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Trump supporters in New York take on ISIS

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One of Donald Trump’s favorite things to say is that America needs to “get tough” to be great again. No one is quite sure when he thinks America was great (Moon Landing? Second Great Awakening?), but it’s fair to say it was some time when there was a big war and a draft.

So I asked Trump fans what they thought of the draft — which Trump hasn’t explicitly proposed — and their opinions differed. Trump youth were skeptical. They don’t want to kill people. But Trump has said that the military will do what he tells them to do, like torture people.

At a Trump rally in Bethpage, Long Island last week, about 10,000 people from across the tri-state came to hear the Donald speak that windy, grey Wednesday evening. Almost without a doubt, some of these people are descendants of Irish Americans in New York City who rioted against the draft during the Civil War.  Back then, wealthy protestant New Yorkers were able to literally buy their way out of service, while waves of immigrants — the Trumpists’ ancestors — flowed to the front to fight in their new country’s bloody nightmare.

Trump is a wealthy protestant New Yorker who wants to leave all options open when it comes to defeating our enemies. To start winning again. Most of the responses singled out ISIS. One Trump supporter suggested we bomb five Middle Eastern countries, just for good measure. Read on to find out which ones.

Trump in Bethpage

Trump in Bethpage

The rally happened in a giant airplane hangar at Grumman Studios (Yes, like Northrup Grumman, an aerospace company that makes flying contraptions and doomsday machines.) It used to do so out in Bethpage, on the edge of Manhattan’s suburban demi-burrough, Nassau County. Now it’s a movie studio.

It’s the facility where the Apollo lunar module was built and also where Andrew Garfield was filmed pretending to be Spiderman. Huge building, and a metaphor for an economy that went from rewarding rocketeers to a racket benefiting the likes of Andrew Garfield. Not that there’s anything wrong with being Andrew Garfield.

“I would be angry if there was a draft. I am a peaceful person,” said Trump supporter Ian Capo, 16, who was there that night. By the time Capo will have to register for selective service, Trump could be in his second year in office. The country could have become so tough at that time that we’d need a draft to continue becoming tougher and win even more frequently.

Among some of the youth, there was a bit of ignorance about how the draft works.

“Personally, I don’t want to go,” said Mike, 18, a college student whose last name I will leave off here because there’s no point in embarrassing him forever on the Internet.

“But if you refuse, you could go to jail. Or you could flee the country,” I explained. “But it’s still a crime.”

Mike contemplated it for a second. His breath smelled a bit like he’d been drinking.

“Oh, then I would definitely flee,” he said.

“Is it because you don’t want to kill people?” I asked.

“No, I don’t mind killing people,” he admitted. “I just don’t want to get killed myself.”

“Is there anybody you would fight against?”

“Race-wise? Probably ISIS,” he replied. Yes, “race-wise” is what he said.

One young woman, Nicolle Bernard, 22, who said she was just there to gawk at Trump, understood the concept better.

“Well if there was a draft, I’d have to go right?” She said.

One remarkable thing about this Trump rally was how young so many of Trump’s fans are, and how enthusiastic they are. The first candidate I could vote for was John Kerry, who was about as inspiring as a postcard of a very tall tree.

But Trump has made American politics fun for all ages delivering that singular New York vaudeville act all across the country, a delight to first time voters who’ve felt shut out by nerds or adults. You don’t need to know much about politics and the constitution to enjoy and grasp a Trump speech. In fact, it’s better if you know less.

Wilson Dizard: I didn't get this man's name outside the Trump event. I gave him a dollar donation and he gave me a miniature American flag and a red paper poppy flower, which I wore because why not. I tried to shake his hands but he said his hands were full and also injured somehow, but I couldn't tell how. Not wanting to bother him, I moved on to the entrance. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

Wilson Dizard: I didn’t get this man’s name outside the Trump event. I gave him a dollar donation and he gave me a miniature American flag and a red paper poppy flower, which I wore because why not. I tried to shake his hands but he said his hands were full and also injured somehow, but I couldn’t tell how. Not wanting to bother him, I moved on to the entrance. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

When it comes to the draft, though, many of Trump’s biggest fans know exactly what they’re talking about, as they were drafted or served in the military as volunteers.

“I am a former United States Marine and I believe every American should serve for at least two years in the military,” said Michael Corleone, 41, (his real name, he swears). He continued to explain the necessity of a strong national defense.

“I want you to tell me your street address,” Corleone said to me. “I’m going to come to your house and I’m just going to start taking your stuff. Then what are you going to do? If ISIS came here, and tried to take us over, would you fight them?”

