This is the third permitted rally the group has held in the city of Orange County this year. A previous rally in August was attended by roughly 60 to 80 supporters and resulted in heated debates, a scuffle, and one of the event’s speakers was given a citation for disturbing the peace with a speakerphone system. However, this latest Saturday afternoon rally remained calm.
Bill Miller, 55, a consumer protection lawyer visiting from Northern California and a Democrat, expressed to the Epoch Times his discontent with President Trump and his actions, but said he wanted to have dialogue with people with opposing viewpoints.
“I think the current political climate is too divided. We should be able to have discussions with the opposite side without getting into arguments or fist fights,” Miller said.
While he said he believes there is merit to the impeachment inquiry into the president, and he hopes to see Trump defeated by a Democrat, he said he has concerns with the policies of candidates such as Elizabeth Warren.
“I think her policies would be too expensive and impact Americans too much. I just don’t think she’ll pay for all the things she is talking about,” he said.
At the event, Trump supporters waved American flags, while other rode bicycles with Trump flags attached to their handlebars. One attendee had a megaphone with pre-loaded Trump quotes, while another woman dressed up her dogs in “Trump 2020” clothing.
Organizer Lee Enochs, leader of Conservatives for California, a conservative activist group, addressed the crowd on topics including flipping congressional districts back into Republican hands, illegal immigration, California’s sanctuary state law, gun rights, California’s homelessness crisis, infrastructure, and other issues.
Chants of “four more years” and “CNN sucks” frequently overtook the crowd as passersby stopped to listen.
“I felt I needed to organize and help people get in touch with their conservative values here in Orange County,” Enochs, wearing a MAGA hat and a Trump 2020 pin on his shirt, told The Epoch Times. “Back in the 80’s, this was Reagan country. All seven congressional districts were Republican. So, I just said I’m going to get out here, because liberalism is just so bad.”
He credited his Christian faith as the main reason for his activism and organizing of such events.
“I believe my Christian faith says to go out and make a difference and try to transform society. Like Mike Pence, I am a Christian first, a Conservative second and a Republican third,” Enochs said. “I want to make a difference in my generation.”
Enochs wasn’t the only one to address the crowd. A Vietnam veteran in a wheelchair briefly spoke to the audience about his experiences and his support for the president, while a volunteer working to recall the California governor also spoke to the audience to chants of “recall Gavin Newsom.”
The October event saw a modest turnout of roughly 30 to 40 attendees. Enochs said he organizes these events regularly in Southern California because he feels that California has lost its way, as a former reliably Republican state.
The Epoch Times also spoke with Beverly Welch, a volunteer with the recall Gavin Newsom campaign about her efforts to remove the California governor, who according to a recent PPIC poll has a 44 percent approval rating and a 32 percent disapproval rating.
“I believe that as more people are realizing his actions that it does not bode well for him at all. He’s on a downward spiral and that’s evidence in my opinion by the slew of crazy laws he signs,” Welch said of the governor.
“We are making tremendous headway,” she said of the campaign’s efforts. “We are exceeding expectations. [As volunteers] we don’t have an official number. The rumored number is approximately 600,000 signatures.”
However, the campaign needs 1.5 million signatures in order to trigger a recall election of the Governor.
“We are shooting for 2 million by February 13th,” Welch said of the campaign’s efforts.
Enochs’ event started at 1:00 pm and settled down around 3:00. There were no confrontations and no police presence.