A huge golf cart caravan of supporters of President Donald Trump rolled into Lake Sumter Landing on Sunday afternoon with their horns blaring and were promptly met with a contingent of Joe Biden backers.
The group of Biden supporters were set up on the corner of Old Mill Run and Canal Street and as the parade of several hundred golf carts carrying Trump supporters drove into Market Square, things quickly turned nasty.
“Say goodbye to your president!” one Biden supporter yelled.
“Traitor!” a Trump supporter yelled back. “Say no to crooked Joe!”
“Loser! Loser!” responded Mynor Garcia, of Lady Lake, as he held his fingers in the shape of an “L” above his forehead.
Garcia added that the many Trump supporters who drove by – one of who whom took both hands off the wheel of his golf cart to flip the middle finger to both sides of the street – couldn’t accept that Biden has been declared the winner, even though Trump has vowed to fight the election results and wants to get the Supreme Court involved.
“They’ve always said support your president and now they don’t want to support the president,” Garcia said.
A few feet away, Reggie Caporale, of the Village of Summerhill, and Lorraine Schneider, of the Village of Bridgeport at Laurel Valley, were busying waving at the passing golf carts and showing their support for Trump.
“I love this because it’s democracy at work,” Caporale said.
She added that many Trump supporters will respect the election results if they can be shown that Biden is the legitimate winner.
“We have a feeling there’s been a lot of illegitimate things going on,” she said, adding that she had no issue with the nearby Biden supporters as long as they didn’t interfere with the Trump contingent. “Maybe that’s Trump’s purpose, to clean up the mess that’s happened.”
Paula Orlando, of the Village of Mallory Square, drove her customized Atomic golf cart to Lake Sumter Landing sporting Biden’s logo on its side. She said she wanted to remain positive by holding up a sign that read, “Love Trump’s Hate” and drew several thumbs down from passing golf carts.
“I’m just tired of all the hate and division,” Orlando said, adding that those with her at Lake Sumter Landing had spent about four weeks sitting near the Winn-Dixie in Lake Sumter Landing at various times to show their support for Biden. “A lot of people said, ‘don’t rub salt in a wound,’ but we decided we’re happy and we should be able to celebrate Joe Biden becoming president.”
Not far away, Pat Walsh, of the Village of Fernandina, had a totally different point of view. She said she came out to show her support for Trump – “the man we love” – as she waved at the passing golf carts and smiled at the messages many of them displayed.
“I think this is fantastic and I think we won,” she said. “I’m going to say that. Yes we did.”
As for the opposition nearby, Walsh had a clear message for them.
“I told them to stay in their own corner!” she said with a long laugh.
Villagers for Trump Founder David Gee said $7,700 was collected to help Trump’s legal fees in challenging the election outcome – with promises of more to come.
“We had many Trump supporters waiting on our parade to show support,” he said. “It was a very good day for our members.”
Joe and Karen Weber, of the Village of Hacienda North, came out to Brownwood to show their support for Trump, who they have backed since 2015. Joe said they have spent time working at postal stations to get voters registered as Republicans and he was glad to see so much excitement at Sunday’s parade.
“We had a little prayer meeting with a couple of different chaplains and we need the Lord’s help,” he said, referring to Trump’s plan to challenge the election results. He said it’s hopeful that Gov. Ron DeSantis will pick up the check for the money that was collected to help the president’s legal battle and either send it to him or deliver it in person.
“We’re fully supporting Donald Trump,” he said.
Karen Weber said there’s no doubt in her mind that the election was “stolen” away from the president.
“We feel bad for the people who were cheating,” she said. “We hope they get caught. We hope there is either a recount or re-vote and apparently the Supreme Court might be in back of us.”
Sunday’s parade was a joint venture between members of Trump Team 2020 Florida, Villagers for Trump, The Republican Club of The Villages and the Republican Federated Women. The participants all gathered in the parking lot of the Creekside Care Center – across from Barnes & Noble – prior to the start of the 3 p.m. parade and enjoyed spending time together and listening to music provided by Israel David, who filled in for the DeSota Divas after that group was forced to cancel its scheduled performance. He led the group in singing several patriotic songs before the parade kicked off.
The parade circled Lake Sumter Landing Market Square several times and then the participants traveled to Brownwood Paddock Square. Several times the long line of patriotically decorated golf carts backed up along the multi-model paths as residents drove by in their vehicles, honked their horns and shouted “Four more years!” to show their support.
Trump has enjoyed a huge level of support in and around The Villages. He wowed thousands during an Oct. 23 rally at The Villages Polo Fields and in the Nov. 3 election, he picked up 67.77 percent of the vote in Sumter County to Biden’s 31.67 percent and won every precinct in the county that includes 60,220 Republicans, 25,033 Democrats and 21,134 classified as others.