My Scarlet Letter "T": Part Two - Beginnings
It was a cold Chicago winter afternoon, the Tuesday after President Trump’s inauguration. I was standing outside Worlds of Music Chicago, the world music instrument shop I had built with my husband in 2015. My husband Alexander and I had just got back from Washington, DC and attending the inauguration, and we were high on optimism for the future.
This is in spite of the year we’d had in 2016. As I talked about in part one of this story, we had been doxxed and targeted by Leftist organizers who were determined to destroy our business and “run us out of Chicago” as one troll once mentioned. My personal politics, and my unwillingness to be silent about them in my PRIVATE life had made my business a target of anti-Trump activists who felt it was their duty to destroy the lives of anyone who dared to support Donald J. Trump, now the 45th president of the United States.
\\*Trump Talk US "studio" in Chicago, Christmas 2016.\\*
Months of slanderous attacks, ratings wars, online boycott campaigns, and threats to anyone who would do business with us had taken a toll on our fledgling business, but we had fought them all face on with grace and diplomacy, and had kept politics out of our business. We had even hosted a Bernie support band performance at our music shop, a fun group of decent musicians who sang songs about the virtues of then Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders. We were certainly careful to not talk politics in the shop and I had stepped further and further away from the business as it became clear that the only way the Left would stop attacking us is if we stopped supporting Donald J. Trump publically. That was something I just couldn’t do, and so we found ourselves the ongoing target of anti-Trump hatred.
Yet despite it all we had WON. Donald Trump WAS the President. The impossible had happened, and it seemed all so worthwhile. Besides, all of us Trump supporters figured that once the excitement of the inauguration wore off, the Left would put the election past them and move on to the next election cycle, as is the usual behavior of the losing party.
We were wrong.
As I stood in the cold just outside the side door to my music shop, moving about to stay warm while I finished my cigarette, I noticed a wad of paper tucked in the door jamb between the latch and the doorframe that looked like a slightly less lazy litterer or a weird squirrel had shoved a wad of paper in there. I fished it out of the crack and unraveled what was now appearing more and more like a note left on purpose. As I opened the note, I realized it was indeed there for a purpose, and that purpose was not good.
\\*The note we found tucked in our music shop door.\\*
The note read, “I hope nothing happens your shop like a fire or a brick in your window.”
I stood staring at it for a minute in shock. It’s one thing to get online threats, or have friends inform you of a whisper campaign against you. It’s a whole other thing to know someone took the time to take paper and pen to threaten you. That they stood right where you were standing and tucked a little piece of hate in the door jamb. It was a bit to take in, but soon my feet were moving and I was rushing in the front door of the shop to show Alexander what had been left for us presumably while we were gone celebrating our President. His shock was no less than mine. We called the local police to report, but with no name or indication who it was, there was nothing they could do.
We spent a lot of time talking in angry hushed tones that day about what we should do. As we left for the day to close up the shop we stood on the street outside our rented storefront and looked at the young couple and their new baby that rented an apartment in the same building our shop was in bustle the little one in from the cold. We watched the college kids that lived above us go out to grab some dinner and watched the lady who owned the cleaners next door to us close up her shop and go home for the night. We knew what we had to do. It was one thing to be strong and defiant of hate when you are only risking your own business. But as we thought of the possibility that this new threat might be real, we realized that it is a totally different thing to be defiant when it puts others lives as risk. The vision of our building on fire destroying all of those people’s lives and perhaps taking a life was too much. We knew it was more likely that the threat note writer was a little coward who just wanted to scare us, but we also knew all it takes is one looney to actually do something dangerous and destroy innocent lives all because of MY politics. It was a risk we just couldn’t stomach.
\\*Our music shop next to Ann Cleaners. Ann was a great neighbor.\\*
We decided to close down our shop.
The months of attacks, boycotts and slander had taken its toll. We were already a liability to other musicians in the city, musicians who had been threatened with losing gigs if they continued to do business at our shop. We’d been targeted by radical communist activists, Antifa and Antifa sympathizers and even on the private Facebook page of a well known Tribune columnist. We’d been harassed and had been forced to fill out more than one police report because of threats and phone harassment by friends now turned enemies by their Trump hate. Yet we had weathered thru, and were willing to work around these new business obstacles. This however was the final straw. We started to try and figure out what was our “next move”.
\\*Alexander working at the desk while our Ganesh drums on.\\*
Over the next few weeks as our decision sank in and we started to talk about our exit strategy, I grew more and more angered. This BS was supposed to have stopped with the ending of the election. Yet the hate had continued, in fact, it seemed more like it had doubled. Here we were literally being “run out of business” as our haters had suggested. We were being compelled to close not because of our failure as business owners; we had been pretty successful for a new business in its first 2 years. We were being compelled to close because hateful neofascist Leftists had decided that we didn’t deserve to eat or earn a living because of the fact we supported the winning Presidential candidate, Donald Trump. It wasn’t just us this was happening to either. I read story after story about other Trump supporters that were being slandered, the lives destroyed, physically attacked and brutalized all because they too had the audacity to support President Trump. I hardly recognized the city of Chicago I once loved. I knew I had to tell my story for all of the other Trump supporters who were suffering this same discrimination in silence.
