Give the Trump the Silence He Deserves

Given that the likely Republican candidate for governor in Montana is an unrepentant bigot, the last thing we want people to see in our state is a full house of Donald Trump supporters cheering on his incoherent, xenophobic rants when he visits the state this week. We’ve got one bigot too many running for high office in the state right now to worry about another developer from back east making the state look bad.

Unable to attend the event in Billings, a local friend and teacher, Jesse Franzen, came up with an excellent way to register our displeasure about the message of a candidate whose half-baked ideas and troubling worldview deserve condemnation.

His answer? Order tickets to the event. And don’t show up. Encourage your friends to do the same. Post your tickets on Facebook and let people just how easy it is to give Trump the empty seats to match his empty suit.

I got four this morning, in two separate orders.

If enough people reserve seats and don’t attend, Trump will receive the exact message someone with his views deserves: our contempt and disregard.

Order your tickets here and make other plans today.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

Subscribe to our posts

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


Click here to post a comment

Please enter an e-mail address

  • So if we’re not supporting Trump, who are we supporting? If you say Clinton, then your website title is very misleading.

      • They oversell tickets so reserving and not showing up will not help your cause. That’s why at every Trump rally there are thousands of people outside that don’t get in. I would argue that sharing this article and discussing on social media will actually encourage more people to go since they will be curious. You should spend more time researching the trump movement and less time insulting peoples intelligence.

        • Hes a typical libtard he really doesn’t think things through and its why this article makes him look like a fool just like his divided party

          • It’s people like you who make me worry that Trump could actually win. Despite excellent public schools and a free society, some people turn out like this.

            It’s sad.

      • This is what saddens me when it comes to political discussion. As opposed to talking about policy and the state of the country, when presented with a chance to show you have the high ground what did you do my friend? You insulted back, you fell down to his level. How about instead of insulting Trump supporters, instead of going after a huge group of citizens in this country, instead of taking tickets so true supporters of Trump can go, instead of that, how about we have a real discussion?

        How about we talk about the state of the border and illegal immigration where every year 131 billion dollars is spent on deporting and taking care of illegal immigrants that are caught inside of the United States?

        How about we talk about the 17 trillion dollars of debt the United States is in?

        How about we talk about the fact the Donald Trump is one of the first presidents to openly state that he isn’t going to pander to Israel, that he isn’t going to pander to other foreign powers; that he is going to do what is right for the country?

        How about we talk about the fact that Insurance companies are making an absolute KILLING because of deals with local governing bodies, and that Donald Trump was the only person to offer a valid solution of taking down state lines so Insurance companies are forced to compete(which lowers prices and helps everyone).

        How about we talk about Trump’s tax plan where anyone earning under 30k does not have to pay taxes? A married couple under 50k does not have to pay taxes. A special tax on Wallstreet Corporations and stock flippers. How about we talk about that for a change?

        How about we talk Europe and the Refugee crisis that is happening. FBI has said they cannot properly Vet that many people, and Donald Trump understanding this has made the logical stance of not letting people in until it is SAFE and until we have a system in place. What does everyone immediately do? They scream Fascist, which is absolutely utterly insulting to anyone who was around during WW2, I would go as far to say that it is utterly pathetic that the comparison is made.

        Donald Trump has hired over 15,000 people, has had over 116 companies, and only 4 of them have gone bankrupt, 3 of them were out of his companies direct control, and one of them was his fault. Isn’t that what America is about? Taking risks, failing, and succeeding?

        Donald Trump has raised his family without any alcohol, smoking, or drugs. Isn’t that amazing? That is a great role model and yet an entire side of the US is labeling someone who is not only financially successful, but also a huge philanthropist, as a horrible human being?

        Isn’t that sad? I don’t agree with policies of many of the candidate, but to stoop so low as to throw insults around and belittle an entire group of supporters is pathetic. You should be ashamed of yourself my friend.

        How about we talk about the fact that Donald Trump has sold a book that is the best selling book on making deals, in a day in age where Congress/Senate/President can’t agree on anything, isn’t it time we get a deal maker in the house?

        So to you Don Pogreba, let US have a discussion, because I support Donald Trump for President of the United States of America and I will NOT stoop down to your level of insulting supporters.