Corleone and I spoke hours before Trump took the stage, as the thousands and thousands of people went through a security checkpoint staffed by TSA agents and Secret Service officers. Then they walked into an airplane hanger to hear a guy talk about bombing our enemies to smithereens.

Diane Ammar, 62, from Long Island, was outside smoking a cigarette in the breezy afternoon. She didn’t like the idea of the draft.

“I’d bomb the whole place. Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran and ISIS” Ammar said, offering an alternative solution to the compulsory service.

I asked what about the deaths of innocent civilians that could happen.

“Well that’s the problem. I’m also humanitarian, but I don’t want to see any more of our kids go over there and die,” she said.

The firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden, which helped to weaken the enemy’s will by incinerating their children, have left a long legacy in the mind of the American voter as a kind of magic solution to pacifying our distant adversaries. Tinny-voiced news reels that turned to dust decades ago win hearts and minds into the 21st century. Good job, news reels.

Standing in the back of the Trump rally. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

Standing in the back of the Trump rally. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

About Wilson Dizard

Wilson Dizard is a freelance reporter and photojournalist covering politics, civil rights, drug policy and everything else. He lives in Brooklyn with his bicycle, camera and drum set.

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17 Responses

  1. ritzl
    ritzl
    April 12, 2016, 1:21 pm

    Say what you want about the right or wrong or practicality or probability of a draft, just the notion if it does raise the stakes and clarify the thinking.

    Great reporting style, btw.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      April 12, 2016, 4:31 pm

      Yes, it does, which is why the POTUS candidates aren’t talking about it. If memory serves, Hillary was asked about it and responded she didn’t know, would have to think about drafting both genders (in the name of equal rights and duties). Girl volunteers & breaks the glass ceiling, but is drafted? Gee, maybe she would end military draft registration, eh?

    • Boo
      Boo
      April 13, 2016, 1:00 pm

      A serious discussion about universal military conscription (just like “guess where”) would certainly get everyone thinking about what its potential consequences would be.

      Implementation is a different story. It’s somewhat less than moral to “raise the consciousness” of a society atop the dead bodies of its young people.

  2. eljay
    eljay
    April 12, 2016, 1:32 pm

    … “I’d bomb the whole place. Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran and ISIS” Ammar said, offering an alternative solution to the compulsory service. I asked what about the deaths of innocent civilians that could happen. “Well that’s the problem. I’m also humanitarian, but I don’t want to see any more of our kids go over there and die,” she said. …

    She’s not a humanitarian, she’s an idiot.

    • amigo
      amigo
      April 12, 2016, 2:54 pm

      “She’s not a humanitarian, she’s an idiot.” eljay

      Any zionist will tell you that all humanitarians are idiots.Unless , of course they are zionist humanitarians , an obvious contradiction in terms.

  3. Theo
    Theo
    April 12, 2016, 1:49 pm

    ” I would bomb the whole place”, said Ms. Ammar.

    Now that is a real caveman reaction to the issue, the same action we are doing since about 70 years, we bomb the hell out of them, killing women, children and the old! And these people call themselves “christians”, go to church every sunday and pray for blessing from above.
    How uneducated and stupid are our average citizens, kill a few million humans and the job is done. The problem is, that those arabs are today much better educated, have plenty of money and connections, and they are already in Europe to thank those peoples for the subjugation and bombing their countries.
    What would Ms. Ammar say when one day a bomb blow up her house, the school where her grandchildren learn, the hospital where she may be convalecing, or the movie where she may see her very last show! We are doing such things since decades and it is time we get off the high horse and get the hell out of their countries. Otherwise they will come to us and don´t let the FBI or HS fool you, they will come. You cannot stop a person who is ready to blow himself up just to kill a few of his enemies at the same time. London, Madrid, Paris and Brussels should teach us a lesson.

    • lonely rico
      lonely rico
      April 12, 2016, 11:52 pm

      ” I would bomb the whole place”, said Ms. Ammar.
      … the same action we are doing since about 70 years, we bomb the hell out of them, killing women, children and the old!

      Maybe that’s why they hate us.
      Because we bomb, murder, maim and destroy.

      Gee, I thought they hated us “for our freedom”!

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        April 13, 2016, 3:51 pm

        Does anyone believe that they hate us because of our freedoms? Or do they just disbelieve THAT but fail to think what that “they” might feel like because of having American armies over there — occupying space in their countries — and, moreover, those armies shooting everyone up, the drones taking out wedding parties, the ceaseless fear in drone-lands of explosions out of the sky, for no apparent reason, killing and destroying? They should be grateful? And not hate “us”?

