On January 6, the Coalition for Trump Victory Cruise is scheduled to set sail from Miami to the Bahamas.
The organizer is Robert Jeter, an oil rig worker who lives in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The 43-year-old also volunteers as executive director of the Coalition for Trump, a grassroots campaign that’s behind many of those anti-Obama memes your racist aunt loves reposting.
“The way I would describe the cruise is that it’s a celebration of winning our country back,” Jeter told New Times. “Before we disembark, we’re going to have a prayer breakfast where we pray for the nation and the future of our country.”
Jeter comes across as a surprisingly nice guy. He grew up in Panama City, Florida, but moved to Alaska as a teenager when his stepfather, who was in the Air Force, was stationed in Anchorage. He likes the cooler temperatures, but he’s seen roughly a third of his coworkers at Prudhoe Bay laid off because of declining oil prices, and he's worried we’re headed for another global recession. “We wanted to find an affordable cruise because a lot of people are hurting,” he said.
The cruise is a pretty good deal: $300 per person for a three-day trip to the Bahamas and fully refundable if Trump loses the election. But Jeter is pretty sure he won’t.
“It would just help if we could get Mr. Trump to stop dropping so many bombs,” he said. “It seems like as soon we cover one base, there’s another.”
It’s tough to campaign for a man who keeps alienating entire minority groups. “The racist thing is really huge,” Jeter said. “I’m of Mexican descent myself — Mexican and German. Just because you’re saying we should be enforcing the law doesn’t mean that you’re racist.”
So, assuming Trump wins and the cruise happens as planned, what do you get for your $300 besides an unlimited buffet, a sunburn, and bunch of free Make America Great Again merch? Well, Jeter thinks Trump himself might Skype in. (“I have some friends within the Trump organization,” he explains.) He’s also trying to get Tea Party activist Katrina Pierson on board as a special guest.
Meanwhile, he’s already spoken to Carnival about getting extra security when the group boards the ship.
“We know there are some pockets around Miami that can be a little rough,” he said. “We’re not coming down to start a riot, we just want to get on the boat. We don’t want to have protesters up in our face. Tell everyone to be nice, alright?”
So far, though, according to a customer service representative for Carnival, only one person has reserved a spot on the cruise.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.