        • Aside from the policy problems with Trump, and they are legion, let me ask you a simple question: are you really concerned with insults debasing politics in America?

          I ask because I don’t see any condemnation in your post for the Trump supports who came here to insult me. I ask because you’re supporting a candidate who has called Mexicans rapists and murders, who has mocked a disabled reporter, who has repeatedly mocked women for their appearance, who has suggested a female reporter was acting emotionally because she was menstruating, and who has said that the elected President of the United States wasn’t born here.

          And that’s just some of it. If I insult someone, it’s a person insulting another. Why should a candidate for the Presidency not be condemned for the same behavior?


          • The disabled report and women comment was completely uncalled for I agree.

            His comments on Illegal Immigration was: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

            I agree with his comments, Illegal Immigrants are not the best people. We need to make the system easier to get through legally, and Trump is all about that. He did NOT call all Mexican’s rapists, so by spreading that misinformation is very sad and uninformed.

            Concerning insults in politics, I think it has been inappropriate at times, but I care much more about policy then an unscripted mouth (some would say that is why he is doing so well, people are sick of scripted politicians).

            I am sorry for my fellow trump supporters that brought their immaturity to the table, but you responded inappropriately as well my friend, you should own up that at least.

            Concerning insults debasing the political scene? That must mean a large percentage of the American people are okay with that. It is we the people who own the government, not the other way around.

            To be honest he has been condemned, but at the end of the day, the voters decide and thus far they are deciding FOR trump.

            I bring this up again, what policies do you disagree with? Every anti-Trump supporter I have found seems to have a hard time listing off policy they disagree with. You say you have a legion of policy stances you disagree with, can you name a few for me?

            • Off the top of my head:

              1. His suggestion that we could use nuclear weapons in Europe.
              2. His call to criminalize abortion.
              3. His absurd proposal to build a wall between the US and Mexico.
              4. His assertion that he can unilaterally change NATO.
              5. His ill-informed objection to the Iran nuclear deal.

              That’s a start.

              The biggest issue, of course, is that he has no actual policies. It’s a series of sound bites for the conservative base. Saying he’ll “bomb the shit” out of ISIS isn’t a policy; it’s macho posturing.

              • Concerning number one, Trump was talking about how you never take a chip off the table. Of course we all know that with MAD nothing would ever happen, but if you remove the threat of the capability to do so, then countries can manipulate that said country greatly (which is why the world is so afraid of a North Korea with a nuclear weapon). Trump would not let the threat of nukes by Russia strong arm the US even though both sides are aware that neither side would even DARE of starting a confrontation of that sorts.

                Number two is very interesting that you bring up. The question came up during a town-hall-style forum with Chris Matthews on MSNBC on a Wednesday Night a few months back. Essentially Chris asked a HYPOTHETICAL question. Chris the interviewer, said “If abortions were hypothetically banned from the United States of America and were illegal across the entire country, would you enforce some “form of punishment” on doctors and women would participated.”
                To which Trump replied -of course some sort of punishment would be enforced because if it is the law its the law.- (Any President no matter what affiliation must adhere to the law right?)

                Trump’s mistake with his statement here was he went on to say that Doctors and Women would be punished in this hypothetical situation where it was a banned and illegal practice. An hour later he retracted his statement and said only doctors would be the one’s punished because they would be the ones performing the hypothetical illegal act.

                So no, once again Don, you are misinformed, he has NOT called to criminalize abortion, so once again, you are spreading misinformation based off of a single interview that asked a hypothetical question meant to get a sound clip to get people like you angry. You took it out of context but that is okay, I will give you a pass on this one.

                Number three his proposal to build a wall between the US and Mexico. The total estimated cost of a wall along the Mexican-American border sits at around 10-12 billion dollars by various construction experts. Using reports that have been officially released in 2006 from the Center Of Immigration Studies (CIS, a small Federal Agency) we know that at the least when we factor in welfare, food assistance, medicaid , deportations, education, incarcerations, taxpayer money spent of Welfare and Social Services, remittance money sent back to their origin country as opposed to money being pumped back into the US economy, and crime rights on border and sanctuary states, even if you lowball at the LEAST amount, realistically from what reports and research has said (and their are lots of false articles out their concerning this issue, both sides have reasons to be biased to help their agenda) the cost is 100 to 131 ish billion dollars assuming that there has been a 5.2% increase from the original amount 2006 in the amount of illegal immigrants crossing the border to present day. That percentage is up for debate, but for arguments sake let us say it is 100 billion.

