SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Warning View Alerts

'Plaid shirt guy' removed from Trump rally

A high school student was asked to leave a Trump rally in Montana after making animated facial expressions during the President's speech.

Posted: Sep 10, 2018 5:25 AM
Updated: Sep 10, 2018 5:34 AM

Donald Trump doesn't like to be criticized. Time and time again, he has lashed out at those who dare utter an unkind word about him -- be they members of Congress, the media or even late-night comedians.

But now Team Trump apparently has a new demand: Enthusiastically cheer Trump or be banished.

That's the lesson that 17-year-old Tyler Linfesty, now known as "plaid shirt guy," found out at Trump's campaign rally last Thursday in Montana. Linfesty, a high school senior, was positioned directly behind Trump during his speech. But, a short time into the speech, a person involved with the rally approached him and stated: "I'm gonna replace you."

Had Linfesty been booing? No. Did he heckle Trump? Negative. Did he hold up a sign that mocked Trump? Once again, that's a no. Though he was never given a formal reason, Linfesty believes his "misconduct" that merited ejection was his lack of fanatical devotion to Trump, the beloved headliner.

Linfesty didn't attend the rally planning to protest Trump. He's simply a young man who wanted to see the President of the United States speak in his home state. And, as fate would have it, he was randomly chosen by the Trump campaign for "VIP status."

Next thing you know, Linfesty is being seated behind Trump for his speech. But not before he says he was told the rules by a person working on the event: "You have to be enthusiastic, you have to be clapping, you have to be cheering for Donald Trump."

Well the problem for Team Trump is that Linfesty is an intelligent young American who questions statements he hears from politicians. You know, the way we all should. So, during the speech, Linfesty, as he explained to CNN's Don Lemon, applauded the parts of Trump's speech he agreed with, such as when the President "railed against NAFTA."

But when Linfesty didn't agree with what Trump stated, he didn't cheer. "I had to be real with myself. I'm not going to pretend to support something I don't support," the high school senior explained.

And as a person with critical thinking skills, Linfesty expressed his sentiments through subtle facial gestures. For example, when Trump brought up the 2016 election results (yes, it's 20 months later and Trump clearly still hasn't come to terms with Hillary Clinton drubbing him by nearly 3 million votes in the popular election) and claimed it's harder to win the electoral college than the popular vote, Linfesty looked skeptical.

And when Trump shared his strategy of how he could've easily won the popular vote with the line, "you go to three or four states, then boom-boom-boom ... you win," we could see Linfesty subtly turn to people near him and mouth, "What?"

Again, at no time did Linfesty heckle or try to interrupt Trump's speech, but apparently Linfesty showing the slightest bit of independent thought in a sea of Trump supporters was just too much of a threat. Who knows what happens if others in the audience saw a person not conforming and actually questioning the outlandish claims and lies of Trump? That's how revolutions start!

Okay, maybe a few subtle facial gestures wouldn't actually spark an uprising, but it did get Linfesty booted from his seat. And even more troubling was that Linfesty was then detained by the United States Secret Service: "Some Secret Service guys escorted me into this backroom area, and they just sat me down for 10 minutes." According to Linfesty, after being held in custody for simply not cheering enough for Trump, he was then released by the Secret Service and told that he should not come back.

The idea that a United States citizen was thrown out of a rally that was headlined by the President, simply for not cheering fanatically enough, and was then held in custody by the Secret Service, should alarm anyone who cherishes freedom of expression. It conjures up rogue nations like North Korea, where political dissent is met with swift government action to silence it.

In fact, on Thursday, we saw a startling development involving North Korea and Trump. On Thursday morning, Trump took to Twitter to thank North Korea's brutal dictator Kim Jong Un for saying he had "unwavering faith in President Trump." But that same evening, a young American was ejected from a rally for failing to show "unwavering" support for Trump.

The good news is that Linfesty will soon be 18 and able to vote. The hope is that he and others like him who refuse to accept the prospect of a nation where we must cheer our leader -- even when he lies -- or face consequences, will make their voices heard in the election booth.

That is still one place from which Trump can't banish us.

West Lafayette
Few Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Kokomo
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Rensselaer
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 65°
Frankfort
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 67°
Delphi
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 69°
Monticello
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 50300

Reported Deaths: 2748
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11920692
Lake5432248
Elkhart347058
Allen2902133
St. Joseph205169
Hamilton1665101
Cass16449
Hendricks1446100
Johnson1325118
Porter80238
Tippecanoe7599
Clark68144
Vanderburgh6816
Madison67264
LaPorte60527
Howard59458
Bartholomew59345
Kosciusko5704
Marshall5308
Noble50128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4783
Boone47444
Delaware46952
Hancock46036
Shelby43525
Floyd40444
Morgan33631
Monroe32928
Grant30926
Dubois2976
Henry29717
Montgomery29720
Clinton2893
White26810
Decatur25532
Dearborn25423
Lawrence25225
Vigo2478
Warrick24329
Harrison21722
Greene19332
Miami1922
Jennings17912
Putnam1728
DeKalb1674
Scott1639
Wayne1536
Daviess15017
Perry1459
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1332
Franklin1278
Ripley1277
Wabash1152
Carroll1132
Gibson1132
Fayette1057
Whitley1045
Newton10010
Starke983
Huntington932
Randolph794
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington681
Knox670
Clay665
Pulaski661
Rush613
Posey550
Owen521
Benton510
Spencer501
Adams491
Sullivan471
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Tipton321
Switzerland300
Martin240
Parke230
Ohio220
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events