The Trump house: Edinburg man shows his love for president-elect
EDINBURG – Chatting in Tommy Smith’s front yard on Senedo Road is problematic, because cars seem to interrupt conversations by the sentence with their horns as they pass.
They aren’t honking at motorists or just to say hi – they’re honking for President-elect Donald Trump.
Across the roughly 30 yards of roadside property the 64-year-old Smith owns, Trump signs pockmark his yard. The fiery businessman-turned-politician’s iconic lines (“drain the swamp,” “build the wall,” “lock her up”) are hand painted across Smith’s house and garage. Likewise, yard signs gather to form an unmistakable, in-your-face political statement.
Throughout a lengthy conversation with The Northern Virginia Daily, Smith, sporting a red “Make America Great Again” hat and Trump-Pence 2016 shirt, casually lifts an arm to wave at the endless line of cars responding to his “Honk for Trump” sign along the roadway.
It took Smith 48 cans of spray paint and 18 hours of labor after Trump announced his presidential campaign to adorn the house with such volume.
“He announced at 9:30 a.m.,” Smith said of Trump’s 2015 announcement. “… I headed to the Tractor Supply. I got back here around 10:30, maybe 11, with all my supplies. And that was a white wall before I tweaked it.”
Smith said the feedback has been overwhelming. People come to visit from across the country, and cars are constantly blaring their horns for him. But there are some naysayers, too. One man offered Smith $1,000 to take all the signage down. Smith booted him from the property. The man came back and offered twice as much. Smith says he proceeded to flick him off.
To Smith, Donald Trump is something more than a man. When asked what he would say to Trump if the president-elect appeared, save for offering the idea of establishing a national monument to the man before his presidential inauguration, Smith’s reverence for Trump makes him sound like something more than flesh and blood.
“I’d say to him, you’re the greatest man to ever walk the face of Earth and you kicked Hillary’s sorry butt and God loves you and so do I,” Smith said. “You’ve got God’s ear; he’s listening and he’s on your side.”
The longer Smith speaks, the more cars pass, laying on their horns. Sometimes it seems like Smith doesn’t notice.
However, what Smith breathes is more than just love and respect for Trump. It’s mimicry. While Trump coins phrases for politicians on a national scale (“Crooked Hillary Clinton,” “Lyin’ Ted Cruz,” “Little Marco Rubio,”), Smith turns the phrase “Bad” Bob Goodlatte, who recently won an election to hold his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
But along with an unyielding and almost inspiring love for Trump, Smith harbors a venomous disdain for Hillary Clinton, even after Trump’s words of respect for Clinton in his victory speech early Wednesday morning. Smith said she left four Americans for dead during the 2012 attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, that she’s swindled Americans out of thousands in Arkansas in the 1980s, that she’s a liar, a crook and a traitor.
But beyond Clinton, Smith bears malice for Democrats. He goes so far as to say they should be sent to internment camps, as the U.S. did to Japanese-Americans during World War II.
“We’ll put them in a big holding camp like they did in World War II,” he said. “We’ll feed them and give them toiletries and all that good stuff. We’ll even give them cable TV. Soon as that wall is finished, we’re going to put them on buses, nice big Greyhound, air-conditioned tour buses. We’ll take them to Mexico.”
The wall he refers to would be the wall Trump has claimed he will build along the entire U.S.-Mexico border. The wall Trump said Mexico will pay for. The wall, Smith said, will make the Great Wall of China look like a measly slab of concrete.
The reasoning behind this hatred wavers, but it centers around the simple fact that Democrats voted for Clinton, and not Trump. However, there’s more to it.
“A motto of Democrats, and this is the God’s honest truth and you strike me dead if I lie: give them anything they want and let the Republicans pay for it,” Smith said. “Republicans make money and pay their taxes. Democrats don’t, they don’t pay nothing. They want to play that game with Donald and his taxes, I could care less.”
That said, it’s not just Democrats who Smith won’t deal with. Besides calling President Barack Obama “useless,” Smith said he thinks there are too many do-nothing Republicans who should be drained from the proverbial swamp – among them Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (“… speaker of the nothing”) and Ted Cruz (“He’s a turncoat, he didn’t endorse Trump until he had to”).
Without any sort of prompt, Smith is more than willing to share hordes of things he doesn’t like these days. Be it the Black Lives Matter movement, Megyn Kelly, solar panels, wind turbines or Colin Powell, Smith has an opinion on it all and he’s ready to share.
As the sun sets and the November air cools, just two days after Donald John Trump won the election, Smith still jabs at Hillary Clinton, even if the president-elect has moved on.
When asked what he would say to Clinton if she were to appear on his front yard, Smith pauses to think after another car passes, horn blaring.
“Those cars aren’t honking for you, they’re honking for Donald,” he says he’d tell Clinton. “They love Trump. Look in the mirror and you know what you’re going to see? The face of the biggest loser who ever ran for public office in these United States of America.”
As the election fades into the past and the dawn of Trump’s presidency approaches, Smith says he has no plans to take the signs down. He wouldn’t take them down after Tuesday’s election, he won’t take them down after the 2020 election (when he expects Trump will run again), he won’t take them down in 2024 when “another good Republican” runs, and he won’t take them down until he’s 100.
“It ain’t coming down, the movement continues,” Smith says. “He’s gonna run again, and I’m going to keep it beautiful.”
Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or firstname.lastname@example.org.