Sunday, September 09, 2018
Donald Trump doesn't like to be criticized. Time and time again, he has lashed out at those who dare utter an unkind word about him -- be they members of Congress, the media or even late-night comedians. But now Team Trump apparently has a new demand: Enthusiastically cheer Trump or be banished. That's the lesson that 17-year-old Tyler Linfesty, now known as "plaid shirt guy," found out at Trump's campaign rally last Thursday in Montana. Linfesty, a high school senior, was positioned directly behind Trump during his speech. But, a short time into the speech, a person involved with the rally approached him and stated: "I'm gonna replace you." Had Linfesty been booing? No. Did he heckle Trump? Negative. Did he hold up a sign that mocked Trump? Once again, that's a no. Though he was never given a formal reason, Linfesty believes his "misconduct" that merited ejection was his lack of fanatical devotion to Trump, the beloved headliner.
And even more troubling was that Linfesty was then detained by the United States Secret Service: "Some Secret Service guys escorted me into this backroom area, and they just sat me down for 10 minutes." According to Linfesty, after being held in custody for simply not cheering enough for Trump, he was then released by the Secret Service and told that he should not come back.
The idea that a United States citizen was thrown out of a rally that was headlined by the President, simply for not cheering fanatically enough, and was then held in custody by the Secret Service, should alarm anyone who cherishes freedom of expression. It conjures up rogue nations like North Korea, where political dissent is met with swift government action to silence it.
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