Why Support Donald Trump?

By A Curious Conservative

It’s election season in the United States. As always, it will be one of the most discussed topics everywhere until Election Day. As a resident of Highland Park, NJ, a predominantly liberal town, all I ever hear is support for the Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State and United States Senator of New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton. But this has got me thinking: what about her opponent, billionaire businessman Donald J. Trump? I began researching and talking to actual Trump supporters — very hard to find around here, by the way — about their support for him. Many of them, surprisingly, provided convincing arguments.

According to Trump supporters, the most concerning issues in the country are probably immigration and the admission of refugees. Every time we think about Trump’s immigration policy, the infamous phrase “build a wall” comes to mind. The phrase alone has made many people believe that Donald Trump is racist and against all immigration. But his supporters believe differently. During a rally, he said “It’s fine if (immigrants) come in, but they have to come in legally.” His supporters want a system where the best people come into the country legally and those who wish to do so illegally are kept out. Perhaps this is the only fair system for American immigration. When discussing refugees, Donald Trump caused another firestorm by saying he wants to ban all Muslims from coming into the United States. He has expressed his concern that terrorists may infiltrate the United States, along with refugees. Additionally, he wishes to prioritize building safe zones in war-torn countries and eliminating ISIS quickly. His view on banning refugees has definitely connected with plenty of Americans, and resonates especially powerfully after recent terrorist attacks. When I asked one of my friends why he supports Trump, he immediately responded that “Trump will not hold back on ISIS.” His concern makes sense– in November 2015, a series of terrorist attacks in Paris resulted in the death of 130 innocent citizens. And it wasn’t just Paris that was affected. Terrorist attacks have been reported throughout Europe and the Middle East. Those who support Trump’s policy truly do want to keep America safe, even if they may seem racist or xenophobic.

Many Trump supporters have also expressed extreme disapproval of Hillary Clinton. While she was Secretary of State, she was involved with numerous scandals. First, in September 2012, terrorists in Benghazi, Libya launched an attack on U.S. government facilities. The attack lasted 6 hours and resulted in the death of 4 U.S. Ambassadors. Clinton was directly blamed for neglecting her duty and not assisting the ambassadors during the crisis. Second, Clinton was under criminal investigation for storing 33,000 emails on a private server and deleting them after getting a congressional subpoena. Many people treat the emails as evidence that she presents a threat to our national security. So, even those who do not identify as Trump fans will do anything to keep Clinton out of the white house.

Why is Donald Trump resonating with 40% of America while he barely has any support in Highland Park? I think one main reason is that HP students have always been told to accept liberal views. We are so accustomed to the liberal ideology that often times we criticize conservative beliefs without doing extensive research on their positions. When discussing immigration policy with a fellow student, I was immediately rebutted with the classic, “Donald Trump is so racist!” I then asked him to elaborate, but the argument did not go much further than simple ad hominem. Though Trump has made antagonizing statements, the student could not give concrete examples of such. He clearly did not know specific policies that supposedly made Donald Trump racist. I see that with many people, sadly. We’ve heard the same statements over and over again around town and on social media, so much so that people believe it’s plainly wrong to think the other way.

The media is also known for its bias. A report by Fox News found that for every minute the media spends reporting negatively on Clinton, they spend 21 minutes reporting negatively on Trump. Donald Trump is certainly at a disadvantage. However, when I spoke to those who researched his policies and watched his speeches, I noticed that many of them found him to be “actually very reasonable.” Still, I am curious to see if the Trump campaign will be able to expand their base big enough to win the election. It’s a close race between two unfavorable candidates. Only time will tell…

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