world if you can help it,” the Los Angeles Times noted in a March 31 report.

Hillary Clinton carried the Golden State in the biggest landslide since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.

“You kind of keep your head down,” said Danny Turner, a 29-year-old Trump supporter in the East Bay suburbs of San Francisco. “You can’t be very loud about it.”

In San Francisco, Trump won just 9 percent of the vote.

Turner said someone in his Livermore neighborhood put up a Trump lawn sign last fall and had their car and home plastered with blue spray paint. The word “fascist” — misspelled, Turner said — was sprayed on the sidewalk out front.

“Someone gave me a Donald Trump T-shirt with Tupac on it,” Turner said, referring to the late rapper, Tupac Shakur. “It’s pretty funny,” he said, adding, however, that he has yet to wear it outside.

Ariana Rowlands is one Trump backer in Cali who is not keeping a low profile. The president of the University of California Irvine College Republicans single-handedly confronted a crowd of anti-Trump protesters in January.

“They want to call you ‘racist’ and ‘white supremacist’ but don’t want to talk to you about what makes you a ‘racist,’ what makes you a ‘white supremacist,” Rowlands told The College Fix. “And that is why they are going to continue losing.”

At one point a protester shouted at Rowlands: “He’s not my president!”

Immediately Rowlands shot back: “Are you American? Do you live in this country? If you’re American and you live in this country — he’s your president.”

“During the protest I did not feel like a lone conservative because there were many people who came up to me and told me they agreed with me quietly on the side,” Rowlands said. “This is the silent majority, who are pushed away by the Left’s dramatic antics, and towards us on the right.”

But not everyone was thrilled by her behavior. A university administrator came up to her and told her that the protest wasn’t the best place for her to be, she told The Fix.

“They didn’t tell any of the protesters that,” Rowlands said. “I think that protest was the best place for me to be, exposing Leftists for their intolerance and illogical actions.”

The Times also interviewed a Trump supporter named Dee Dee (who asked that her last name not be published, to avoid harassment.), a part-time substitute teacher in Contra Costa County, where Trump received 25 percent of the vote. The 66-year-old said for years she put up with talk about the virtues of President Barack Obama and, more recently, Clinton.

When Trump won, she said, the lunch-room conversation turned to shock and horror, and pretty soon that grew tiresome as well. “I finally said, ‘Excuse me, I’d like to have a safe zone where I can come and eat peacefully and not listen to all this moaning and groaning.’ ”

Gloating, of course, would be out of the question. “You don’t bring up the subject,” she told the Times.

Katy Grimes, 54, is one Trump supporter who is unafraid to bring up the subject. The reporter and Sacramento columnist for the Flash Report, a conservative blog, she wears a pink camo baseball cap and a tank top emblazoned with “Make America Great Again” on runs through her Land Park neighborhood.

“I don’t make it a secret at all,” she told the Times of her support for Trump. “People here — neighbors, friends — they’re just seething.” (Trump won 34 percent of the vote in Sacramento County.)

She’s heard some gasps and endured some hisses as she sports her pro-Trump regalia, Grimes said, but no one has tried to mess with her. “I do have a big German shepherd,” she said.