An Indiana man is under fire for creating a parade float that depicts Hillary Clinton in an electric chair with Donald Trump pulling the trigger, local TV station WCPO reported Monday.
The float, which debuted at the Aurora Farmer’s Fair in Aurora, Indiana, had a lot going on. It featured not only a mock execution of Clinton by Trump, but also an Easter Island head painted black and identified as President Barack Obama, a sign listing some of Clinton’s scandals and insults against her, and a Trump/Pence campaign sign (Trump’s running mate Mike Pence is the governor of Indiana).
The float’s creator, Frank Linkmeyer, told WCPO that he didn’t mean to offend anyone. He said he creates off-the-wall floats for the parade every year and takes jabs at everyone.
“Police officers, judges, nurses, doctors, heart transplant patients — just a variety of things and the people in Aurora and the surrounding area love to see us in the parade,” he told the station.
As for the float’s apparent political message, Linkmeyer told the station that he could just have easily built the float to show Clinton executing Trump as the other way around.
“Could have had Donald Trump in the electric chair. It was a tossup,” Linkemeyer told WCPO.
Trump supporters and Trump himself have made what many construed as threatening statements towards Clinton this year, including when Trump told a rally crowd that “Second Amendment people” could stop her from appointing Supreme Court justices if she’s elected president.
Many paradegoers were not laughing, telling TV station that they found Linkmeyer’s float racist, sexist and threatening, especially at an event where children and families are present.
The town’s Lions Club, which organizes the parade, released a statement on its website saying it “regretted” Linkmeyer’s display.
“The parade is a public venue which does not reflect the views of the Aurora Lions Club,” the organization wrote. “As a member of a worldwide service organization, we are proud and standby (sic) our record of service to this community. We appreciate the high levels of support and esteem given to us by our citizens. We will continue to do our best to live up to their standards. We hope the political circus of this year’s election stays with the national media.”
Linkmeyer gave WCPO a half-hearted apology, saying that if people are offended that they can stay home next year.
“It’s all in fun,” he told the news station. “Laughter is the best medicine in life and this country needs more laughter — and the people that are offended by it, I’m sorry. Don’t come to the parade next time.”