                The wall costs 11 billion. If you can stop even a 30-40% percentile of people from crossing (which currently the majority are straight up crossing over areas that are not even fenced, the tunnel crossings are almost exclusively used for drug trafficking as opposed to people crossing which is a very common misconception, many people would say people would take tunnels if there was a wall but there is an entire federal border agency dedicated to shutting tunnels down and with modern day technology there would only be a small % of volume of people that could make it over), then you would almost immediately pay for the wall within 5-6 years.

                People often ask “where does the money come from”, I COULD bring up his proposed plan to re discuss the trade deal with Mexico. Essentially you siphon off money from a new trade deal directly to wall, but seeing as that this country doesn’t have problem with deficit spending especially with projects that create jobs and quickly pay for itself, I see almost no down side to this project.

                If you want to ideologically disagree with the wall that is fine Don, but economically it is a logical step to take.

                One must come into this country Legally, it is the only way. Of course the system needs to be changed so it is easier to get in. Both sides agree with that. Coincidence Trump has huge support from Legal immigrants that went through the system? I think not.

                Concerning number 4 about trump saying he can unilaterally change NATO. According to the Department of the Army’s Operations and Maintenance account, the US funds just under 23% of NATO. The U.S. contributed $408.051 million and $430.381 million, respectively, in FY2009 and FY2010, according to the Congressional Budget Service.

                After the U.S., the largest contributors to NATO’s military budget are Germany (16.6 percent); France (12.4 percent); United Kingdom (12 percent); Italy (7.8 percent); Canada (5 percent); Spain (4.2 percent); Netherlands (3.3 percent); Belgium (2.6 percent); Poland (2.3 percent); Turkey (1.8 percent); Denmark (1.7 percent); and Norway (1.6 percent). Fifteen countries make up the remaining 5.8 percent. (Haha my fingers are getting tired with all these stats)

                Now what is significant is that in recent years that number is going up, not percentage wise, but the actual amount of dollars spent into NATO.

                When Trump says he wants to unilaterally change NATO its very true. The United States can. Not only is NATO a cold war policy that was made to counter-act Russian policies along the Iron-Curtain (all the order could be argued), but it also costs the US a FORTUNE so yes we do have influence and if a President wanted to make significant changes to NATO they could. Its outdated and hugely supported by the US.

                5. Trumps objections to the Iran nuclear deal. I don’t even know where to BEGIN with this ones, all you other ones are semi-reasonable but this one is absolutely nuts. Here goes nothing. The Iranian government did not have to halt its uranium enrichment including any of its current facilities.

                The Iranian government did not have to shut down its Arak (its a place) heavy water reactor and plutonium production plant, they merely had to convert it, and that part of the deal expires in 15 years.

                The Iranian government did NOT have to halt its ongoing missile development.

                The Iranian government has only been told to halt research on current centrifuges (critical aspect to IR-8 creation) but NO limitations on any ones surpassing that eroding limitation on the IR-8’s.

                Iranian government is not subject to random inspections, instead official UN nuclear inspectors have to give a heads up, which defeats the purpose of checking for illegal progress on armament.

                I could go much deeper into the financial disaster that was this deal, and even ideological, but I won’t, this deal was a disaster plain and simple and didn’t accomplish it’s goal.

                So here we are Don. That was one big breadth. See how that was though, it took me two hours to respond to 5 bullet points. And no, not all Trump supporters are at a ” 3rd grade level”. That was an insult to me and my time I put in to responding to you, but continuing on.

                So now I want your response, I just responded to what sound like sound bite “problems” you have with Trump that are largely unfounded and uninformed.

                And Trump does have policies. To say other wise is just straight up wrong.

  • No signs or banners allowed, eh? Well, we should all go, but sneak in vuvuzelas down the legs of our Wranglers, whip them out en-masse and Trumpet his crazy ass into oblivion. (You’re welcome. 🙂

  • You people are complete idiots. Get your egotistical heads out of your own asses and take a look at the world with open eyes.

