For the second time in two weeks, since first lady Melania Trump’s visit earlier this month, an unlikely congregation of red ball caps appeared on Town Square.
The hats — some reading “Make America Great Again,” others “Make Jackson Great Again” — sat atop the heads of area conservatives, dozens of whom gathered Thursday in solidarity with the national “March for Trump.”
As Democrats pursue an impeachment inquiry into President Trump, his allies around the country are staging shows of support. It was an improbable sight at the center of Jackson, one of the only liberal outcrops in the sea of conservatism that is Wyoming. But those who attended argued it reflects a swelling energy among the area’s Republican base.
“We are here,” said Dan Brophy, “and we need to start getting together.”
The crowd filled the southwest corner of the square for more than an hour, waving American flags and pro-Trump signs. Passing cars honked their approval, and from some rolled-down windows came clapping and shouts of “Go Trump!”
Alex Muromcew, chairman of the Teton County GOP, said the turnout didn’t surprise him, adding that he hopes the party can maintain this intensity ahead of the 2020 election.
“This gets me fired up to see such an enthusiastic response on such short notice,” he said. “I think it bodes well for the Republican Party.”
Muromcew read a statement from Wyoming’s U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney in which she lambasted Democrats over what she called a “hyper-partisan, non-transparent, secret inquiry into the president.”
“I stand with you in strong opposition to this effort,” she wrote, “and share your frustration with the process being exercised by House Democrats.”
The rally was planned in short order by Mary Bergeron, who works at Astoria Fine Art on the north side of the square. She registered the event online with the national march, organized by a group called Women for Trump, which took place Thursday in Washington, D.C., and other cities around the U.S. She asked Muromcew to spread the word through county Republican platforms.
“When I came today, I had four people I knew of,” she said, turning to count heads. “Now we have … who knows how many.”
The group was short on younger Republicans, but two Jackson Hole High School students, Jackson Reinert and George Gervais, slipped out of class to attend. They recalled classmates doing the same in the past for liberal causes.
“We’ve got to support the other side,” Gervais said. “Got to support what we believe in.”
Gail Magid, a 50-year Teton County resident, said he and his wife came to advocate for Trump, but also simply for the right in America — “a great country,” he said — to defend one’s principles.
“There has to be a recognition of the beliefs of both parties,” he said. “I would never boo another party, because that’s what America is.”
As the rally wound down, another group appeared. Four young women took the spot vacated by the conservative crowd and unfurled their own sign: “Women NOT for Trump.”