Supporting Trump & flag waving on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.
I needed a way to tell my story that couldn’t be attacked, however. Social media was no good, and if I tried to tell the story on Facebook or Twitter, it would just incite hateful comments and greater attacks. I racked my brains for a way to let people know what was happening, disseminate the evidence of the attacks against us, and show people we would not be stopped. In an epiphany I decided to start a GoFundMe, not to raise money but to show people how WE were going to defeat the Leftist attacks and find our own way forward despite the attacks. By using the GoFundMe platform, I was able to post all of the hateful evidence of the war the Left had waged on us and our little music shop without comment, and if you wanted to call me a racist, sexist, fascist homophobe, you’d have to donate at least $5 to my “cause”. Several haters did do just that, but the GoFundMe platform allowed me to hide all their hateful comments anyway. I finally had a tool to speak my truth and I wielded it like Trump wielded Twitter. This only made my detractors angrier and increased their attacks against us.
\\*Hate messages like this were a daily thing for us in 2016/17\\*
I sat up one night in February, unable to sleep, in front of a blank Word document on the computer. I had decided the only way to truly defeat my enemies was to tell my story to as many people who would listen. I began to write the most impactful letter of my life, a letter to the city of Chicago itself. I explained to my once beloved city that I had to leave her. Not because of the crime, the dirty politics, the constant road construction or high taxes, although all of those things did suck. No, I explained, I had to leave because I no longer felt safe from political violence in my own town, and Chicago had decided to tolerate hate as long as it was directed toward Trump and his supporters. I “broke up” with Chicago in that letter, and then submitted it to the editor of Crain’s Chicago Business with no real hope someone might read it. After all, the news wasn’t big on picking up stories of Trump supporters and giving us a platform to speak.
\\*Rally at Trump Tower in March, w/ 85 Chicago Trump supporters.\\*
But Crain’s did in fact pick it up, and published a streamlined version of my letter they had me approve. They were pretty respectful as a news site, compared to what I was soon about to endure. Their publishing my letter started a firestorm of press coverage about our plight with local radio stations demanding interviews two days after the article published, Fox and Friends putting us on the air, and the next three weeks were a blur of news journalists calling and just dropping into the shop, of daily discovering new articles on news sites that had picked up our story. While many were supportive, many were lefty hate sites like the Daily Kos who only increased the slander by adding much of the nationwide left leaning news sites to our haters list. The Chicago Tribune tried desperately to get me to give them some dirt to smear me with in the very aggressive interview their assigned journalist, but they were forced to back off their hit piece when it came to light that their own columnist was guilty of slandering us. It was an epic battle with the news both real and fake, but I took each new article as a blessing that our story was being told. I was standing up against the neofascist mob. I was not going silently into the night.
\\*Screenshot of us on Fox and Friends, talking about our shop\\*.
The worldwide news coverage also freed me in a profound way. Finally, after months of trying to keep my personal politics out of my music shop, I was free to do and say my truth wherever I wanted. Everybody knew we were Trump supporters, and the anxiety of trying to balance private politics with business practices was gone. I spent as much time as I could at my shop in the last few months of business, now free of the fear that my presence would harm the shop. It no longer mattered. All that mattered was that we were standing up for our liberties, and we were going to get out of Chicago. I decided to plan to move to Washington, DC where I could continue my new mission in life: to support the President of the United States in his quest to make America great again.
\\*Our last customer, picking over the few items not yet moved.\\*
We took down the instruments and the shelves, packed up the stock and displays. We moved the entire store into our Chicago rented single family, and prepared to sell off the inventory we needed to be able to move. Our GoFundMe turned out to raise a tidy sum of money after the worldwide coverage, and the several thousand dollars kind Americans shared with us made it possible to plan our move. I set the date to move at the end of August and we set out over the summer to sort out and pack up the three-bedroom house we had occupied for over a decade. Boxing up your life and your memories, throwing out old stuff you hoped you’d no longer need and saying goodbye to old friends who still stood by you became everyday life.
As the date grew closer, I realized that shopping for rental property across time zones is harder than it seems. We began to plan to be able to spend our first few weeks in our new city of DC just looking for property, a plan which of course increased the costs of such a move. We sold more stuff, held a few yard sales and saved our nickels and dimes to make sure we could afford to do what I had told millions of news readers and viewers we intended to do: move ourselves to DC and move our business online.
\\*Picking up the moving truck to pack up and head to DC.\\*
When we finally picked up the moving van, the biggest they had, and began to load our life inside, it seemed like a nearly impossible task. How do you fit 25 years in 26 foot moving truck? Somehow we managed to do it, and one drizzly Chicago morning we finally drove away from the city that had taken so much from us and headed towards our new “home” despite being uncertain of what our new address would be.
