The ballyhoo over the booing of Donald Trump bulldozed its way into New York City’s Veterans’ Day parade today as the president made his way back to the hometown he recently announced he was abandoning to speak to the crowd assembled in Madison Square Park in Manhattan.
With Trump having faced sustained jeers at both a World Series game in Washington DC and a UFC match at Madison Square Garden in New York, appearing at an outdoor public event in a city where he is generally regarded as reviled as the cockroach and rat population of the metropolis was a risky move for a president who thrives on mass adulation and bears little patience for criticism.
Trump mitigated that risk by appearing at a podium surrounded by bulletproof glass while reportedly wearing a bulletproof vest that amplified his considerable girth.
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) November 11, 2019
The president may have calculated that he’d be able to coax at least some cheers from a crowd at an event celebrating veterans and — with representatives of the metropolitan area’s small minority of Trump supporters arriving early at the park to pepper the crowd with a smattering of MAGA hats — his obligatory comments praising veterans — read from a teleprompter — did draw some applause, according to media accounts.
Restive resisters in New York made their presence loudly and visibly known, however, as boos, jeers, and chants of “lock him up,” “traitor,” “impeach,” and that Game of Thrones favorite, “shame” echoed across the walls of the city’s concrete canyons.
Protesting Trump at the NYC Veteran’s Day Parade. Trump deports vets, fires them (Vindman), and privatizes their health insurance. pic.twitter.com/fl7ShYnPlF
— Rise and Resist (@riseandresistny) November 11, 2019
Meanwhile, office workers in a nearby building plastered large signs reading “impeach” and “convict” on the highly visible windows across from the stage the president occupied.
In windows of building overlooking Trump’s Veterans Day speech site pic.twitter.com/tMYSnaNrv7
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) November 11, 2019
The New York Times spoke to one protestor at the event carrying an “Operation Bone Spur” sign to highlight the hypocrisy of the draft-dodging president addressing an event dedicated to those who weren’t too cowardly to serve their country or at least weren’t rich enough to buy their way out of the then-obligatory military service.
“He’s always pretending to be something he’s not,” Elliot Crown, 47, said. “And he certainly isn’t a supporter of veterans.”
The large presence of protestors apparently inspired the Secret Service to think better of an initial plan for Trump to emerge from his protective enclosure to lay a wreath at a veterans’ memorial in Madison Square Park, so the president and his wife Melania chose instead to simply watch the ceremony safely from the stage.
Donald Trump may have had a brief respite from the fury of a public outraged over his abuse of power, extortion, and obstruction of justice when he attended the carefully-stage managed college football game in the deep-red state of Alabama this weekend — where the university administration threatened students with a loss of seating privileges if they booed — but the response in New York City — where the public has known and hated him for the longest period — demonstrates the reaction the president should expect whenever he ventures out in public beyond his safe spaces in these post-impeachment inquiry times.
It’s hard to argue that he doesn’t deserve every bit of it.
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Original reporting by Michael Gold at The New York Times.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.