A well-known anti-Trump protester who found a threatening note on the front door of his Village of Hadley home Wednesday morning wound up in a full-scale argument with a Villager who confronted him later in the day.
Ed McGinty, of the Village of Hadley, was parked in his golf cart in the grassy area by Odell Circle with signs on his golf cart that read “Trump Is A Sexual Predator,” “Trump Filthy Pig,” “Trump Compulsive Liar,” “Trump Bigot and Racist” and “Hitler And Trump Exactly Same DNA.”
Several motorists, including a FedEx truck driver with a smile on his face, shouted expletives as they zoomed past. Some also showed support, while one man walking by on foot on the multi-modal path demanded that former President Obama be impeached.
Shortly after 3:30 p.m., Villager Marsha Hill stopped her golf cart behind McGinty’s cart and started videoing him and his signs while asking questions about his political stance. Seconds later, the discussion heated up and McGinty came out of his golf cart as the two went back and forth.
“He called me a pig!” Hill screamed as two Sumter County sheriff’s deputies arrived to speak with McGinty. “He called me a pig for no reason because I asked him why he thought the president was a sexual predator.”
Hill, who lives nearby in the Village of Amelia, said she was driving home when she spotted McGinty and felt the need to confront him.
“That’s blasphemy,” she said of McGinty’s signs about Trump. “You don’t say that about the president of the United States.”
Hill said she planned to send the Trump campaign video and images of McGinty protesting via Twitter sometime Wednesday night.
“This guy should be arrested,” she said. “You can’t say that about the president with no proof.”
McGinty said the deputies told him they had gotten a lot of phone calls but he was legally allowed to be where he was parked – as long as he didn’t block traffic in any way. Otherwise, he said, he’d either met people who agreed with him or who were diametrically opposed to his way of thinking.
“Democrats stop by and chat,” he said. “Some people drive by and give me the finger. Those Trumper people don’t like me sitting here.”
McGinty said he was partially driven to protest today by a threatening note he found on his door this morning that read: “Be very careful if the well being of your family is of importance.” He said he reported the threat to the sheriff’s office, but notes like that won’t keep him from expressing his political views.
“The people that threatened my family, they don’t scare me,” he said. “They just embolden me.”
But he also quickly added: “I don’t mind people threatening me but I don’t want them threatening my wife. She doesn’t even participate in this.”
McGinty, who recently protested at a Villagers for Trump golf cart parade in Lake Sumter Landing, said he tries to express his political views at different spots around Florida’s Friendliest Hometown for at least an hour a day.
“It’s to say to the Democratic people who don’t like Trump, we’re all together,” he said. “You don’t have to feel like you can’t show your face or something. But most people are afraid to do what I do.”
McGinty said it’s also crucial for him to protest because he and other Democrats live in a community that’s largely comprised of Republicans, right down to the family who owns the mega-retirement community.
“The Democrats need to know they have a voice here because the Morses are really big Republicans and Trump supporters,” he said. “Trump people have been running around saying ‘Lock Hillary up’ for years and I just got tired of it. Somebody needs to speak for the Democrats.”