Donald Trump's presidency has been, by all accounts, a disappointment.
President Trump's support hovers around the high 30s with no major legislative victories for him to push to his base. Yet, somehow, Trump still has a surreal amount of supporters around the country who fill arenas and defend him to the end. The question though is why? Why, despite continued tweets and no serious change, do people still support the president?
As a Trump voter and dedicated Republican, I've been an outspoken critic of President Trump on "Odyssey" before, even landing the chance to appear on CNN's New Day to discuss my views on the president's job performance. Yet, despite my critiques of Donald Trump, I understand why so many continue to support him.
We live in a vastly divided country, and why we are so divided is debatable. Yet, to a good chunk of the country, Donald Trump represents an end to political correctness, and a new beginning to nationalistic pride, America First, job opportunities, and a return to the values they hold so dear.
The other parties offer single-payer health care, no tax cuts, a national change in gay rights, moving towards sustainable energy, and more. Those changes, while not necessarily bad, can be uncomfortable and life-changing for a good chunk of the population.
Take West Virginia, for example. Being born in the state, with a majority of my family still living in the state, the coal industry makes up a good amount of the livelihood within the state. Moving to clean energy, while important in the long run, could lead to massive unemployment and poverty. You can't blame the people in West Virginia for putting their livelihood now over the changes in the climate years down the road.
Why only one example? It's the opportunity to understand several different examples. Too often, Trump dissenters take this as an opening to attack Trump supporters. However, that's not the way to handle these situations. People who support Donald Trump have as valid reasons as people who don't support him.
The basis of America is the freedom of opinion and politics, where I and my neighbor can disagree on everything and still get along. Attacking others for having differing views is no way forward. Calling someone who voted for Donald Trump an "idiot" will get you nowhere. Instead, it'll set you back. They had valid reasons for voting for the man, just as someone else had valid reasons not to.
Use this opportunity to engage in rational discussions, learn why people have different opinions from your own, and find common ground for compromise. After all, democracy isn't a winner-takes-all system, it's supposed to be a bipartisan compromise.