Crowds variously estimated at from 300 to 500 gathered in Seaford and drove to Bellmore Thursday afternoon to demonstrate their support for President Donald Trump, who last week contracted the Covid-19 virus and was briefly hospitalized. And it was as raucous as it was vocal, as supporters whooped, hollered and blew air horns while circulating among banner-bedecked vehicles in the afternoon sun.
The mostly maskless masses of Trump fans were organized by two Suffolk County Trump supporters — Shawn Farash, of West Babylon, and Kevin Smith, of Lindenhurst.
“It came together in about two days,” Smith said of the event, which drew supporters from all over Nassau and Suffolk countries. “We heard from our friends in Nassau that they needed some help, so we put the word out” via social media, text and telephone.
The pair has been organizing caravans for nearly a month. “We have things planned for every day this week,” Farash announced from the bed of a pickup truck before the caravan set off from the Seaford Long Island Rail Road station at a few minutes past 4:30. “And we’re driving all he way across the Island, from Valley Stream to Montauk, on Oct. 18,” he said.
Wearing a tricorne hat emblematic of the country’s 18th-century founders, Farash proclaimed that “The silent majority is silent no longer. We are the Loud Majority” — the name of the Facebook community he and Smith founded. The crowd gave ample proof of at least the volume portion of his assertion, although it remains to be seen whether they do, in fact, represent a majority. Former Secretary of State and Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton carried Nassau County by a margin of nearly 6 percentage points in 2016.
“We only have to close the gap by a few points,” Farash conceded, but said it was within the president’s grasp.
Safety protocols were nowhere in evidence during the event. Even the table selling MAGA masks was manned by maskless workers.
Asked about the lack of safety precautions, one Hicksville resident, who declined to give his name, said, “I’m OK with it.” As far as masks providing to protection against a potentially lethal virus, he opined, “That’s the great thing about America; everyone’s free to make up their own mind.” Asked which Trump policies in particular he most agreed with, he said, “Everything!”
“It’s for every American to make up their own mind,” Donna D., of Merrick, said of mask-wearing, as she stood in front of a banner emblazoned with the words “Pro-Life, Pro-Gun; Pro-God; Pro-Trump.” She explained her feeling for the president as “somebody you feel comfortable with; he’s loud, but we always knew that; he’s honorable; and he really loves America.”