On Saturday February 7, 2016 I hopped in my Bernie-mobile (regular car with a Bernie Sanders 2016 bumper sticker) to interview FSU’s biggest Trump supporter, a student involved in the Noles for Trump organization who wishes to remain anonymous because of “negative associations surrounding Trump.” We sat across from each other at Maple Street Biscuit Co. as one liberal and one conservative, sipping a black coffee and a sweet tea. I set out to discover what exactly lies underneath the “Make America Great Again” hat of a college Trump supporter.
Q: Why do you support Donald Trump?
A: I support Donald trump because he stands up for what many Americans believe on issues such as Immigration and Syrian refugees. He’s a nationalist not a globalist. He puts America before other nation’s interests. Also, he’s not putting on a façade to get votes; he’s just being him.
Q: What do you think is Trump’s biggest weakness?
A: I don’t honestly see a weakness. He’s not a soft speaker, some might say that’s a weakness but I don’t really see a problem with it. If anything, he’s changing the political culture by saying exactly what he means which I think needs to be done.
Q: Which of Trump’s policies are you most looking forward to him enacting?
A: Definitely building the wall to stop illegal immigration. Other than that, it’s having a president who is an American and [who was] raised in America. He’s been involved in big businesses and has a great understanding of economics.
Q: Do you think that Trump will win in 2016?
A: Yes. Because I think that people are fed up enough with both parties that they’ll want an outsider to come in and fix the problems. Half the Democrats don’t like Bernie Sanders, and if he gets to general election, they’re just not going to vote. Whereas if you have a guy like Trump, he’s gonna unite a lot of the right wing people who would normally not vote.
Q: Who’s your second choice for president?
A: I really don’t like any of the other people that much. Ted Cruz I guess would be my second choice but I don’t think he’s eligible to run since he was born in Canada. My second choice would probably have been Rand Paul, but he dropped out. Honestly, probably Rick Scott because he’s a former business man and has created a lot of job growth in Florida.
Q: Do you think our nation has an issue with political correctness?
A: I think the issue is becoming less prominent. Even if Trump doesn’t win the nomination, he has influenced the platform enough that it’s okay to say, “We want to kick out the illegal immigrants because they’re criminals.” I think more people understand that [immigration laws] are not out of racism, but out of upholding the law.
Q: Do you think any of Trumps comments have gone too far?
A: I think the one with Megan Kelly was pushing it but I don’t think it was as bad as people made it out to be… I probably wouldn’t have said that.
Q: What do you think of the claims that Trump is a misogynist or a racist?
A: I think they’re absolutely ridiculous, because he has never said anything explicitly racist; it’s only been implied. His daughters are his biggest supporters, and if he was sexist, I don’t see women wanting to be around him at all. He’s had feuds with men and women. Just because he has said things against Megan Kelly or Rosie O’ Donnell doesn’t make him against all women.
Q: Donald Trump was a Democrat previously—what are your thoughts on that?
A: He was a Democrat for business reasons, because he lived in New York and because it’s very hard to be a Republican there. If you watch the 1988 interview with him on Oprah, he said if he ever ran for president he would have the same platform he has now, except now he’s socially conservative. As far as economics go, he still has the same core beliefs. He hasn’t flip flopped on what’s important to him.
Q: How would your day-to-day life change under a Trump presidency?
A: I would buy oil stocks the minute he was elected. Under Trump we would deport the illegal immigrants, which would result in fewer gangs. Trump would create jobs just because businessmen know how to create jobs; that’s what they’re good at. I think under Trump you would have more patriotism. Under Trump, we would ‘bomb the s*** out of ISIS,’ which I want.”
Q: Favorite Donald Trump quotes?
A: “You’re fired,” “Make America Great Again” and any time he bashes Jeb Bush is great. He’s a really good author. If you want to learn to work with people better and get personal gains out of relationships, “The Art of the Deal” is a really good book. Trump is very insightful.
Q: Do you get any negative comments about your support for Trump from other students?
A: Some of the Bernie supporters can be rude sometimes. One guy said “That’s a dumb hat. I bet it’s not even made in America.” But it is made in America. That’s another thing I like about Trump—all of his campaign materials are manufactured in America. He’s a blue collar guy with a big checkbook.
Q: Why do you think so many people dislike Trump? What would you say to those people?
A: A lot of people dislike him because they’re told to dislike him. Most of those people haven’t read his book, and they don’t know very much about him other than what they’re told. I would encourage people who don’t like Trump to learn more about him. Willy Robertson from Duck Dynasty supports Trump, and people see those guys as every day people. Just about everybody can relate to him.
Our conversation didn’t inspire either of us to change political parties (shocker), but that wasn’t the point. The point was to put a tangible voice behind a candidate that the media villainizes. Although I personally won’t be jumping on the Trump Express, I appreciated the opportunity to glimpse into the mind of someone with opposing views to my own. The only way to form strong opinions is to hear all sides of the political story, and then decide for yourself where you stand. So get political; find your preferred candidate by listening to real insight instead of just media-driven rhetoric, and vote in your state’s primary.