Trump supporters and protesters want unity, remain divided

Trump supporters lineup outside near Dayton International Airport Monday morning. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF



Supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump both said outside Monday’s rally that they wish the country could be more unified moving forward.

But who was at fault for the divide was in dispute. One woman called her political opponents the “damn Democrats.” Another said Trump was “insane” and “an idiot.”

“I wish we’d come together as a country – that there’s not this separation,” said Jonathan McKay of Wilmington, who was attending the Trump rally. “But that’s extremely hard in this day and age.”

Protesters stand outside the Dayton International Airport on Monday before a visit by President Trump.

Americans are divided on core issues of fact, on how to govern, and on the personal traits of candidates.

Trump supporter Brian Healey of Dayton said he thought Trump had kept many promises. He said he wishes people were a little more civil to each other and could talk more.

“I think if we had more conversations, we’d be more understanding of each other and the issues we’re all facing,” Healey said.

Sue Malott, one of very few Joe Biden-supporting demonstrators outside the Dayton airport, said she couldn’t understand how anyone could support Trump, calling him an embarrassment. But then she pivoted to seeking unity.

“I wish we could come together and be peaceful,” Malott said. “Everybody has a right to have their own opinion without getting crazy about it.”

But as happens so often, Malott and Healey disagreed on one of the base issues they brought up – Trump’s desire to build a border wall. Healey said Trump had gotten a lot of the wall built and had only been slowed by blocked funding. Malott pointed to the wall as a failure, carrying a sign that said, “if lies were bricks, Trump would have that wall done.”

For context, earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that 307 miles of border wall have been completed. Multiple news outlets have reported that almost all of that was replacement wall or secondary wall where other barriers exist.

Asked what they hoped would change about the country, multiple Trump supporters – masked and unmasked -- said they hoped the nation could get the COVID-19 outbreak under control. Benny Scott of Piqua said that’s his top hope for the coming months, but he said no one has a perfect answer.

Jules Conner of Troy said she thinks she’ll vote for Trump, but came to the rally “because we all need to be better educated in order to make a good decision for this election.”

“As a small business owner, I want to see things opened back up where I can have a little more freedom with my business,” Conner said.

Peggy Rahe of Dayton said the No. 1 reason she supports Trump is “freedom and support for the Constitution.” Democrats have disagreed strongly enough about the Constitution issue that they impeached Trump. Rahe complained about “damn Democrats,” but later said she didn’t want “inner wars” in America, with people always fighting about politics.

Rally attendee Jack Moorman said even when Democrats or Republicans agree on an issue, such as certain types of help for the poor, they disagree on how to do it – whether government or private philanthropy should take more of the lead.

In Other News