The Hamptons is a very upscale region in New York state where the very wealthy live. Apparently residents who are supporters of Donald Trump are having to keep their allegiance a secret because their neighbors hate him.
President Trump’s Hamptons supporters have gone underground.
“We are all in the closet,” said a boutique owner in Southampton who fears reprisals from his customers — most of them moneyed Democrats — if he speaks openly about his allegiance to Trump. “It’s like you have this disease and people want to run away from you.”
A builder based in Westhampton worried that his customers would boycott his services if he reveals his support of the president. “People have really strong opinions here and if you go around wearing a MAGA hat, you really need to fear physical violence,” he said, adding the anti-Trump aggression comes mostly from summer residents.
“They’re all Democrats, so for us it’s a matter of survival,” said an art consultant who works in Sag Harbor. “We live in the land of the First Amendment, but if you want to stay in business out here, you have to keep your opinions to yourself. We are hitting a very dark and strange place as a country.”
What will it take people to realize that the First Amendment only guarantees that the government “shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech”? In other words, the government cannot censor your speech (except under very limited conditions) and you are free to say that you adore Trump and to wear as many MAGA hats as you like, if that floats your boat. The First Amendment does not require other people to like you or approve of what you say or not criticize you or support your business.