  • That’s the most immature thing I have heard. I worked very hard to ensure that there were no anti Bernie protesters in Billings and this is their answer

  • Here is my sister’s response to this idea, and she is right … You know every candidate has the right to campaign and those who wish to go to any of their campaigns should be able to! It appalls me anyone would deliberately do anything to disrespect that process Or deliberately disrupt anyone’s campaign event! It especially saddens me that a TEACHER would come up with the idea to get tickets just so others can’t attend! To teach our youth that that kind of behavior is okay is NOT okay! Its your right to disagree with others views. Its your right to vote for the candidate you want, but it is not right to deliberately sabatage ANY of the candidates campaign!

    • How else can we fight back against a rich, bought out campaign that leaves no room for real discussion or reasoning? I for one KNOW that my June 7th vote MIGHT count, and my November vote WILL NOT count. This is one way we can respectfully let this man know he is not welcome here. If we went to the campaign rally and tried to voice our dissent, what would happen? He would have us thrown out and then make some sick sexual comments about us once we were gone. That’s the Trump way. “Make America great again”, by NOT letting someone who hates females and minorities become the next president.

    • Every candidate absolutely has the right to speak. And every American has the right to respond. Free speech works both ways. In the face of creeping fascism, I’m choosing to embrace mocking silence.

  • Isn’t it Trump who is disrespecting “the Process”? Banning those who don’t agree with him, trying to degrade the policies of our great country by closing it off to anyone who isn’t rich and white? He is trying to take us back a hundred years to when women, immigrants, and people of color were not allowed to have a say, and were disrespected for just being what they are. This is a great way, as a Montanan, who respects and loves her nation, to say “NO, TRUMP. You cannot have our decent, people loving, down to earth state in your pocket.” I won’t be bought by this guy’s fake kindness. I have heard the evil that has spewed out of his mouth.

  • They oversell tickets so reserving and not showing up will not help your cause. That’s why at every Trump rally there are thousands of people outside that don’t get in. I would argue that sharing this article and discussing on social media will actually encourage more people to go since they will be curious.

    • I think you may not understand what the idea and post are hoping to accomplish. I’d say that the fact that thousands of peoplehave viewed and shared it in less than 24 hours means it was worthwhile.

  • What’s scary is this author is a TEACHER and this article is written as if the author has downs.

    The author could not form a single political point against Trumps policies and instead spews out main stream media insults as if they’re not absolutely debunked.
    Really makes me sad your a teacher though. All those poor kids that have to learn from someone so mentally incapable of forming a true political opinion.

    This article proves how slow the author is because he really believes the venue doesn’t oversell the tickets ! LMAO

    • As a general rule, I don’t engage in argument with people who think that using genetic disorders is a marker of an argument, but in this case, I’ll make an exception.

      You are the embodiment of Trumpism: crude, angry, and ill-informed.

      Would you like me to also correct your abhorrent grammar?

    • It’s appropriate that this dude wrote teacher as TEACHER, as a former student whose life he has unequivocally changed for the better, I’d say Don Pogreba is one hell of a TEACHER.

  • What happens when a weak, effeminate high school teacher who seems to have some major insecurities with regard to his own intelligence decides to spearhead a laughable campaign against Trump in a backwater town? Find out here!

  • It’s really disappointing to see the pitiful posts by obviously disillusioned Trumpites. I am pleased to note that there are plenty of Montanans who see this bozo for what he is, and will not fall for his malarky.

  • Dre and Ken, have been weakly attempting to show off proficiency with hate speach and slander, to crudely word smith a positive into a large scale negative. But zero success to either nabob of negativism!
    This blog, plus the evidence that Don wrote from a position likely then unaware of, not imprinted by, MSM features about aspects of Trump’s tropes about HIS CROWD TURNOUT, suggests that Don, like high school teachers should, does comprehend prioritized essentials.

    • I’m curious to hear your opinion on Trump being the Republican nominee for President, Pogo. I’m not skirting your question and will answer it below. But you’re a rational person; is this what your party has become? What are you reasonable Republicans thinking? And what are you going to do in this election and in the future? Please let us know.

      As to your question: I probably wouldn’t have advocated this action. I support the Bill of Rights and would even acknowledge that Nazis get an opportunity to air their platform.

