WRA Trump Supporters Continue to Stand by the New President

“Trump awoke the silenced voices of millions of people,” said Erik Gross ’17, “He answers to no one.” I decided to interviewed Gross and others about the controversial actions President Donald Trump has taken during the short time he has been in office, setting out to see how Trump’s supporters—those “silenced voices”—felt about his actions.

I’m very thankful for my interviewees candor and thoughtfulness, especially in such an anti-Trump school. To begin, I asked them to briefly describe why they supported Trump. Cassidy Williams ’20 reminded me that she does not agree with all of Trump’s policies, “but rarely do people align perfectly with all of a particular candidate’s ideas.” She went on to talk about how she looks for the good in people, and how Trump’s “positive values” fit with her. Libby Hoffman ’20 said she supported Trump simply because she was against Hillary Clinton. Gross remarked to me that he “wanted a President who would stand up for those whose voices that had been silenced by the politically correct culture,” and someone who did not make “middle-Americans feel as though they were only ‘flyover country’ like the saltwater liberals have.”

Next, I asked about Trump’s travel ban on select Muslim-majority nations. Williams said that her best friend is a Muslim immigrant from Jordan, though she does not believe that the fact that she has “friends in America who are of a different race” than her “cancels out racism or oppression of certain religions.” She went on to talk about her “tremendous” respect for Islam. Hoffman feels that “the ban may be able to prevent terrorism in the United States, seeing as all of those terrorist groups are led by Muslims.”

I was eager to hear the responses to a question about Trump’s demeanor. Hoffman said that she likes Trump’s attitude on how to run the country. Williams pointed out that many candidates, Clinton included, have said some rude things in the past, and she repeated the notion that there has never been a perfect candidate in the race.

Finally, I asked if any of the actions Trump has taken since his inauguration day have caused them to have second thoughts. For Hoffman, the answer was a flat no. Williams said she feels that Western Reserve Academy has opened her eyes to a more liberal point of view, and “as soon as Democrats can show [her] how their dreams are sustainable, [she] will hop on board.”

And as for Erik Gross? Well, his “support of Trump has strengthened.”

Ellie Frato-Sweeney ’20

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