“If you support Trump, you are a racist. You are xenophobic. You are homophobic. You are not for America.”
I sat alone reading these news headlines the week following the election. Protests followed all of the election results, but this time it was different. Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote, but now President-Elect Donald Trump had taken the Electoral College. To some people, this was now the end of the world.
I had never been ashamed of my undying support for the Republican Party, or any conservative party for that matter. Up until the moment where I suddenly lost half of my friends because none of them could believe I supported such a monster. It was one of those moments you have where you sit there and ask yourself, “do I want to be liked or follow my morals and values?”
I chose to spend the rest of that semester to myself. It was very lonely.
It wasn’t like I lost all of my friends, but tensions were high. A lot of my friends no longer believed I was the person they knew. How could I be? Apparently, I supported a racist, and because of that, I was racist. Though, as I recall, I don’t think I ever did anything that close to racist. Or homophobic, or xenophobic. Sure, I was Catholic, but last time I checked Catholics tended to be some of the most loving and accepting people I know. We might not support or agree with things, such as same-sex marriage, but we will surely respect you as an individual.
But, sitting there in my classes now as people whispered about the results behind my back, listening to them fear the end of everything they knew, I was somehow reconfirmed in my support, and where I felt the direction America needed to go.
Sure, President Trump isn’t the best of the best. He says some things that certainly just makes me scratch my head, but there are a few things that were happening and are happening that a progressive like Hillary Clinton would never have been able to handle in the correct way.
Trump promised to fix our immigration system. Something I believed had needed fixing for a while. A wall maybe wasn’t and isn’t the best solution, but it’s a start and a way to secure parts of our border. He wants to ensure a better way to get here, legally, but also on a merit-based system, people who will be able to contribute to our society and not cling to the social programs that are already failing.
Trump promised to do away with ISIS. He promised to drive them back with a strong military working against anyone who wants to hurt us. He wants to protect us in any way he can. It’s not an “America First” approach of "we are going to dominate the world," but an “America First” approach of "we are going to protect and fix America before we stick our noses into places it doesn’t belong."
We could be going to war soon too. There’s so much tension with North Korea, and while we need to avoid nuclear inhalation at all costs, a pro-military government is going to go in and get the job done efficiently and quickly. Not a tip-toe, try not to kill anyone, tactic that liberals might favor. It is war, and war is nasty. We might not like it, but think about how many we might lose if we don’t go there first. They sure won’t care who they are killing if they come here, whoever tries.
Trump’s election guarantees us protection of free speech. Today, more than ever, our free speech is under fire. “Offensive” views of Ben Shapiro are just ideas and opinions that people are too scared to hear because he proves why he’s right with facts. There’s protest after protest, all for rights and civil liberties by the left, but when the right tries to put on something about free speech or just a Trump Rally, it’s labeled white nationalist and white supremacy immediately. It is met with counter-protests and shut down due to it being “unsafe.” It wasn’t an unsafe environment until the counter-protest showed up.
So, call me what you will, because at the end of the day I’m confident in my beliefs. I might not support everything Trump does or says, but I support his policies and the Republican Party. I’m not afraid to stand out as a conservative on campus. I will not care what your views are either. You have a right to your opinions and I have a right to mine. I will not discriminate on race or sexual orientation. I will simply go on with my day because I’m an American and I respect those who respect me.