Carrying signs saying “Trump 2020” and American flags, and wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, people lined South Randall Road on Saturday, in support of President Donald Trump.
Wearing a blond Trumplike wig, Huntley resident Trevor Vogel said a lot of people are “in the shadows” when it comes to their support of the president.
“They’re worried about blowback from the media, their friends, family,” Vogel said. He said the rally was a good opportunity to show support for Trump, who he called one of the “best presidents in our lifetime.”
“The economy’s great, our military’s great again, this country’s going in the right direction,” Vogel said. “I think people are respecting us again.
Vogel said Trump’s impeachment is not a concern for him because it’s “baseless” and based on “hearsay.”
Also not concerning Vogel on Saturday was blowback the group of Trump supporters got from other cars.
Driving past, some cars honked in support, while a few expressed their distaste for the rally. One woman rode past, flipping them off and yelling “This is so [expletive] messed up.”
“It doesn’t bother us,” Vogel said.”We’re out here, we’ve got a lot of people out here. The president’s got strong support.”
The organizer of the rally, Joe Ptak of Island Lake, thanked people for showing up before the rally started.
“Let the world and nation know that you are all patriots and support our President Trump,” he told the crowd, before leading them in chants of “USA, USA, USA” and “four more years, four more years.”
Crystal Lake resident Diane Donnelly said she was at the rally with the “Walk Away” crowd, a group of people who became Republicans after formerly identifying as Democrats.
Donnelly said the group was formed by people upset that the Democratic Party has been “hijacked,” and who feel that they were lied to.
“We like freedoms, and responsibilities,” Donnelly said. “I love my flag, I love my country, I love the people that are here [at the rally].”
Gary Pearson drove 2½ hours from Tampico to be at the Algonquin rally. Pearson said he did this because a friend of his from the area asked him to come, and because he’s a “big supporter” of Trump.
“I support everything the president does, because he stands up for America,” Pearson said. “He will rise above [impeachment] because it’s going nowhere.”
Seeing all the people who came out to the rally was “breathtaking” to Pearson.
“It’s putting a lump in my throat,” Pearson said. “It’s great seeing modern-day patriots out here supporting our country.”
A group of about four or five counterprotesters, some carrying a banner saying “Literally Anyone Else 2020,” were across the street from the Trump ralliers.
Angel Llavona, a public school teacher and Algonquin resident, is a legal immigrant who came to the U.S. 20 years ago. However, he said he still is aware of the of the “tragic turn” this government and Trump’s administration has taken regarding its position on immigration.
“I am here to defend the honor of all immigrants from the past, the present and from the future,” Llavona said. “When I see the policies and the attitude, the racism, the xenophobia that this administration is showing toward many, including the immigrants, I cannot stand still and watch this happen.”
Llavona said he can see the effect the “dangerous atmosphere” has on his 10- and 14-year old children.
“They are aware; they make comments, they will let me know what other kids say in school,” he said. “Fortunately, they have not been bullied, [but] I am aware of many other instances of bullying in this area and other areas of the country. We have a president who is a bully himself who has triggered this attitude to come out for many other people.”
Lillian Colon of Algonquin, also came to protest the Trump rally.
“All of the qualities of this president have just disgraced the White House, in my opinion,” she said.
Colon said Trump did this with his rhetoric against immigrants and the way he tries to divide the American people.
“Right now, hopefully, we’re not on our way to war, but this is a very dangerous situation,” she said, referencing the situation in Iran. “I think it would be a good example to get him out of office because that’s what he deserves.”
While Colon said it is disheartening to see all the people on the other side of the street, “you have to stand up” for what you believe in.
“It’s the right thing to do,” she said. “One person can make a difference.”