Keep your head held high

Biden supporters command attention with giant Trump head display


Hannah Allen

(From left to right) Tom Moran, Robert Davidson and Ward Lindsay show off their homemade diorama of Donald Trump’s head.

Hannah Allen, Copy Editor

As the days leading up to the presidential debate showed, political protests come in just as many forms as the messages they are trying to spread. In University Circle alone, numerous fliers were being passed around, multiple demonstrations were being held and elaborate signs covered the streets of Cleveland.

Supporters of Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden, Tom Moran (65), Ward Lindsay (58) and Robert Norman Davidson (68) of Fenton, Michigan had a different, more conspicuous approach to their political imagery. 

Their protest took the form of a three-foot-tall statue of Donald Trump’s head in a box.

The massive display, which sat atop Moran’s RAM pickup truck, drew immediate attention from wherever they go––including attention from the presidential security charged with protecting the perimeter where their truck was idling on Monday, Sept. 28. 

Blocked by the concrete barriers, the three men remained inside of the large truck on the side of the road, as police officers surrounded them. A crowd at the base of the hospital was beginning to form, and people began recording as security began pulling out large sticks of wood from the back of the vehicle. Lindsay, the driver of the hulking truck, later said: “We’ve been circling the unobstructed block around this perimeter for a while … and we looked down the street and we saw two camera men … and we thought we could go down there. [Moran] got out to go talk to them and that’s when the police [surrounded the truck].” 

The men did not fear for their safety. As Moran later pointed out, “I am an old, white guy!” They did, however, fear for the safety of the exhibit that was proudly standing on the back of the truck. Lindsay later recalled, “I heard one of the officers say to his superior ‘Should we confiscate certain items? Confiscate it all?’ And I’m thinking, oh my god!”

The police officers did not confiscate it all, but they did take the wooden sticks the men were using “to make the head stand up high enough that we can have a band underneath,” which were prohibited from use in the security zone. Although they had lost their sticks, Trump’s head remained as prominent as ever.

Moran recounted the beginning of his time as a demonstrator, stating, “Four years ago, I decided to do what I could to make sure that Donald Trump didn’t get reelected. So a friend made the head, and it’s a visual, which attracts attention. And then we have our message.” 

Their message, which was written in large print on truck’s tailgate beneath the statue, read:

“203,000 Dead


Trump Failed”

Some numbers on the sign have begun to look irregular, since Moran has had to tape over them as the death toll continues to rise. “I bought them. I bought the head. I made the case. Nobody’s funding me, I’m just upset that he hasn’t contained the virus, and that it hasn’t just disappeared.” 

Moran, a bus driver, is out of work because of the ongoing pandemic. “I lost my job. I can’t drive a schoolbus, because there’s no in-person school. Once it does start, it won’t be safe for me to drive––I’m 65. All Donald Trump had to do was send a clear and consistent message: wear masks.”

Truck rider Davidson agrees, stating: “This could have been handled so much better. This whole thing has been, really, trying to puff up [Trump’s] ego, because he [thinks he] can’t make a mistake. But it’s obvious that we’ve made a mistake as a country. We made a mistake with our CDC, we made a mistake with our approach to the COVID virus … We need someone who is supportive of science and understands when experts are talking to him––and I think that’s Joe Biden.”

Lindsay, a retired local health department worker in Michigan, enjoys the hands on experience, stating, “This is something that is in the field, that is exciting, it’s getting attention and I feel like I am contributing. Someone older like me, I’m not on social media and it seems like that’s all people want me to do … this is old school and I liked it.”

Although the men had not been met with much negativity or aggression while in Cleveland, during the interview, both a Trump supporter and a Biden supporter yelled at them from passing cars. “I am not trying to change Trump voter’s minds, I am trying to reach people who maybe skipped the election last time, or voted third party,” said Moran, “I consider this [demonstration] an American speaking up, using my first amendment right to try and change this country for the better.”

With this charged message, Moran, Lindsay and Davidson remind citizens around the country to continue holding their metaphorical heads––or, in their case, literal head––high.Hannah Allen