Buy Trump Stuff?  You Might Be Surprised How Many Massachusetts People Do

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Starting last month, Keith Lambert began opening up “New England for Trump” pop up shops in Massachusetts, selling a variety of goods to express support for President Donald Trump. Lambert currently has five brick-and-mortar locations in Bellingham, Easton, Hanson, Wilmington, and Peabody, as well as two tent locations in Middleton and Coventry, Rhode Island.

Lambert, who also runs a company called New England Novelty, has 20 years of experience in what he calls the “hot market.” He has sold merchandise for major events like New England Patriots Super Bowl parades, special-event parades, and even President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

A successful sales from a tent outside of President Trump’s rally in Manchester, New Hampshire in August inspired Lambert to open up physical “New England for Trump” store locations in time for the Christmas shopping season.

“I knew there was a need and we do special event vending, so it’s right up my alley,” Lambert said from inside of his Easton location on Friday morning. “It’s never been a situation where it’s been this supportive of any politician you can remember where people want to wear the merchandise.”

A reporter for New Boston Post visited the Easton location and saw an array of merchandise for sale. The store features more than just hats, T-shirts. sweatshirts, bumper stickers, and flags. It also has pro-Trump gloves, playing cards, Christmas tree ornaments, socks, keychains, bobbleheads, and pins. One corner of the store even sold Boston sports shirts. 

Although Massachusetts is a reliable state for Democrats in presidential elections, Lambert said he has not had any problems with anti-Trumpers yet.

“The reactions have been very positive,” he said. “The people coming in here are nothing but positive and thankful. People have been thankful. They shake my hand. One person even said I’m doing God’s work.”

One such happy customer who recently visited the Easton location is Myles Heger, a candidate for Republican State Committee in the Norfolk, Bristol & Plymouth district; the district includes Easton precincts 3 through 6.

“Anytime a business opens that’s a good thing,” Heger told New Boston Post. “President Trump has been a positive force when it comes to people finding work, and businesses opening again. I am happy to see the success of New England for Trump stores. I went in and it was the perfect store to get some small Trump trinkets. They have a great selection of President Trump merchandise to show your support for our 45th president.”

Still, not everyone in the community is pleased about it. 

Kaleigh Mendoza, a student at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, wrote a piece criticizing the store in the student newspaper, The Daily Olivian.

Last month, she wrote, “I think that the store existing, in general, is a recipe for disaster. Easton is already divided and I feel like something like this might make it worse.”

Lambert sees his work as supporting a good president by getting people to wear pro-Trump gear. But he said his stores also help Trump financially. 

He said he is using some of the money he makes to make monthly donations to Trump’s re-election campaign in hopes of hitting the limit for donations from an individual.

According to the Trump campaign’s official donation page, the maximum an individual may legally contribute is $5,600:  $2,800 for the primary and $2,800 for the general election.

Lambert said he thinks the increase in pro-Trump gear worn by Massachusetts residents will help the president.

“It’s allowing a lot of his supporters to brand his name, get it out there,” Lambert said. “I think everybody knows who Donald Trump is, but it allows people to see he has support even in our area.”

Lambert said there are liberals who don’t like Trump who come through his stores occasionally. Mostly, they come in to pick out Christmas gifts for their conservative relatives.

The physical storefronts are temporary leases for the Christmas season. However, Lambert said his ultimate goal is to keep the shops open until January 2021, through what he hopes is Trump’s second-term inauguration.

“What it all comes down to is the sales,” he said. “Time will tell.”

Photos by Tom Joyce for New Boston Post.