I asked people who voted for and supported Trump throughout the election season about why they supported him, considering the backlash he has been getting through the media and with protesters.
I asked a series of questions, regardless of my personal political views, because I was curious to know why they liked him. I wanted to know which policies they agreed with, whether they liked his rhetoric or just him as a person. I didn’t like any of the candidates presented to me this election year, so in the beginning, I was honestly trying to figure out who was best candidate for my vote.
Most importantly, I wanted to have open, civil discussions about politics, and which leader was the best fit to lead our country.
I personally didn’t agree with Trump’s values or policies. I didn’t vote for him. I did vote for another candidate who would best fit the kind of world I wanted to live in.
A lot of the answers I got back from Trump supporters may surprise you.
When I asked people if they were bothered that he was against LGBTQ+ rights they said either one of two things:
1. They weren’t against LGBTQ+ rights, and that didn’t factor into their votes because they thought there wasn’t much he could do in office to repeal the equality laws. They believed that was something that wasn’t going to change regardless of his beliefs.
2. Some, because of religious values, didn’t think LGBTQ+ people should have full marital rights. One person told me that they thought LGBTQ+ could have certain rights but said that he/she wanted America to go back to the values to country was built on. They quoted that we are “one nation under God,” and because of their religion, they didn’t agree with it.
When I asked them if they really wanted to ban all Muslims, the top three answers I got were as follows:
1. They believed that they should ban Muslims from coming further into the country. They believed that there needed to be stricter laws for radicals who use Islam to justify their actions to hurt Americans.
2. Others believe that there should be a vetting process, flagging, or an intensive background check for Muslims or any persons who if they traveled in and out of countries that have been known to breed terrorism.
3. Some of the people I asked were also scared of ISIS. They are scared because of ISIS attacks that have occurred in Europe. One person said they didn’t want to see another video of them beheading Americans.
When I asked Trump supporters about the infamous tape of sexual assault banter and whether it bothered them they said:
1. It's just two guys being silly and joking around. They justified it by saying that they’ve heard women and men joke about sex in worse ways. The main reason it didn’t bother a lot of them was because actions spoke louder than words.
2. A few others referred to Bill Clinton saying that he literally cheated on his wife with Monica Lewinsky and had accusations of assault from women. He didn't get impeached, nor did his wife, Hillary Clinton, divorce him. They didn't believe he should be penalized for saying something negative 10 years ago.
When I blatantly asked Trump supporters if they thought Trump was a “white supremacist,” because there are people who believe he is, I got three following top responses:
1. They didn’t think he was a white supremacist, but he did incite actions that protesters took out of context to build racial tension. However, they said that Trump never directly had been prejudiced against other races.
2. Others said that his company has hired so many people of different races. He has been pictured hanging out with black rappers, people of color; and even on his show, "The Apprentice," other races have been shown. They thought it was absurd.
3. Every person that I had spoken to didn’t condone actions against racial injustices. And they didn’t want to be painted with the same brush that if one supporter was being racist, they all were. I don’t think any of the supporters I spoke to were racist at all.
When I asked supporters’ thoughts on Trump being endorsed by the KKK, they said that you can’t control when someone endorses you. The persons I asked wished that the KKK didn’t endorse him, but more reputable organizations would instead...
"Do you think Trump is a misogynist?" When I put out this question to about 15 or so people throughout the month leading up to the election, they disagreed. They said that there was no way because of the main four following points:
1. His campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, is a woman.
2. The successful way he’s raised his daughters.
3. They pointed to the fact that he appointed women like Omarosa to be on his campaign team.
4. A few brought up that Hillary was a silent misogynist and hypocrite in their eyes because she has taken millions from Saudi Arabia, a country that is known to stone and oppress women, and is against LGBTQ+ rights as well.
Bringing up the topic of illegal immigration and whether they should get deported, all of them agreed on the building the wall because of the following:
1. They didn’t think that it's fair that illegal immigrants are coming into this country and getting special scholarships and many are taking jobs away from Americans. One person described to me that they work really hard at a minimum wage job, and hated the thought of how some illegal immigrant is getting paid more than them by cashing welfare checks and not working.
After asking them if it was possible for apply for welfare if they're illegal, they said that a lot of illegal immigrants often use other people’s social security numbers, most being deceased persons.
2. They didn’t want their taxes going towards people who illegally entered the country. There’s nothing wrong with coming into this country, legally.
3. Another person discussed how the American population is getting out of control and it needed to be stabilized.
4. The main reason people gave was that they felt illegal immigrants are committing a lot of crimes and are able to get away the with crimes because they are undocumented. Ex: It wouldn’t be easy to find them through fingerprint analysis.
Lastly, when I asked people why they didn’t vote for Hillary or another candidate and why not just vote for Hillary if she’s had political experiences, they said that they just didn’t like her as a person and they didn’t agree with her policies. The e-mail scandal was a major concern. There had to be a reason why she deleted all thousands of emails and they felt like she was hiding something, and because of this, they couldn’t trust her.
They brought up the 2012 Benghazi scandal. A lot of the people I asked had a loved one in the military and were angry that she compromised the security of our troops abroad. If she did Benghazi wrong, how could they trust her with the security and safety of the whole U.S. military?
Trump is also promising to take care of veterans. Something Hillary says she will do, but they said if can failed in Benghazi, she’s not going to take care of those at home who have served.
Furthermore, they just didn’t want another Clinton in the White House. They didn’t like that she was and had taken money from donors and capitalists. They liked that Trump was anti-establishment and found comfort in that. They felt if he was putting all his own money into his campaign, he was doing it because he actually, genuinely cared about the people and the country.
They said that Trump had been straightforward since the beginning, and he never changed his mind or policies. To them, it means he can be trusted, unlike Hillary who has changed her policies throughout her career. They trust Trump's economic plans since he is a successful businessman.
Obamacare played a big factor in their voting choice because the premiums are high and are supposed to be getting higher.
The majority of Trump supporters are worried about their jobs being exported and being taxed unfairly.They decided to overlook Trump’s rhetoric, in the same