Opinions from Mason’s Trump supporters

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Estelle Timar-Wilcox

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Mason leans liberal. The Lasso’s mock election showed that 75% of the school was in support of Hillary Clinton, with only 16.5% of the responders choosing Donald Trump. The Lasso also endorsed Clinton for president and published multiple opinion pieces opposing Trump and his policies.

So, when I set out to find some of the 16.5% of GM students who supported Trump, they were a little hard to find; and even when I found them, many declined an interview. Senior Jack Fletchall offered his perspective on why he voted for Trump.

“Obviously, I don’t agree with everything he does, but my step-dad owns his own construction company and his workers are all legal immigrants. They don’t like when illegal immigrants come into the country and take jobs that legal immigrants had to work hard for. I think everything with foreign affairs can be better,” Fletchall said.

I also sat down with two juniors at GM — Cara McFall and Freddy Bruner — who, despite initial reservations, both publicly supported Trump in the election. Neither McFall nor Bruner were old enough to vote in the 2016 election.

“It was more of an ‘anyone but Clinton’ thing,” McFall said. “It’s more of just that I disagree with Clinton on everything, like her views about Planned Parenthood and funding for that, and her views on Obamacare.”

Bruner echoed McFall’s view. “As it gradually narrowed down to him, and it was him versus Hillary, then yeah, [I was] pretty avidly supporting him.”

Supporters are also looking towards the upcoming actions Trump will take in office. Bruner said he hopes Trump will work to unify Americans.

“I get really angry because the number one reason you see people screaming at each other arguing about things is because… they refuse to acknowledge other people’s’ points of view,” Bruner said. “I can see Trump listening to both sides and wanting to unify people, so if anything, I want him to do that.”

During both his career and his campaign, Trump has faced allegations of sexism and racism, which one would think might not bode well for people hoping he unifies the diverse population of America. Bruner, however, doesn’t think it will be an issue.

“I don’t think Trump is a radical, sexist person,” Bruner said. “I think he’s just the same as everybody else. Only problem is, the media’s completely against him, so any tiny thing he does gets amplified by ten times.”

Bruner also said that he appreciated Trump’s refusal to back down on his claims. “[I] liked the way he never took offense and didn’t care if he offended somebody else, [I] appreciated that… it was refreshing and it was new. If he wouldn’t bow down to people forcing him to do something that he didn’t think he needed to do, then he’s tough and he’s got his convictions.”

McFall took a different stance, saying she sees prejudice in Trump and did appreciate the times when he apologized.

“I do see that as an issue,” she said. “I know there was a lot of controversy over some things that Donald Trump had said along the way and in one of the presidential debates he owned up to it (which) was very important for him to do.”

If there’s anything most people can agree on about the next four years, it’s that they’re going to be very different.

“The way I see it, we’re at a point in history where we’re now going to have the country run by a businessman, and we’re going to see where that leads us,” Bruner said. “I think overall it’s going to be a good thing.”

As Bruner said, Trump is a businessman, which has been a concern. He and McFall both acknowledged that Trump doesn’t have the political experience typical of previous presidents, but they both see this as a chance for positive change.

“It’s good in the fact that we’re going to learn something. We’re gonna see new things and that’s going to be good in some ways, and if it goes badly then… I don’t think the world’s going to end, I don’t think America’s going to be any worse off after it,” Bruner said.

“He’s obviously a good businessman because he’s well off and he’s been successful so he obviously knows how to negotiate,” McFall said. “I do think negotiating with other countries and foreign policy, things like that, I think he’s going to be good at that.”

Both said that they were looking forward to the change that they hope will come in the next four years. McFall mentioned Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. What can be concluded from these Trump supporters is that they see an unpredictability in this presidency, and are embracing it.

“What’s exciting about it is that we don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re excited about it. Whatever happens is going to be a learning experience for everybody,” Bruner said.