My wife and I planned to meet some friends from Ohio at Disney Springs. Knowing that whenever we met the conversation would eventually turn to politics, we decided to wear our Trump 2020 hats to get their reaction. Their reaction was immediate and as anticipated and sparked energetic conversation about the election activity.

While we were talking, a man wearing a Vietnam veteran hat approached to tell me that he liked our hats. I told him that I liked his hat and that I was also a Vietnam vet. We enjoyed getting acquainted with our new friends.

While talking, his wife said that she didn’t think she would be brave enough to wear a Trump hat. I tried to put a positive twist on what she had just said by blurting something about being careful about where we were wearing them but, in reality, I’d never thought much about it.

Our new friends soon departed on their way while my wife and I started walking with our Ohio friends. As we were walking, several folks, young and old, said that they liked our hats. Not really expected but encouraging, from my perspective.

In the afternoon we stopped at Ghirardelli’s for some ice cream. We had just sat at a table when a woman’s face appeared about a foot from my face that started spewing hate speech toward me. I was puzzled until her final four words were “Trump is a dictator” that caused me to realize that it was about the hat. I had not said a word to her, but our Ohio friends did say something that I don’t remember. It was quite a scene that I will not soon forget.

Several people nearby immediately approached in my support.

While we were finishing our ice cream I started thinking about what I should have said to this person given the opportunity. Maybe I should have asked her who she wanted to be president. Maybe I should have asked her if she thought spewing hateful comments toward me for supporting our current president was a way to get me to stop supporting President Trump. Maybe I should have explained that our form of government has checks and balances that prevent any president of this great country from being a dictator.

Any of these responses would probably not do any good because her hatred for President Trump is blinding her of all the good that President Trump is doing for our country. It is probably also blinding her of the freedom and prosperity that America offers all citizens.

I think that it’s a wonderful time to be alive and folks should just enjoy what they have.

Richard Mathes

Lake Placid