Skeptical of Fox, Wary of the GOP: Meet La Crosse’s Trump Fans

By Eric Timmons

They don’t trust Fox News, they’re skeptical of the establishment Republican Party, and they want more done to protect Medicare and Social Security.

Meet the “Stop the Steal” protesters who gathered in La Crosse on Sunday to show their support for President Trump and to call for investigations into alleged irregularities in the Nov. 3 elections.

“This election has not been called,” said Sharon Jones, one of the demonstrators. “We need to play it out, find out what happened, look at all the votes, and all us people who support Trump, if at the end of the day, the election has been fair, Biden won, we will walk away and accept it. We will, because we believe in a democracy.”

Jones said she voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 and then switched to Trump in 2016, primarily because she was worried there wasn’t enough security at U.S. borders. However, it’s worth noting that although Trump talks about border security a lot, President Obama deported more undocumented immigrants than the Republican, including an estimated 1.7 million people who had no criminal record.

Jones held a sign that simply said “Supreme Court” during Sunday’s rally, which was held by Valley View Mall off State Road 16. The sign reflected her belief that the highest court in the land was the best place for allegations of fraud in the election to be resolved.

All the major media networks have called the race for Joe Biden and election security officials around the country have said there’s no evidence of widespread fraud. But Jones, like many of the roughly 50 protesters who showed up Sunday, seems to not believe anything mainstream media tells her. That includes Fox News.

“I don’t support Fox,” she said bluntly.

Another of the protesters at Sunday’s event, Lori Manning, also said she had soured on Fox, particularly over the last couple of months of the campaign. She was unhappy that the network was now signaling that Biden had won the election, before investigations into alleged fraud had been completed.

“They basically believe that Biden has been elected,” said Manning, who like other protesters Sunday was unable to point to any solid evidence of actual interference in the elections.

Manning said the Republican Party needed to get behind Trump and was concerned that was not happening to the degree she would like to see. Although the base of the party remains in thrall to Trump, cracks are beginning to show among establishment Republicans, with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and senators Mitt Romney and Susan Collins among those who have publicly recognized that Biden won the election.

Kathy Flock, who held on firmly to two Trump flags on Sunday in fierce winds as passing cars honked support, said she backed Trump because he’d cut taxes and improved border security. She also feels Trump cares about people like her, unlike other politicians. All she wants to see is a fair election, which includes the normal checks being carried out after voting is complete, like recounts and legal challenges, she said. Flock compared the current situation to what she viewed as Democrats’ obsession with Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

“They went on with this Russian collusion forever,” she said.

Flock also wanted to point out that she doesn’t think “socialism” is the answer to problems in the U.S. What she described as “socialized” medicine does not work, she said, but she does think the cost of health care is too high in the U.S. However, she is a supporter of Social Security and Medicare, which by most definitions is a form of socialized medicine, albeit only for seniors.

“People paid into these programs all their lives and we have to be sure that we keep them going for the people,”  Flock said.

Top image: Sharon Jones at Sunday’s “Stop the Steal” protest. Email questions to lacrosseindependent@gmail.com.

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