      On the other hand, since Trump has a record of over-booking his events tenfold, I’m sure that anyone who wants to attend this event won’t be denied.

      And I have to admit that I took Don’s recommendation and booked two tickets. Unfortunately, I’m out of the country and unable to attend. I would have gone if I’d been in Montana. It would have given me fodder for at least half a dozen posts, I’m sure. I find Trump so despicable that I don’t mind throwing a small monkey wrench into his campaign.

      • Pete,
        My apologies for taking so long to respond. May was a busy month.
        While I fully appreciate your desire to demonstrate your displeasure with Trump, I disagree with the method. Simply put, it’s a slippery slope and is aimed at denying people the opportunity to attend and participate in a legal gathering. At best, the effort may have felt good but was totally ineffective and, in the long term, possibly counterproductive. Trump had over 8,500 in attendance that day (a huge turnout in Billings) and no one was turned away. Sanders Billing’s event had 3,000+ and Bill Clinton met with 300+. At worst, it unfortunately adds to the growing negative image that Sander’s supporters are willing to cheat, break things and do harm to help their candidate win. It didn’t and doesn’t help Sanders.

        Regarding Trump, I am not a Trump fan and have never been one. He says and does a long list of things with which I strongly disagree. If I were to vote between Hillary and Sanders, I would vote for Bernie for the simple reason that I believe he is an honest public servant even though I strongly disagree with many of his positions. While Sanders may make the Democratic Convention entertaining, short of the Feds indicting Clinton (it won’t happen) or a very large number of unpledged delegates suddenly Feeling the Bern (again, it unfortunately won’t happen) Hillary will be Trump’s Democratic opponent this Fall.

        When I enter the voting both this Fall, I will not vote for Hillary Clinton – for two reasons. The first is for politically practicality – who will select one and possibly four Supreme Court nominees over the next four years. Trump, no matter how horrible he may be as a President on key issues, is dramatically more likely to nominate potential Justices that will keep at least the current liberal/conservative balance on the Court. A Hillary presidency would shift the balance far to the Left which I believe will have long lasting negative judicial impacts to this country.

        The second reason is personal. I have very close family members and several close friends who have been the victims of rape, sexual harassment and sexual discrimination. I will not vote for a person who has spent her entire adult life hypocritically defending, sheltering and enabling her husband as he sexually preyed upon, harassed and raped women. Hillary made an industry out of “slut shaming” her husband’s victims into silence. She and her flunkies harassed Bill’s victims and publicly called them whores, trash, stalkers, bimbos and “sluts and nuts”. I have spent decades of my life helping people and working with organizations that assist victims of sexual abuse. For me, voting for Hillary would be a betrayal to my family and a betrayal to my friends who have suffered similar harassment and intimidation and who have had to endure being called sluts, floozies, whores and worse in an attempt to keep them silent.

        Short of a mini revolution at the Democratic Convention this Summer, the next president of this country will be either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I will therefore, reluctantly, and out of respect to friends and family members I love, vote for Donald Trump, only to keep Hillary Clinton and her husband out of the White House.

  • When the Dem’s tell me what they are going to do for Montana and the country then I may consider supporting them. But all I hear is criticism and trashing the Republicans every time they actually do something for the State and/or propose a plan forward. I hate when Trump uses the work “Loser” but I can see why. How many jobs have been or will be lost in Montana? Coal mining, rail road, public service, my neighbor left the state because loss of students so teacher positions reduced. Think about it. You can pat yourselves on the back and keep trashing, but Are you supporting your soon-to-be demise?

  • FYI, Trump 8500 attendees in Billings, Sanders 3000, Bill Clinton, held in the back of a Burger King….lol….it’s the economy stupid ….again!

  • Pete,

    In case you missed it, I replied to your request concerning my thoughts on Trump.

    I watched Sanders speech this afternoon and see he is understandably refusing to concede. I assume he still has hopes of convincing unpledged delegates to defect from Hillary. I also suspect if that fails, he will lobby for Hillary and the Party to adopt some of his key issues in the Party Platform to ensure his support. He may also demand changes in delegate selection – e.g., no more Super Delegates.

    I am curious if you had any insights or thoughts on what Bernie hopes to accomplish.

Send this to a friend