Cars were honking their horns to support the many Donald Trump supporters who gathered Thursday afternoon at the entrance of the Belmont University assembly hall, where the second and last presidential debate between the United States was due to take place. president and Joe Biden in the city of Nashville (Tennessee). In silence, those who were driving on campus and were not supporters of the Republican president, but who stuck an upright middle finger out the window, in what in the United States is known as “give the middle finger”. In Spain they call it making "the comb".
Between beeps and obscene gestures the hours passed. With people, characters and cartoons. There was John, who describes himself as a shepherd "of his sheep", among which he counts his wife, who has accompanied him to the act. John uses the megaphone to say out loud that thanks to the coronavirus "the world has been cleansed of homosexuals, communists, pedophiles …". The list is endless. Why does John support The Shepherd to Trump? Well, because he is on a divine mission to "return America to its principles of purity."
Along with the pastor, Melinda and Michael Granholm had placed a huge red banner over the security fence that marked the distance between the public and the area only accessible to authorized personnel. The ordinances allow that you can protest, but not that you can hang anything. Two police officers, armed to the teeth, intimidatingly approached to politely ask the Granholm couple to remove the banner. They did it without question. "Law and order," they explain. "We respect law and order," says the lady. "That security will disappear if the socialist Biden comes to the White House, he will infiltrate it from the extreme left."
The streets were closed, some as childish as placing a typical yellow school bus in the middle of the road. It was not the law enforcement officers who carried out the checks on the vehicles at the checkpoints with police dogs. They also did not identify themselves as secret service personnel.
The climate of the presidential debate was palpable Thursday in Nashville, the birthplace of the countryEven on the famous Broadway street, with one bar followed after another where live music played from noon, and where the songs were mixed with each other until no words were incomprehensible. Run the Bourbon. Huge pro-Trump flags hang from the Honky Tonk venue. There was absolutely none, in any establishment, of the Democratic Party. There is no doubt that Donald Trump is more than 13 points ahead of Joe Biden in the State of Tennessee.
Mary, Ellis, Courtney, and Pamela were coming out of Legends Corner. They came to celebrate, after noon, Pam's birthday; They have already danced and now Ellis takes out of her bag a red cap, the famous red cap that proclaims Make America Great Again. "No one will ever steal our country from us again," Ellis says. "Trump is going to win and he's going to finish the job he's started." Together they begin their ascent up Broadway while waiting for an Uber to take them to Belmont University.
Music made it impossible to talk to anyone. The masks did not help communication, although they protect against the pandemic, but it was a mandatory element to access any establishment, no matter how nightclub the place was. On the street, the show was another. Trump supporters have embraced the president's doctrine and proudly go bare-faced in a country with more than 223,000 deaths from coronavirus this year. The pace does not stop in the city where Johnny Cash died before his turn, as dictated by life expectancy.
Albert and his fiancee, Jenna, were in a hurry. They stopped to talk long enough to say that they hope their children will inherit the country that Trump is building. They miss the bus that will take them to Dollytown, a theme park owned by singer Dolly Parton in the Rockies area in the city of Knoxville. "Of course we will see the debate, but first let's have fun," they say goodbye with laughter. Albert wears a T-shirt with the American flag. Jenna a tight top with Parton's face.
This last debate was a street party. What will happen when Trump and Biden go head-to-head remains to be seen. On the university campus there has certainly been a more civilized discussion than that which took place in the first meeting between the two politicians. Dylan -democrat- talks calmly with Deborah -republican. They ended up concluding that neither is going to convince the other, but that it is necessary to avoid the polarization that divides the country like never before.
Joyce had been for hours the only person with a pro-Joe Biden T-shirt and banner one could find around Nashville. He ended up leaving. Although on her way she was rebuked by a young woman opposed to the voluntary interruption of abortion who showed images that were very difficult to digest about alleged children resulting from abortions. "I'm also in favor of life," Joyce explains to the young woman. "But life is cared for not only when it is in the womb, you have to guarantee a decent life afterwards," continues Joyce. But his final sentence is yet to come: "I wonder how many abortions Trump will have paid for?" He tells the young woman, accusing the president of the United States of "hypocrisy" and of being a "danger to the nation."
Night was beginning to fall and many people were in and out of bars. Nashville's Broadway is always a show. Sometimes a cruel spectacle, with the unseen corners of abandoned businesses filled with aging, homeless people who once dreamed of being on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, the mecca of the country which has only a few years left to be a centenary. Pro-Trump banners billowed in a light wind. There was barely an hour left for the last debate of 2020. The music continued. In fact, it hadn't stopped. Nor will it do so once the debate is over and Tennessee votes, if the polls don't fail, massively for Donald Trump.
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