To the casual observer, it might seem like American liberals and conservatives don’t have anything in common anymore. But no matter which party they belong to, all of the presidential candidates are still using the classic campaign bus as they travel the country trying to woo their respective voters.
There’s the “Cruzing to Victory” bus, the “Bernie Bus,” and of course, “Stump for Trump,” which is actually more of an RV.
During this campaign season, one of Donald J. Trump’s campaign buses has been hijacked, in a way, by anti-Trump activists.
In the fall of 2015, artists Mary Mihelic and David Gleeson found a former charter bus used by the Trump campaign for sale on Craigslist for $14,000. They purchased the Trump bus and transformed it into a rolling anti-Trump art project, following the campaign from one primary state to another.
Gleeson and Mihelic were there in South Carolina for the Republican primary. The bus made an appearance at a Hillary Clinton rally in New Hampshire, and its odometer has passed the one million mile mark. The bright red, white and blue bus looks like a genuine Stump for Trump bus at first sight, but a closer look reveals satirical hashtags and slogans, like #WomenTrumpTrump and #MakeFruitPunchGreatAgain.
According to The State, “When they stop at rallies, Gleeson hits golf balls with Trump’s face on them off the top of the bus. Mihelic puts Trump posters wrapped in black burqas around the bus. Sometimes they encourage people to throw red fruit punch on the vehicle, in reference to Trump’s comment about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly having ‘blood coming out of her wherever.'”
Cheap charter buses are a practical, salt of the earth choice for politicians looking to hit the campaign trail. For an estimated 14 million rural Americans, motorcoaches are the only form of commercial transportation. Plus, politicians can claim their campaign buses are more eco-friendly than private jets and passenger trains.
When Ohio Governor John Kasich decided he needed to win over rust-belt Michigan voters, he called on the service of his own trusty campaign bus, planning a week-long tour of the automotive state aboard his bus. Rather than flying high above the voters on a private jet, campaign buses allow candidates to get up close and personal with the voters (and then they get onto the private jet).
While the number of campaign buses on America’s roadways will certainly dwindle as the presidential playing field does, voters can expect to see them on the campaign trail until at least November 8, 2016.
Image Source: @t_Rutt2013