'Plaid shirt guy' dared to question Trump

Donald Trump doesn't like to be criticized. Time and time again, he has lashed out at those who dare utter a...

Posted: Sep 10, 2018 9:25 AM
Updated: Sep 10, 2018 9:25 AM

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.

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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.

Linfesty didn't attend the rally planning to protest Trump. He's simply a young man who wanted to see the President of the United States speak in his home state. And, as fate would have it, he was randomly chosen by the Trump campaign for "VIP status."

Next thing you know, Linfesty is being seated behind Trump for his speech. But not before he says he was told the rules by a person working on the event: "You have to be enthusiastic, you have to be clapping, you have to be cheering for Donald Trump."

Well the problem for Team Trump is that Linfesty is an intelligent young American who questions statements he hears from politicians. You know, the way we all should. So, during the speech, Linfesty, as he explained to CNN's Don Lemon, applauded the parts of Trump's speech he agreed with, such as when the President "railed against NAFTA."

But when Linfesty didn't agree with what Trump stated, he didn't cheer. "I had to be real with myself. I'm not going to pretend to support something I don't support," the high school senior explained.

And as a person with critical thinking skills, Linfesty expressed his sentiments through subtle facial gestures. For example, when Trump brought up the 2016 election results (yes, it's 20 months later and Trump clearly still hasn't come to terms with Hillary Clinton drubbing him by nearly 3 million votes in the popular election) and claimed it's harder to win the electoral college than the popular vote, Linfesty looked skeptical.

And when Trump shared his strategy of how he could've easily won the popular vote with the line, "you go to three or four states, then boom-boom-boom ... you win," we could see Linfesty subtly turn to people near him and mouth, "What?"

Again, at no time did Linfesty heckle or try to interrupt Trump's speech, but apparently Linfesty showing the slightest bit of independent thought in a sea of Trump supporters was just too much of a threat. Who knows what happens if others in the audience saw a person not conforming and actually questioning the outlandish claims and lies of Trump? That's how revolutions start!

Okay, maybe a few subtle facial gestures wouldn't actually spark an uprising, but it did get Linfesty booted from his seat. 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.

In fact, on Thursday, we saw a startling development involving North Korea and Trump. On Thursday morning, Trump took to Twitter to thank North Korea's brutal dictator Kim Jong Un for saying he had "unwavering faith in President Trump." But that same evening, a young American was ejected from a rally for failing to show "unwavering" support for Trump.

The good news is that Linfesty will soon be 18 and able to vote. The hope is that he and others like him who refuse to accept the prospect of a nation where we must cheer our leader -- even when he lies -- or face consequences, will make their voices heard in the election booth.

That is still one place from which Trump can't banish us.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319381

Reported Deaths: 7354
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22264265
Hinds20634421
Harrison18381316
Rankin13862282
Jackson13677248
Madison10234224
Lee10050176
Jones8458167
Forrest7821153
Lauderdale7257242
Lowndes6498149
Lamar633688
Lafayette6298120
Washington5418136
Bolivar4835133
Panola4663110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4597146
Marshall4572105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc424973
Monroe4155135
Union415576
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4007111
Hancock386087
Leflore3515125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3366110
Alcorn324172
Scott319374
Yazoo314171
Itawamba305077
Adams304885
Copiah299766
Coahoma298383
Simpson298189
Tippah291568
Prentiss283561
Leake271774
Marion271280
Covington267083
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251951
Newton248563
Tishomingo231267
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210459
Holmes190374
Clay187554
Stone187433
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174032
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135247
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite126142
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica108027
Jefferson Davis107833
Claiborne103030
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin85023
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547873

Reported Deaths: 11274
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809141565
Mobile41984826
Madison35629523
Tuscaloosa26147458
Shelby25580254
Montgomery25075611
Baldwin21805313
Lee16248175
Calhoun14710325
Morgan14618285
Etowah14160362
Marshall12446230
Houston10757288
Elmore10292212
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10155250
Cullman9928200
Lauderdale9591248
DeKalb8963189
Talladega8455184
Walker7330280
Autauga7229113
Blount6937139
Jackson6905113
Colbert6406139
Coffee5622126
Dale4929114
Russell454541
Chilton4470116
Franklin430783
Covington4267122
Tallapoosa4127154
Escambia401180
Chambers3723123
Dallas3606156
Clarke352861
Marion3237106
Pike313978
Lawrence3124100
Winston283272
Bibb267664
Geneva257081
Marengo250665
Pickens236662
Barbour234559
Hale226678
Butler223771
Fayette217762
Henry193743
Cherokee187245
Randolph186944
Monroe179141
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155157
Cleburne153144
Lamar146237
Lowndes142053
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113230
Coosa111429
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
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