“We should stop thinking of these races as ‘Trump-ized’ because they’re about ‘Pizzagate’ and racial and ethnic division and fear-mongering,” he said. “That’s just how races are run on the Republican side these days.”
Mr. Scavo and his supporters largely agree. Mr. Scavo called himself “pro-wall, not pro-Trump,” and Mr. Bolus said he worried the Republican establishment fails to understand how fiercely Mr. Trump’s supporters are committed to their cultural ideals.
Lynne Kokinda, 62, who volunteered daily for Mr. Scavo until Election Day, said she felt the country is at a tipping point. Gregory Griffin, a 64-year-old retired corrections officer, blamed Mr. Obama’s presidency, along with the news media, for “stirring up racial strife.”
He took particular issue with the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.
“It should be ‘police shoots citizen who resisted arrest or had a gun,’ but it’s usually portrayed as ‘white police officer shoots black male’ and that’s stirring the pot,” Mr. Griffin said. “That’s causing the black people to feel like black people are getting assassinated.”
He cited two Democrats who are an increasing focus of Mr. Trump’s base — Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Carol Huddy, 71, said that preserving “our culture” was the era’s defining issue — regardless if Mr. Trump is in office.
“We may be far away from the border, but they’re here and they’re coming here,” Ms. Huddy said, initially refusing to define “they.”
Ten seconds passed.
Twenty seconds passed.
And then Ms. Huddy leaned in.
“I’ll give you a hint,” she said, whispering, “They have names like Vasquez and Hernandez.”