#plaidshirtguy at Trump rally is ... a Billings high schooler



I am in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, but with Montana it is love, and it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.

  • Steinbeck


As a member of the 1980 class of Hellgate High in Missoula, Montana, I can relate to that guy.


I feel that way about Colorado. I’ve never been to Montana, though, perhaps it’s transferable.


The passage that i quoted is from Travels with Charley. A little more into the passage and a possible difference become clear.

It seems to me that Montana is a great splash of grandeur. The scale is huge but not overpowering. The land is rich with grass and color, and the mountains are the kind I would create if mountains were ever put on my agenda. Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans. Here for the first time I heard a definite regional accent unaffected by TV-ese, a slow-paced warm speech. It seemed to me that the frantic bustle of America was not in Montana. Its people did not seem afraid of shadows in a John Birch Society sense. The calm of the mountains and the rolling grasslands had got into the inhabitants. It was hunting season when I drove through the state. The men I talked to seemed to me not moved to a riot of seasonal slaughter but simply to be going out to kill edible meat. Again my attitude may be informed by love, but it seemed to me that the towns were places to live in rather than nervous hives. People had time to pause in their occupations to undertake the passing art of neighborliness.


Sounds nice!


sometimes young people can be incredibly stupid when they think they’re being cute. Fifty years from now, instead of telling his grandchildren he sat right behind a president in a rally and got his photograph together and perhaps got something signed, he will either tell them nothing out of embarrassment or tell them he smarted off just to be a wiseacre and got ejected.


Based on the publicity this guy got, I would guess 50 years from now he might be proud that he was one of the people who wasn’t afraid to point out that the emperor was not wearing any clothes. (Depending on how history ends up looking at Trump. Will he be seen 50 years from now as an Abe Lincoln or a Joe McCarthy? If the later, I would be proud to have been the plaid shirt guy at a McCarthy rally, more so than if all I got was McCarthy’s autograph.)


Smarted off?
By showing honest reactions - applauding when he agreed, showing doubt when he was doubtful?

TrumpWorld gets increasingly bizarre.


No. The kid just wanted to show the whole country that he thought himself smarter than the president and further, didn’t mind mocking him and his country by wearing that socialist sticker symbol. Just a smart-alec kid like many others. Too bad. He could have refrained from seeking his little bit of fame by being a jerk on national TV. Now he’s just a guy who was a jerk on national TV.


Bizarre? To expect a person who was given an unusual opportunity to be gracious about it? If he couldn’t keep himself from being a horse’s tail, he should have declined the invitation. A person with normal mores and manners would have done just that.


My dad was a smart aleck kid like that … went to his grave upset at his smart mouth. Spent 50+ years regretting it, but never learned anything.


You overlook the whole spectacle of scripting responses - let alone the recruitment of paid actors. Instead you criticize this young man for his authenticity.

Bizarre indeed.


…not much different than the President wanting to show that he is smarter than everyone else. “Stable genius” indeed! In light of Trump’s self adulation it is hard to criticize a high school kid for striving for the same thing.

I watched the video and I couldn’t even read that sticker. I’ll venture that no one watching that rally on TV read it either. People are just going off of reports of what his sticker said. I still haven’t seen it. Where can I get a look at it? Besides, wearing a political sticker is not mocking our country. The wearing of political symbols has been a part of American democracy from its founding.


I do think he was entirely authentic in one respect. He’s a smart aleck jerk and showed it on national TV.

Otherwise, he was deceptive. His attempt to trick the secret service into getting Trump to sign the Communist Manifesto was deceptive. His being there at all was deceptive if the went there intending to mock Trump, which appears to have been the case. He was treated well, but spit in the face of his benefactor.

There may well be employers in his future who will hire him just for what he did. There will be others who wouldn’t trust him in their employ. I sure wouldn’t.


You feel that he mocked Trump. The reality is that he showed his genuine reactions to Trumps comments, rather than feign the scripted enthusiasm.


I remember long ago being on a school trip with a number of guys. It was an all-week thing. Among the guys was a very protestant guy. There was no protestant church nearby, but there was a Catholic church. On Sunday, I went to Mass. He went with me just because he didn’t have a protestant church to go to.

During the Mass, he sat, stood, knelt, all the things the congregation was doing. Why? Out of respect. If he had “showed his genuine reactions” he probably would have snickered, refused to do anything, walked out. But no, he showed respect even though there was probably not a thing about Catholicism which he approved.

Mr. plainshirt was a rude little jerk who deliberately went there to be one. Had he not intended it all along, he would not have brought that socialist sticker with him. He was treated nicely by the staff, but was a horse’s behind himself.

But then, disrespect is so ingrained with the left anymore, perhaps I shouldn’t expect anything else from any of them.


Comparing a Trump rally to a Catholic mass is quite a stretch!


No it isn’t. Courtesy is courtesy. Rudeness is rudeness. If the fellow at the youth event couldn’t keep himself from mocking the Mass, he shouldn’t have gone. Similarly, “Plaidshirt” should not have taken up three seats that someone else would have been glad to have, just to mock Trump behind his back like a little weasel.


I totally agree. However, what does it say that just expressions can easily highlight the silliness of a presidential speech, like inability to say multi-syllabic words, and a misunderstanding of the electoral college.

As far as mocking Trump, I have never been able to listen to him with a straight face, and without numerous face-palms, so I sympathize. The English language is simply not Trump’s forte, despite him claiming to have the “best words.”

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