About a year ago, 18-year-old college student Lauren Batchelder stood up at a political forum in New Hampshire and told Donald Trump that she didn’t think he was “a friend to women.”

The next morning, Trump fired back on Twitter — calling Batchelder an “arrogant young woman” and accusing her of being a “plant” from a rival campaign. Her phone began ringing with callers leaving threatening messages that were often sexual in nature. Her Facebook and email inboxes filled with similar messages. As her addresses circulated on social media and her photo flashed on the news, she fled home to hide.

“I didn’t really know what anyone was going to do,” said Batchelder, now 19, who has never discussed her experience with a reporter until now. “He was only going to tweet about it and that was it, but I didn’t really know what his supporters were going to do, and that to me was the scariest part.”

This is what happens when Trump targets a private citizen who publicly challenges him.

This was just the beginning of Ms. Batchelder’s problems:

For Batchelder, who studies history and gender studies at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H, the abuse continues more than a year later. Five days before the election, she received a Facebook message that read: “Wishing I could f—ing punch you in the face. id then proceed to stomp your head on the curb and urinate in your bloodied mouth and i know where you live, so watch your f—ing back punk.”

During her first semester at Saint Anselm in fall 2015, Batchelder decided to volunteer for former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s campaign, even though her views were much more liberal than his. To her, it was just an enjoyable opportunity to learn more about the Republican Party. She listed the volunteer position on her online résumé but later realized that she truly is a Democrat.

On Oct. 12, 2015, Batchelder attended a bipartisan forum in Manchester and said to Trump: “So, maybe I’m wrong, maybe you can prove me wrong, but I don’t think you’re a friend to women.”

Trump defended himself, saying he gave women positions of power at his construction sites, has influential women in his life and will fund women’s health initiatives.

“I love women, I respect women, I cherish women,” Trump said at one point.

Batchelder asked for the microphone again.

“I want to get paid the same as a man, and I think you understand that, so if you become president, will a woman make the same as a man, and do I get to choose what I do with my body?” she said, then threw her arms up in a questioning gesture.

Trump answered curtly: “You’re going to make the same if you do as good of a job, and I happen to be pro-life, okay?”

Lauren must have felt extremely violated.

Logic doesn’t matter to online trolls, who rated Batchelder’s physical appearance, threatened to rape or otherwise hurt her and called her vulgar names. A photoshopped picture popped up online depicting her face covered in semen.

“I love social media, but I also saw the terrible side of social media,” she said. “I definitely tried to focus on something else because when you’re seeing your life being played out in front of you and people are judging it and people are making assumptions about you, you kind of just want to stay away.”

Why would any young person want to engage publicly in the election process after that barrage of crap?  What is wrong with Donald Trump to feels so threatened by a child that he would lash out like this?  She was an 18 year old girl.  In my world, she is a mere child.  Isn’t her behavior what we want from young people?  Don’t we want them to enter into the adult world thinking for themselves and being full of questions?

Trump’s behavior, once again, was pure piggery and his followers who threatened Ms. Batchelder were thugs and misogynists.  Please let this be the defining reason why I have no respect for the republican party.

I fear for our nation.  I fear that an egotistical buffoon on a power trip will create tensions at home and abroad that will wreck our great nation. I fear for our safety and the safety of the world.

What would have happened if a crowd of these thugs actually came in contract with Lauren Batchelder?  Would she still be alive to tell her story?

10 Thoughts to “The trashing of Lauren Batchelder”

  1. Starryflights

    Donald Trump is a liar and a coward. His supporters are as well. Only such people would attack a young girl.

    1. She asked a legitimate question. The behavior directed by her by both Trump and his supporters is simply unconscionable.

