Hawking Trump

Mike Normile, of Cleveland, Ohio, sells buttons near the U.S. Capitol building the day before Inauguration Day. Photo by Alexandra Wimley/BU News Service

Charles Borsos
BU News Service

Washington —“I do fire breathing with the circus,” said Hector Lopez, a vendor selling Donald Trump hats and flags at the National Mall. During the circus’ off-season, Lopez and eight other circus workers came to Washington to sell Trump memorabilia and make some extra money.

“How are we gonna make America great with a $20 hat?” asked one passerby. Lopez said he had made $1,200 and hoped to clear $2,000 on Inauguration Day. He splits profits with the other circus workers.

Although Lopez didn’t vote for Trump, he shouts Make America great again— blah blah blah” as he hawks his merchandise.

Pedro Rivera who was working alone, drew a lot of attention dressed as Captain America. “I put on this getup on and people buy,” he said.

He also isn’t a Trump supporter, and he also yelled pro-Trump slogans to work the crowd. “I did it for Obama. I’ll do it for him [Trump] too.”

While most of the vendors were selling merchandise to capitalize on the inauguration, some sold shirts that were anti-Trump. Nevelyn Staton, a D.C. resident, was selling shirts with slogans mourning the end of Barack Obama’s term. The most risqué design was a shirt that said, “[Expletive] Trump.” Staton said that some people objected to the message.

Mike Normile of Cleveland, Ohio, was selling buttons. Some were anti-Trump and others were pro-Trump. When asked if he felt there was some contradiction, Normile seemed unfazed, He said he gets to meet a lot of people and pay some expenses by catering to both crowds.

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