One of President Donald Trump’s biggest opponents is back — the viral blimp depicting him as a crying baby. After the likeness emerged in connection to protests demonstrating against a trip he took to the United Kingdom, some American activists brought the symbolism to the United States — and it’s apparently now coming to El Paso, Texas, where next Monday, Trump will be holding his first campaign rally of the year as we get ever closer to the 2020 elections.
A GoFundMe account set up to cover the apparent $3,500 shipping cost to bring one of the balloons to Texas from California for protests countering the rally has reached its goal and then some, hitting more than $3,700 within just 14 hours of going up. Within 20 hours, it passed $4,000 with little sign of the campaign’s pace slowing down as it became “trending” on the fundraising platform itself.
Laura Valdez, who’s behind the effort, said in an update to the GoFundMe campaign that money that’s left unused in the effort will be donated to the Annunciation House of El Paso, which describes itself as serving the “migrant, homeless, and economically vulnerable people of the border.”
Trump zeroed in on El Paso in his recent State of the Union speech in which he attempted to make the case for the border wall blocking off Mexico that he’s long sought. He claimed that the city went from being one of the most violent cities in the entire United States to one of the safest after physical barriers along the local border with Mexico went up — but that’s just not true. The New York Times shares that in 2008 — before the local barriers went up — El Paso had the “second-lowest violent crime rate among more than 20 similarly sized cities,” and there was no significant change in the years immediately following the fencing going up.
Still, Trump persists with his ruthless antagonism of the facts anyway. One of the original organizers behind the Trump baby blimp counter to the president’s rhetoric suggested that the imagery was an effective way to get through to the president since he obsesses so much over his public image (just check his Twitter feed).
The effort at least temporarily worked, because Trump complained that the at times controversial blimp made him feel unwelcome in the United Kingdom — although it’s unclear whether he ever thought about why activists might have wanted to push him out in the first place… Self-reflection doesn’t seem to be his strong suit.
Still, activists in the U.S. have persisted just as Trump has. Versions of the Trump baby blimp have emerged in Florida, New Jersey and, as Laura Valdez’s campaign to bring one to Texas mentioned, California. Late last year, the imagery flew in Los Angeles ahead of the annual installment of Politicon, which bills itself as the “Unconventional Political Convention.”
It’s not immediately clear what a next step might be in the efforts to get one of the balloons to Texas.
Besides the continuing protest presence, Trump also faces a growing field of credible Democratic challengers going into 2020.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot