“It was mind-boggling,” said Charles Ryan. “I’m out on my boat, there’s thousands of people, and every one of them has this big smile. I’ve never seen such happiness. It was infectious.”
Four flags fluttered from the stern of Ryan’s runabout on Sept. 5 as he motored through New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay: the Stars and Stripes, a “Blue Lives Matter” banner, and a pair of streamers honoring President Donald J. Trump.
“One of them says ‘Trump: No More Bulls–t,’” said Ryan, of New Hope, Pa. “I’m not into flying anything too vulgar.”
As Ryan’s boat joined at least 2,000 other watercraft for the Trump Law and Order Boat Parade, the same scene was playing out in dozens of harbors, rivers and lakes from the Jersey Shore to San Diego that Labor Day weekend.
One week later, on Sept. 12, more than 16,000 cars, pickups, motorcycles and semis festooned with banners and bunting jammed Cincinnati’s I-275 beltway in a convoy