We arrived in the DC area in the wee hours of a warm early September morning. The sun rose before us as we crested the hills and looked down on the Washington Monument and gleaming Capitol Building. Over the next few days we loaded our truck full of life into a storage rental, dropped off the 26-foot beast, and started into finding a home base for our new life. We were here, we had done it, and I was ready to settle in and start my mission to MAGA.
\\*Sunrise as we first sighted DC, riding in our moving truck.\\*
Even the first week we were here, I had a chance to start that mission. I was a speaker at the first annual Mother of All Rallies on the National Mall, and as I stood and gave my speech which I ended by singing “God Bless America”, the sun started to set behind the Washington Monument as I sang and for one brief moment I knew I was doing what God intended me to do. I knew in my heart that all of the struggle I had endured wasn’t about me. It was about saving America, and I was humbled by the chance to do my small part.
\\*The sun setting behind the Washington Monument at MOAR.\\*
It’s now early summer, 2018. We’ve found an apartment, and settled in just 20 minutes away from the capitol. I’ve written and published two more books, “Rules for Trumpers” and the “MAGAManual: The Trumper’s 2018 Midterm Strategy Guide”. I’ve been a guest speaker at meetings and rallies around DC and met a seemingly endless list of patriots, Trump celebs, fellow activists and MAGA missionaries. After a long hiatus, Trump Talk US is back on the air, live everyday at 2pm EST on Facebook and Twitter. I am a resident writer here on this site, the Political Storm. In November I was approached to chair a pro-Trump super PAC, Stand With POTUS PAC, and I jumped at the chance to make an even bigger difference in the MAGA movement.
\\*Trump Talk US studio, 2018, just 20 minutes from Capitol Hill.\\*
Over the many months past, I had become a Trump activist, an advocate, and a patriot warrior. I had met some of the most dedicated and patriotic people I have ever known who shared my vision to repair our country, and shared my commitment to supporting our President. I knew first hand how hard my fellow patriots worked to elect and now support Donald Trump. I knew the shoe string budgets they’d been forced to operate their grassroots efforts on, and wrote about them in my book. I knew the life savings they were spending to help MAGA and I knew the establishment wasn’t about to help out. By chairing a super PAC, I thought, I can be the one to help them find the funds to fight for our cause.
\\*Speaking at a Virginia Women for Trump meeting about my PAC.\\*
Running a PAC is harder than one might think, and raising money can some days be harder than pulling teeth. Fitting in all the fundraising with the writing, speaking and podcasting often leaves the usual normalcies of daily life behind. Just sitting and watching a movie is a novel thing nowadays.
Still the hard work feels like it’s paying off. Our country IS getting great again. Our president, MY president each day surprises us with more winning, just as he promised. I haven’t grown tired of it yet, as I know we still have so much work to do to fix everything broken in our country and truly drain the swamp. But progress is being made, and I get to talk about that progress everyday. I get to help raise funds and support patriots who are fighting beside Trump, and me, to restore our country to it’s intended glory and grace. While making a new life in a whole new city is hard, and navigating the swampy waters of the political circles in DC is often frustrating, I am blessed beyond measure with the voice, the willpower, and the tools to make a real difference in America. It’s a huge honor and a huge responsibility.
\\*I attended the President Macron meeting at White House.\\*
People often ask me if I have had the good fortune to meet the man I fight so hard each day to support. I tell them, “No, not yet. My time hasn’t come yet.” It doesn’t matter if I ever meet President Trump, however, because in the end what I’m fighting for is America, our God given freedoms, and the precious, precious gift of liberty our Founders and Framers left us in our Constitution. When in years to come, young people sing our national anthem and ask “Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” I will be able to say, “Yes, I did my part to make sure it still does.”
\\*Visiting the White House with my husband, Alexander. Fall 2017.\\*
If I ever had a chance to meet our President, however, I’d make sure to thank him. Thank him for the chance to give my all, to sacrifice my old way of life for the patriot way of life, thankful for a reason to use my voice and my will power to defend our great nation from tyranny like our Founders did before us. Ben Franklin famously spoke of our newly born nation as a “Republic, if you can keep it.” I’m grateful for Donald Trump for giving us all the chance to do just that, to keep our Republic intact, strong and free. Maybe one day our country will be restored enough to return to “regular” life. Until then I get up each day just like Donald Trump does just a few minutes away at the White House and do everything I can to make our country great…again. My reward isn’t in meeting the President. It’s in knowing that I have not asked what my country can do for me, but rather I have done what I can for my country.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some more work to do to MAGA today. This country isn’t going to make itself great again.
\\*I love waking up and remembering Donald Trump is President.\\*
These details are taken from Suzzanne Monk's new book, "My Scarlet Letter "T" : One Woman's Tale Of Triumph Over the Anti-Trump Left" which is due for publication this fall.
Suzzanne Monk is an author, pundit and chair of Stand With POTUS PAC living in the DC area. Her latest book,MAGAManual:The Trumpers 2018 Midterm Strategy GuideandRules For Trumpers.are available on Amazon.
You can find out more about the mission of Stand With POTUS PAC atwww.standwithpotus.com.
View her daily podcast on Facebook atwww.trumptalk.us.