An Arizona man's rant against Democratic socialism ground to a halt after a reporter reminded him that former president George W. Bush was, in fact, a Republican.
The Guardian's Ed Pilkington spent a week attending Trump rallies in Missoula, Montana; Mesa, Arizona; Houston, Texas; Mosinee, Wisconsin; and Charlotte, North Carolina -- and he explored the variety of conflicting emotions the president stirred up in his most fervent devotees.
“The radical Democrats want to plunge our country into a nightmare of gridlock, poverty and chaos, you know that," Trump told rally-goers Oct. 19 in Mesa. "They want to impose socialism on our country, turn us into another Venezuela, throw your borders wide open to deadly drugs and ruthless gangs. ‘Come on in everybody! Come on in!’”
The reporter spoke to a Trump supporter who heard the president's warnings and conjured up lurid fantasies about "socialistic" dystopias if Democrats won election.
“Taxes and unemployment would go through the roof, the economy would collapse, there would be riots for food and water,” said 66-year-old David Stewart.
The retired teacher feared Democrats would “break the political system” by stoking racial tensions -- and Pilkington asked why they would do that.
“They want power, look it up," Stewart said. "President Bush said if you put the blacks on welfare they will vote Democratic for the rest of their lives.”
The reporter reminded Stewart that Bush had been a Republican, which caused him to pause for a moment.
“I don’t remember,” Stewart said.