A viral photo from Election Day shows a woman giving the middle finger to President Donald Trump's motorcade on its way back to the White House. With Americans headed to the polls throughout the day, many viewers thought the picture summed up the 2020 presidential election clearly enough. Others were dismissive of the gesture.
The picture was posted by photojournalist Jay Westcott, who explained that it was taken in Arlington, Virginia. The motorcade was reportedly heading from the Trump campaign headquarters in Rosslyn to the White House, passing the angry woman on the way. For security reasons, the presidential motorcade often intentionally obscures the president, so there is no guarantee that he saw the woman's middle finger — or even that she was pointing it at the right car. Still, many viewers respected her tenacity.
An Arlingtonian shows President Trump a finger as his motorcade makes it’s way back to the White House after a stop at their campaign headquarters in Rosslyn. pic.twitter.com/q3TfGnSusn— Jay Westcott (@jwestcottphoto) November 3, 2020
"Good for her, and a reminder that in some other countries she would have been 'disappeared.' THIS is why we vote!" one person tweeted. Another added: "GOD do I wish I could be standing in her shoes!"
Critics impugned the woman's intelligence for the simplicity of her gesture, and some even wondered if she could be identified in the picture. A few floated the idea of contacting her employer, hoping to bring down real-world consequences for her middle finger.
There is no guarantee that would have worked, of course, as the case of Juli Briskman proved. In 2017, a photo of Briskman went viral where she was flipping off the presidential motorcade as it drove past her, while she was riding her bicycle. According to a CBS News report, Briskman was working as a government contractor at the time, and she was fired after her employer identified her in the photo.
Kind of like this one! pic.twitter.com/zgEfN3qci2— Counselor70🏳️🌈⚢ (@Counselor701) November 3, 2020
However, Briskman has a new job now on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Briskman was reportedly elected last November, ousting the eight-year incumbent, Republican Suzanne Volpe. Briskman also won a lawsuit against her former employer, Akima LLC, winning the severance pay she did not initially get when she was fired.
Some users remembered Briskman's story when Westcott's photo began to circulate on Tuesday, and they hoped that this woman would not face the same trials. At the same time, they held Briskman's results up as a sign that things work out for the best in many cases. The presidential election results could take days to arrive. For the latest, visit CBS News for live updates.