LOGAN – In a new display of local partisanship, a traveling vendor’s display of conservative political paraphernalia was vandalized overnight.
“Liberals did it,” according to vendor Robert Samuels of Dayton, Ohio, saying that vandals had torn down his flags and slashed his display booth’s support ropes.
Samuels sells clothing items and other merchandise advocating for patriotism, the American flag and President Donald J. Trump from a mobile booth set up in a parking lot at the intersection of 200 North and 1000 West. Many of those items feature irreverent and politically incorrect slogans and images.
Although his vending operation has no connection to the Trump presidential campaign, Samuels believes that local supporters of the candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden are likely responsible for the damage to his booth.
The vendor said he only operates the booth during daylight hours, so the damage must have occurred sometime after 7 p.m. Wednesday. None of the booth’s merchandise was damaged, because those items had already been removed for the night.
Samuels added that he has now arranged for overnight security for the booth.
This is seemingly the latest in a rash of local incidents of political vandalism, most of which involve the theft or defacing of campaign signs posted outside Cache Valley residents’ homes.
“It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s candidate of choice,” according to an early October joint statement released by GOP County Chairman Chris Booth and Danny Beus, chairman of the Cache Democrats. “But it is never okay to disrespect and/or vandalize people’s private property by taking and/or destroying signs.”
While sharing the microphone during an interview on the “For the People” program on radio station KVNU, the party chairmen agreed that the local vandalism has been limited to signs and posters for the Trump and Biden presidential campaigns. As of that time, they had received no reports of local or statewide candidates’ signs being stolen or defaced.
The vandalizing of political signage and campaign billboards is by no means a strictly Cache Valley problem. Similar problems have been reported throughout Utah and across the country as the November general election approaches.
Political scientists and psychologists are suggesting that this trend is a natural product of the unusually high level of partisan vitriol surrounding the presidential campaigns circulating in social media venues.