A Conversation with a Trump Voter

img_6159-jpgOn the way to the airport, my driver, who is maybe in his late twenties, asks,
– You Korean? I can tell just by looking at you. I have a lot of Korean friends.
– Yes. What about you? Where are your family from?
– I’m from Afghanistan. I moved here when I was five. What do you do for a living?
– I’m a professor. I teach English.
– Your students must be really surprised when they find out you’re their teacher.

Several minutes later, he says,
– These protestors. They’re so dumb. They should have been protesting before the election.
– Does this mean you voted for Trump?
– I voted against Clinton. Let’s just say that. I think she’s so corrupt. She got away with a lot of crimes that most of us would have gone to jail for.

We go back and forth like this for a bit, and then he finally admits he voted for Trump.

– Yeah, it’s all my fault. My friends and I were really surprised he won. We didn’t think they’d let him win.

I let him continue talking.

– Don’t get me wrong. I hate the guy. But the DNC didn’t give Sanders a chance. They had already decided even before the election began that it was going to be Clinton. The leaks really showed how they were against Sanders.
– Were you a Sanders supporter?
– Yeah, I really liked him.
– Do you think he would have won if he were selected?
– For certain. He definitely would have won.

I ask him about Trump’s racism and sexism.

– Most men are sexist. They say stuff like that all the time. And Clinton’s husband was just as bad. He raped four women and got away with it. He can’t even practice law anymore, but he didn’t have to go to jail. Trump brought all the women he raped to the debate. Lined them up right at the front. Clinton isn’t even living with her husband. Just using his name to advance herself. And for the racism, they’re all like that. They all believe that. All the leaders are racist. At least with Trump you know where you stand. He doesn’t try to hide it. You can see where he is coming from. I don’t expect much from Trump but there’s one promise I will be angry about if he doesn’t keep. He needs to jail Clinton. She needs to go to jail. It’s not fair she gets to get away with everything she did. If I did half the things she did, I would have been arrested, sent to Guantanamo, and probably water-boarded. You don’t know how hard it was for me to vote.
– I don’t understand. Were the lines long?
– No, I mean it was hard deciding. They were both terrible choices. It was like, who’s going to stab you more? One is going to stab you nine times and the other ten times. My friends and I talked about them for a long time. We decided in the end to vote against Clinton. Anyway, Trump can’t just do anything he wants. There’s Congress and the courts.

I ask him if there was a leader he would be excited to vote for.

– I don’t know who all the leaders are, so I couldn’t say.
– What about Elizabeth Warren?
– I don’t know who she is.
– She’s a senator from Massachusetts. [I describe the CFPB and how she ended up becoming a senator rather than its director]
– She sounds alright. I’d vote for someone like her. If she was decent and didn’t have a record. But I think someone like that wouldn’t be allowed to win. They’d go after her and tear her down. Everything is negative. All they do is go after every bad thing you’ve ever done.

I ask him where he got his news.

– I mainly listen to NPR.

At the end of the conversation, as we’re pulling up to the airport, he says,

– I was at the mall earlier today with my buddy and it was crowded. They already had a lot of Christmas stuff out. People were there buying a lot of stuff they already have. It’s like the commercial with the Lexus with a bow on top. People forgetting what Christmas is about. It’s for children. Not for adults. We don’t need all this stuff. It’s terrible for the planet. I get so depressed, I don’t think I will ever have children. I hope we get better leaders in the future.

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