Hot Sheet

Colorado Springs, the convenient bogeyman

Author: Dan Njegomir - October 28, 2016 - Updated: June 6, 2017

By the lights of the New York Times, an armed insurrection may be brewing across the country, and ground zero is at the foot of Pikes Peak.

The Gray Lady’s front page this morning carried a story with the dire headline, “Trump Backers See Revolution If Clinton Wins.”  The piece cites vague warnings by some self-proclaimed Donald Trump diehards that there could be a nationwide uprising if their candidate loses the presidential race to Hillary Clinton, as is now widely predicted.

The story’s dateline: Colorado Springs.

The dissenting voices quoted by The Times emerged from interviews of Trump fans attending political rallies scattered around the country in battleground states, not just in Colorado or its No. 2 city. Exactly two of those fans were actually at a rally in the Springs: a rancher and a retired truck driver. Here’s the rancher:

Julie Olson, a rancher who showed up for a rally in Colorado Springs, said that she and her husband had been through rough economic times in recent years, and that a Trump loss would worsen their burdens.

“I’d probably go into a depression, because life is hard enough for us right now,” Ms. Olson, 69, said. “And if Hillary gets in, it’s going to be a whole lot worse — income, lack of income, small business, large businesses.”

And here’s the retired truck driver:

Alan Weegens, 62, a retired truck driver in Colorado Springs, also wondered aloud how the country — with so many citizens who own guns and, he said, “are willing to trample a grandma on Black Friday at midnight to save $5 on a toaster” — would react if Mr. Trump lost.

“I am not going to take my weapon to go out into the streets to protest an election I did not win,” Mr. Weegens said, “but I think that if certain events came about, a person would need to protect themselves, depending on where they lived, when your neighborhood goes up in flames.”

That’s pretty much it. The other interviewees—who for the most part, didn’t have much more to offer about any imminent insurrection—were elsewhere. Well, there also was this, from Grand Junction:

And Vicki Sanger, 40, of Grand Junction, Colo., said she had more practical concerns. “I would just be scared that Hillary would be impeached before she finishes her term,” she said.

But, Ms. Sanger added, she will accept the outcome on Election Day. “I would absolutely respect the result and support the next president,” she said. “Pray for the next president, whoever it is.”

Three Coloradans. One says she will lapse into depression if Clinton wins; one explicitly pledged not to resort to violence, and one simply will pray. Sounds like a fairly peace-loving lot. It doesn’t make Colorado Springs, or the rest of the state, much of a hotbed of revolution. Perhaps there’s no headline—or dateline—in that?

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.