John Haltiwanger

This Hippie Hands Out Free Flowers To Trump Supporters For The Best Reason

Walking through downtown Cleveland during the Republican National Convention is a bit like meandering down Bourbon Street on a busy night -- only, instead of being surrounded by drunken tourists, you're immersed in a sea of police, Trump supporters, protestors and vendors selling every type of Republican memorabilia you can think of.

The last thing I expected to see was a man with a gigantic beard walking through the crowd, offering people free flowers. So naturally, when I did, I was intrigued and walked up to him to ask why he was doing that.

He introduced himself as Rod Webber from Boston and said,

When things get riotous, [flowers] are a good de-escalator... I've been known to put them in the barrel of an AR-15. Sometimes a presidential candidate just needs to know that if you give it to them, symbollically, there will be peace over their term.

It turns out Webber is a peace activist who's apparently been doing this all over the country and plans to go to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week as well.

He told Elite Daily,

The only places I haven't gone are Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota and Kansas.

When Webber and I finished speaking, it wasn't long before I turned around and saw him having a cheerful chat with a woman decked out in pro-Trump gear.

John Haltiwanger

Over the course of this election cycle, Webber has made headlines due to his interactions with presidential candidates -- especially Jeb Bush.

He's also been seen with Senator John McCain, among other politicians and public figures.

Webber has also had some less than friendly interactions at Trump events, despite his peaceful demeanor.

The video below offers a pretty good overview of his activities across the nation thus far.

Rod Webber on YouTube

This flower initiative is part of a documentary Webber is filming. As his website describes it,

My current project, (my 11th feature-length film), is a documentary which focuses heavily on the 2016 US Presidential election. I wanted to tackle the subject in a way which would be memorable, using my Vine project, (with 16 million views and growing), as a springboard. I decided to meet the candidates and simply offer them a symbolic 'flower for peace,' as a gesture that should they become president, that there be peace over their term. It has had a bit of a Rorschach-test effect, bringing out parts of the personalities of candidates that we might not have otherwise seen.

Webber, who said he plans on voting but wouldn't tell me whom he plans to support, is clearly just a guy trying to spread a little peace and love during a contentious time in America. We could definitely use a lot more of that.

Oh, and he gave me a flower as well.

John Haltiwanger

Thank you, Rod Webber!