A hard cold rain came down at just about 3 p.m., the time that Elizabeth MacDonald had called for a pro-Trump rally on Inauguration Day at the Sonoma Plaza. But less than half an hour later a rainbow arched down to the stone City Hall behind the demonstrators, by now numbering almost a dozen – most from Sonoma, with a small contingent of out-of-towners – and a small white dog.
It was not a large gathering, but in liberal Sonoma – which went for Hillary Clinton by large numbers in the November election – their presence was notable. MacDonald had asked for a positive demonstration, and the red, white and blue banners they displayed carried the simple message, “Trump – the 45th President – Make America Great Again.”
Cars coming up Broadway and crossing in front of the Plaza on Napa Street honked and their drivers waved, giving a thumb up or other gestures, toward the group. Some shouted words of support, others of denial or insult. MacDonald would simply reply, “He’s our president.”
Holding one end of a banner was Diann Mather, who was visiting Sonoma from Olathe, Kansas, with a few friends. She seemed pleased to find a pro-Trump rally in town, though when asked how her visit was going could only talk about the double-rainbow they had just seen and the places they had visited. “We ate at a nice Italian restaurant,” she said. “Mary’s Pizza Shack.”
Former mayor Ken Brown was there, but difficult to pin down on his allegiance. “I was in politics long enough to know BS when I see it,” he said.
At its height, the group may have numbered 20. Some were willing to engage in political dialog, but most just wanted to enjoy the company of like-minded supporters.
MacDonald said the group stayed for about an hour, breaking up a bit after 4. “It was cold, but I appreciate the fact that people came out to show their pride in the new President.” Though she did say she was “disheartened” by some of the language the protest evoked, she summarized her purpose in a positive light. “I hope our group showed that you can stand up for what you believe in and not shut down opposing views.”
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