Congresswoman Kendra Horn’s campaign headquarters was the site of dueling rallies Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, one for the impeachment of President Trump, the other against.
And, the pro-Horn, pro-impeachment demonstrators far outnumbered those who were against her.
At the end of the evening on the side of Western Avenue, about 50 passionate demonstrators supporting the impeachment of Trump and supporting Horn outshouted the 10 adults and one child who were demonstrating against her.
It may have been a surprising turn for those who believe that the left is always outnumbered in Oklahoma.
Earlier in the day, Horn’s office announced that she had reluctantly decided to vote for Trump’s impeachment when the measure comes before the House.
As expected, it triggered responses on social media all along the political spectrum.
And, those who tried to call Horn’s office throughout the day on either side of the issue complained that they couldn’t get through.
National right-wing lobbying groups had already lined up against the Congresswoman even before the announcement. Large dark-money ad buys on local TV and The Oklahoman newspaper urged Trump supporters to call horn’s office and tell her to vote “no” on the impeachment.
But, in Horn’s 5th District, dominated by the Oklahoma City metro, efforts urging locals to call Horn’s office in favor of impeachment had already been building over the last several weeks.
Then, the “Nobody Is Above the Law” pro-impeachment rally was planned to take place outside Congresswoman Kendra Horn’s campaign headquarters Tuesday to pressure Horn to vote for impeachment.
The rally was gaining interest Tuesday morning even before she made the announcement.
Instead of abandoning the effort, rally organizers pressed on urging people to come out and support Horn and impeachment.
And, interest in the rally seemed to grow stronger among pro-impeachment advocates once predictable calls to “dump” Horn in the next election started showing up on social media.
As “Nobody is Above the Law” and anti-impeachment demonstrators arrived, campaign staff invited people inside the offices where it wasn’t as cold.
The crowd inside was mostly pro-impeachment and defending Horn, but also included a few who were wearing MAGA hats supporting Trump.
Pro-impeachment rally organizer Mark Faulk spoke to the crowd, drawing loud cheers and applause.
“So what do we do now? We have to keep the pressure on, honestly, Representative Kendra Horn,” said Faulk. “We have to keep the pressure on all of our elected officials.”
Faulk said that now that Oklahoma County had been “flipped” to a more progressive orientation, it was time to bring pressure on the elected officials.
He said that when elections are won by progressive turn-out “we need to hold those officials accountable.”
“It doesn’t matter if you’re Republican or Democrat, you are responsible,” said Faulk. “We voted you in. We can vote you out. This is not about parties.”
“This is about ideals and morals and people earning a living wage and people being able to go to the doctor and not go bankrupt.”
Free Press saw a few Trump supporters who we have talked to before at Horn town halls where they were demonstrating.
Brian Imes was at a previous town hall we covered and was at the anti-impeachment demonstration Tuesday. We wanted to know why he was there.
Imes said he wanted to “show support for my president” and described Trump as “very embattled.”
He seemed to go along with the idea that Congress has not been getting anything done during the impeachment even though the record shows otherwise.
“I just don’t think this helps. It’s divisive,” said Imes. “And, I want to see things that help American people in Oklahoma in general.”
We have seen Ronda Peterson outside Horn town halls on several occasions holding signs with messages for Trump and against Horn.
And, even though her signage and large, yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag makes her look extreme to some, once in the town halls she has been respectful and composed.
Why was she there Tuesday?
“I’m here because I love my country,” Peterson said. “And, what I see happening in Congress needs to stop. Right now they’re concentrated solely, mostly on trying to impeach a duly elected president.”
She thinks that Trump has “done nothing wrong to be impeached.”
On the street
Those in favor of impeachment responded to the ten people who were chanting “Trump! Trump!” with their own much louder chants of “Dump Trump! Dump Trump!”
Later the pro-Horn, pro-impeachment crowd started chanting “This is what democracy looks like,” a phrase made common during the Occupy Movement days of several years ago.
At the beginning of the competing rallies by the street, there was some acrimonious shouting between individuals in the two groups.
But, after a short while, there was little interaction between the groups except for using their energy to shout opposing chants.
It seemed to be, in fact, what democracy looks like.
Sustain our journalism by becoming a supporter
Oklahoma City Free Press is dedicated to providing high quality journalism that positively impacts our community. Click this linkto support our mission.