  2. NorthofNokesville

    Some reactions:

    1. The social media reaction is despicable.
    2. This is a high-profile example of what happens across issues and parties. Trump’s supporters have taken this mobbing to an extreme level, but they are not alone. HRC had her own troll army (ask some Bernie supporters), and many state/local races get nastier albeit at smaller scale. And it’s not all issue-based or partisan – there are many examples of the BLM folks disrupting and harassing activities that would generally be considered left of center.
    3. Static is unavoidable. Free speech does not mean speech without consequence.
    4. Threats and harassment are in many cases covered by existing law. This case is high-profile enough that a combination of volunteer work and GoFundMe / kickstarter might be helpful and effective. Strategy beats sanctimony.
    5. The exchange she had with Trump shows the shortcoming of typical political debate in heated, one-off venues. Pay equality and abortion are serious, complex issues, and expecting any politician to give anything more than lip service in an abbreviated answer is unrealistic. And asking in a reductionist way (very useful rhetorically) tends to get a reductionist answer.

    Personally, I thought the best response to Trumpster harassment came from an unlikely source: David Ramadan.


    He’s right. You fight speech with speech, and other threats via appropriate channels, including legal, law enforcement, and personal bodily security.

    1. There was never a day that Hillary supporters acted like Trump supporters (I am speaking of thugs here)

      Sure there is going to be contention between candidates. The Trump people were horrible. They were worse than all of the other Republican and Democratic supporters collectively.

      We can’t just leave it at the campaign either. Trump continues to rile his base and strike out at those who disagree with him. He has no couth or class.

      I have been on this earth many years. I have never seen a national election with such out-right pig behavior during and after the election. It is all being initiated by one person.

      1. NorthofNokesville



        Worse collectively – sure. Doing anything really new? Not so much.

        Trump’s also about 40 years late for the idea of a permanent campaign, which harkens back to Carter. The style means a different set of tactics prevail, but, again, not a new idea.

        I’m not trying to win academic points for fine-grained distinctions. I see Trump’s opposition falling back into bad habits (sanctimony over strategy), ironically in a way that mirrors the “epistemic closure” they used to laugh at folks on the right for. There are some commentators out there yelling “stop” but too few. One of the more interesting ones is Fredrik deBoer (web here: http://fredrikdeboer.com/ and Twitter here: https://twitter.com/freddiedeboer ). A tweet of his that nailed it for me: “I guess this gives everyone what they want – GOP gets power, Dems get to play the wounded, smarter, wronged losers. They love that.” Our system doesn’t work without balance, and with the counter-pole flailing a bit (and fixing on DJT as pure individual phenomenon), it’s not there.

      2. The difference is, we don’t know who the thugs were at the rally attacking Trump supporters. Were they Bernies? Clinton supporters? Green Party? Libertarians or just plain thugs?

        At Trump rallies you can assume that the people attending his rallies support him. That’s where I see a distinct difference.

        I don’t lame Trump because the KKK supports him. He can’t control who supports him. He can disavow them, however.

        I make no bones about it. I think Trump is horrible and unpresidential. I have said it once, and I will say it again…I would vote for 100 Ted Cruzes before one Donald Trump. Everyone who knows me knows I cannot stand Ted Cruz. (all of this is predicated on someone holding a gun to my head and making me choose, mind you.)

        The Dems do play the wounded, smarter, wronged loser very well, I don’t deny that. However, in this case, they are right. I think the Hillary movement was certainly less partisan than I have seen in years. When I say less partisan, I mean voting for Hillary because they found Donald Trump so unacceptable, rather than because she was a Democrat.

  3. Robin Hood

    After a year and a half of this foolishness the pattern has emerged. He takes to social media and stokes up his base to divert attention from larger issues.

    1. NorthofNokesville

      @Robin Hood

      And his opponents take the bait.

      1. He is the president elect. That in itself is provocation.

        He needs to grow up and act presidential…just for 4 years. He wanted it. Many Americans will demand it.

        If he can’t act presidential then he needs to leave.

  4. El Guapo

    During the big anti-immigrant protests ten years ago, a man made a death threat against the governor of Maryland, and another guy called several employees of a Latino organization threatening harm. Both these guys were tracked down, prosecuted, convicted and punished. Hopefully they’re productive members of society now.

    So what’s up with the death threats. Is it possible to track these people down? And if so, are the authorities going after these people? It seems like there’s a lot of this going on.

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