Rock Hill sure knows how to make presidential candidate signs that attract attention. Even if the signs are controversial and call a candidate a loser.
Donald Trump is crushing his opposition and sneering at anybody who tries to battle him. He slams Republicans and Democrats and the media and anybody else who dares stand in his way. But the super-rich candidate who wants to ban Muslim immigrants and has bashed Mexican immigrants is now the target of some of the most visible bashing graffiti in Rock Hill.
“Trump’s White House” screams the huge letters on an abandoned house just south of the Catawba River.
“Trump Realty” fills another line.
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“Trump Hates Freedom” is another.
“This property is an artistic rendering of a post-Trump America,” decorates a concrete block building next door.
One line on the house is a kicker, saying simply, “Donald Trump hates puppies.”
The Porter family owns the property. James Porter, 21, put up the graffiti to show the world that he thinks Trump is a terrible candidate who is tearing America apart while vilifying ethnicities, religious groups and more.
“We are all in this together in America, and the rest of the world is making fun of Trump,” Porter said. “Trump is a bigot and he is dividing America. It is time to stand up against Trump.”
The signs have drawn drivers to stop and take pictures, and the house has become a social media draw, Porter said. This week, somebody even added a Christmas wreath.
“People are noticing and that’s great,” James Porter said.
The roadside signs are a reminder of before the 2012 election when a business owner on S.C. 161 put up several anti-Obama signs that attracted national attention after coverage in The Herald. Reggie Bursey’s 2012 signs were hailed by conservatives and slammed by liberals.
But people noticed – just like people are noticing Porter’s graffiti.
The Trump campaign is scheduled to visit Rock Hill on Jan. 8 for an appearance at Winthrop University. This will be one of several stops in the state ahead of the next Republican debate in north Charleston a week later.
South Carolina’s first-in-the-South primary for Republicans is Feb. 20. Trump has drawn huge crowds around the country. He continues to receive incredible amounts of support from conservatives – and backlash from just about everybody else.
Trump wants to stop all Muslim immigrants – clearly illegal and anti-American. He scoffs and says he will do it anyway, and his supporters jump up and down by the tens of thousands.
America has millions of Hispanic immigrants, legal and not. And tens of millions more Hispanics who have been here for generations. Trump chastises them anyway, calling illegal immigrants criminals who will be rounded up like cattle and taken across the borders in trucks. His supporters call Trump great and jump up and down with glee.
Trump calls other candidates weak – and he is right about that. He makes fun of them and chuckles as the establishment in both parties hold meetings over wine and cheese wondering why millions of Americans who eat meat and drink beer love the guy and not the high-falutin’ candidate who is boring.
Through it all, Trump is the first to tell anybody his numbers are rising despite what the jelly-legged media, pundits and slack country-clubbers say.
Yet Trump vows to be tough on crime, and he may have to drop the hammer on behalf of someone who despises him. Because the graffiti on the house is not all that James Porter put up. A huge sign on 16-foot poles, spray-painted on two 4-by-8-foot sheets of plywood that read, “Trump sold me this house – What’s he selling you?” was put up two weeks ago.
And then it was stolen.
“Somebody took it in broad daylight,” Porter chuckled. “Stole the Trump sign.”
Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065