If you’re looking for a cathartic gathering to protest the election results, Trump Tower is not the place to be.
Outside the gilded Fifth Avenue fortress on Wednesday morning, squad cars and police barricades made sure nobody was getting near the front door. On the other side of the street, a meager smattering of protesters and supporters hung out in cordoned-off areas, as excited tourists stopped to take pictures of the gleaming gold TRUMP lettering, soon to be emblazoned not just on hotels and scam universities, but presidential libraries.
Kristy, a New York–based artist and neural engineer clad in black mourning garb, said she was there to atone for the members of her family who voted for Trump. “Instead of rocking the boat with my family and trying to get them to change their vote, I didn’t say anything,” she said, through quiet sobs. “I could have done a lot more.”
In the next pen over, a group of Vassar students held up signs saying things like ‘FAGS AGAINST FASCISM’ and ‘NASTY WOMEN FOR EQUALITY.’ “As a trans person, I feel personally threatened by Trump’s stances,” said one 19-year-old. “I’m terrified for the future and don’t want to see more death. That’s why I’m here.”
But much like the country itself, the reasonable voices were handily drowned out by the usual grab bag of crazies. A group of men waving “Blacks for Trump” signs shouted down a passerby who stopped to argue with them. “We don’t talk to no Democrats,” one man cried. “Get away from us, you slave master!” To their right, a bearded rabbi in a denim jacket praised Trump’s election as a divine event, thanks to Ivanka’s conversion to Judaism. “Ivanka went to Rebbe Schneerson’s grave for a blessing, and that’s why I believe he won,” he said.
Across the street, the Naked Cowboy, a New York institution almost as pernicious and ineradicable as Trump himself, alternated between acoustic ditties and heated arguments with passersby. “If she doesn’t complain, it ain’t assault,” he yelled cheerfully, Trump’s name emblazoned on the butt of his tighty-whities.
In a separate cordoned-off area, a weeping woman in ripped jeans was attempting to burn an American flag with a lighter, but due to the rain, it wouldn’t catch. “Ideally I wanted to light the flag,” she muttered. “But now I’m just trying to rip it to shreds.”