        Do Americans ever think? Reflect? Do they ever ask why the oligarchs (the establishment) (the government) (the Big Money) wants American armies “over there” in the first place?: And by what right? and — while I’m on a rant — why the BIGs refuse to pay taxes to support those armies?

  4. Laurent Weppe
    Laurent Weppe
    April 12, 2016, 3:58 pm

    “I’d bomb the whole place. Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran and ISIS” Ammar said, offering an alternative solution to the compulsory service.

    The cowardice of right-wingers: “I’m willing to support wanton slaughter, but I don’t want a single person I know to risk their lives

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      April 12, 2016, 4:45 pm

      They are so tough aren’ they? Put them in the front lines facing ISIS and they will wet their pants.

      • Laurent Weppe
        Laurent Weppe
        April 14, 2016, 6:12 am

        They’re already soiling their pants when they see talking-heads pontificating about terrorism on TV, despite the fact that they’re all more likely to drown in their own bathtub than being gunned down by Daesh’s suicide squads.

  5. bopfromthedarkside
    bopfromthedarkside
    April 12, 2016, 5:23 pm

    If I were of age again, I’d rather die than serve in Trump’s army.

  6. Marnie
    Marnie
    April 13, 2016, 12:22 am

    “Personally, I don’t want to go,” said Mike, 18, a college student whose last name I will leave off here because there’s no point in embarrassing him forever on the Internet. “But if you refuse, you could go to jail. Or you could flee the country,” I explained. “But it’s still a crime.” Mike contemplated it for a second. His breath smelled a bit like he’d been drinking. “Oh, then I would definitely flee,” he said. “Is it because you don’t want to kill people?” I asked. “No, I don’t mind killing people,” he admitted. “I just don’t want to get killed myself.”

    If fighting for a cause isn’t worth risking your life, maybe it’s not your cause at all, only some slick politician, who definitely isn’t going to risk his or her life the cause, or the lives of his or her children. Always some else’s children.

    The US hasn’t ‘won’ any wars on its own, it has always counted on the kindness of strangers, then taken all the credit for victory.

    The Viet Cong kicked the US out of their country. The US had no business being there in the first place. The Viet Cong were willing to die for their cause. That’s what it takes I guess, someone coming to your home and trying to kill you. With the exception of the so called war of independence and the civil war, the US has always gone to someone else’s home to shed blood. It’s the same here. The israeli’s aren’t willing to die for their cause (except the right to drive, and they kill each other more behind the wheel than anywhere else), but are perfectly willing to kill in huge numbers defenseless civilians on the other side. Like
    “Mike” – who doesn’t mind killing other people at all, isn’t willing to die himself. I’m not knocking “Mike” btw, I just think little toy soldier boys and girls ought to look very very hard at politicians who talk about war, especially HRC because she actually could become president, and then look in their mirrors and decide if they themselves are willing to die for her cause.

    I think Drumpf has been a deliberate distraction and this has been a lot of fun for him, much like threatening to sue someone. I don’t know what’s been going on behind closed doors over the last 6-8 months, but he has been nothing but a distraction.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      April 13, 2016, 1:45 pm

      “I think Drumpf has been a deliberate distraction and this has been a lot of fun for him, much like threatening to sue someone.”

      “BLOOM:
      (musing to himself)
      ‘Heh, heh, heh, amazing. It’s
      absolutely amazing. But under the
      right circumstances, a producer
      could make more money with a flop
      than he could with a hit.’

      QUICK CUT TO BIALYSTOCK’S SLEEPING FACE. HIS EYES POP OPEN.

      CUT BACK TO BLOOM.

      BLOOM:
      ‘Yes. Yes. It’s quite possible.
      If he were certain the show would
      fail, a man could make a fortune.

      CUT TO BIALYSTOCK. BY NOW HE IS HALFWAY ACROSS THE ROOM.
      HIS WHOLE BEING TINGLING WITH ALERTNESS. HE MOVES TO
      BLOOM’S DESK AND HOVERS OVER HIM, WAITING EXPECTANTLY FOR
      MORE INFORMATION. BUT BLOOM IS LOST IN HIS WORK, UNAWARE
      THAT BIALYSTOCK IS HANGING ON HIS EVERY WORD.

      BIALYSTOCK:
      ‘Yes???’

  7. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    April 13, 2016, 12:54 am

    RE: “I’d bomb the whole place. Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran and ISIS” Ammar said

    MY SNARKCASM: WOOHOO!!!!

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