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Why I’m voting for Donald Trump

Ordinary Americans explain why they plan to vote for Donald Trump on Nov. 8
From left to right, Susan Bates, Royce Barnes, Sabrina Kim, Maya Brudnay, and Arthur Robertson, are all supporters of Donald Turmp. (Photographs by Michelle Frankfurter, Ricky Rhodes, and Josh Ritchie)
Donald Trump supporters, from left to right: Susan Bates, Royce Barnes, Sabrina Kim, Maya Brudnay, and Arthur Robertson. (Photographs by Michelle Frankfurter, Ricky Rhodes, and Josh Ritchie)

These are Donald Trump’s “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton calls them—11 unashamed Trump-train riders from across the United States, writing in their own words.

To Clinton, they—or at least “half of them,” as the Democratic nominee chuckled last weekend in a stunning display of contempt before hurriedly apologizing­—can be lumped together as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic­­—you name it.”

Our contributors would disagree. The Trump supporters who volunteered to write for Maclean’s this week are collegians and golden agers, whites and non-whites, retirees and working people. One studies bioterrorism; one teaches Grade 7. They hail from locales as variegated as Boynton Beach, Mayfield Heights, Wichita Falls, and Punxsutawney. (One of them is this writer’s first cousin.)

Two weeks ago, Trump said, “Becoming the nominee of the party of Abraham Lincoln . . . has been the greatest honour of my life. It is on his legacy that I hope to build the future of the party, but more important, the future of the country.” It is likely that, when they harken to Trump on the stump, only a minority of American citizens spy the second coming of Honest Abe. Even within his own party, Trump’s disapproval rating is unprecedented for a major-party nominee. But even if he is routed by Clinton on Nov. 8, at least 40 million Americans will vote Trump. Here’s why.

Sabrina Kim, a Donald Trump supporter, stands for a portrait. (Photograph by Michelle Frankfurter)
Sabrina Kim, a Donald Trump supporter. (Photograph by Michelle Frankfurter)

Sabrina Kim, Charlottesville, Va.

I’m a second-year student at the University of Virginia. I’m majoring in biology and foreign affairs, although I hope to be admitted into a major in global security with a focus on bioterrorism and biodefense.

I grew up in a Republican household, which is where I believe the tenets of free market speech and conservative attitudes were instilled in me and led me to join the Students for Trump team as the UVA ambassador.

The reason why I support Donald Trump really boils down to three things. First, Trump’s policy on immigration strikes a chord with his focus on the citizens of America and his refusal to compromise our core values. I’m the daughter of an immigrant—my father moved to this country from South Korea when he was 13. His family landed on the shores of California with nothing but a little bit of money and the prospect of a better life, but used the opportunities in this country to achieve what South Korea could never give them. Now my father and his brothers are successful physicians, lawyers and businessmen.

This is why I support Donald Trump—he is pro legal immigration. He wants to stop the massive influx of illegal immigrants coming across our southern border to steal jobs and resources from those who are where my father was not too long ago. It’s simple to me: if there are too many people in this country, we can’t provide for all of them.

Secondly, I support Mr. Trump’s stance on increased military spending and reform of the [Department of Veterans Affairs]. Again this is family-related: my grandfather fought in the Navy as a pilot during the Korean War, and my uncles and cousins have served in the Marines, Army and the Navy as well. Their service is a sacrifice that many will never have to make, and for that our veterans deserve a government that works for them and not against them. Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he wants a “military big enough that we won’t ever have to use it,” and this return to the crux of Ronald Reagan diplomacy is what will catapult America back to our role as a reliable ally and a fearful enemy.

Finally, my contempt for Hillary Clinton rounds out my support and ultimate vote for Donald Trump. This woman is riddled with controversy. She has no respect for our military or our soldiers, made clear when she abandoned the four Americans who lost their lives in Benghazi, Libya. I cannot trust somebody who is willing to disclose matters of national security on a private server, and then refuse to turn over 30,000 of, potentially, the most secretive ones. If these emails are in the hands of foreign intelligence hackers, the fate of the United States could be drastically altered. But the Clintons are no stranger to foreign governments—the controversy surrounding the Clinton Foundation runs antithetical to the virtues of a president.

Stephen Garner, Wichita Falls, Texas

American politics needs Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to the atmosphere of entitlement and political correctness that has taken over common sense in this country. He connects with those of us that get up every day, go to work, raise families, pay taxes, give to and support our local churches and non-profits.

Mr. Trump embodies our distaste for and disgust with an out-of-control government. I cheer his unwillingness to conform to the expectations of a growing group of politicians, media and lobbyists who have enjoyed controlling their narrative at the expense of Americans’ best interests.

Related: An absurd week in America’s two-tier election

Donald Trump is speaking to our desire to send “one of us”—an outsider—to attack the culture of favouritism and longevity that has forgotten who we are and whom [politicians] serve! In addition to actively working for the local Trump campaign, I will be volunteering with the “Texas Strikeforce” in October as we campaign in New Mexico to support conservative candidates as well as Mr. Trump. My prayers will be that conscientious conservatives wake up, get active and take our country back!!!

I am a married, a middle-class Chinese-American. I am a faculty member in a university. I believe Mr. Trump is the candidate for law and order, which is important for me as a legal immigrant and citizen of the U.S.A. Also, Mr. Trump is a very successful businessman, so he knows how to boost the economy and create good jobs for Americans.

I committed to him in September 2015, after I watched Mr. Trump’s debate at the Reagan Library in California. That debate, as well as his book Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America, are what convinced me. I believe that as president he can achieve better security, rule of law and an improved economy, [and can] create opportunities for all Americans. Many of my friends share the same view.

Royce Barnes, a Donald Trump supporter, stands for a portrait. (Photograph by Josh Ritchie)
Royce Barnes, a Donald Trump supporter. (Photograph by Josh Ritchie)

Royce Barnes, Delray Beach, Fla.

I am a 68-year-old American voter. I am a white American. I am a combat veteran of the U.S. Army; I served for 18½ years, received an honourable medical discharge, and was declared 100 per cent Service Connected Disabled. I have been married to the same wonderful woman for over 33 years, have four children with her.

I grew up on a farm in the state of Maryland, which in the ’50s and ’60s, made my parents automatically Democrat. In 1966, I graduated from high school and joined the Army (U.S. one year, Korea one year, Vietnam one year). I never registered to vote until Jimmy Carter and I registered Democrat. He was the most destructive president in history until the current administration. I immediately changed to Republican after Carter.

Since then, I have followed and participated in the political process with a steadfast conviction, hoping to see either party honour the Constitution of the United States of America. What I have observed is that both parties have separated themselves from the Constitution because of political correctness, which was strongly introduced in the Bill Clinton administration. Now I live in a country where I am considered a terrorist, because I am a Christian, a veteran, a white conservative, law-abiding, born-in-America citizen.

What do I make of Mr Trump’s statements? I almost support all of his statements, because they are not polictically correct, they are mostly the honest truth. Finally, I believe that he is America’s last hope . . . if Clinton wins, America will never come back.

Most people have been dummy-downed by the lies and deception of their leaders, and are not even aware that their God-given liberty and rights have been almost completely stolen from them. American leadership has declined since JFK’s assassination to the point of treason and total corruption. The political system must be totally remodelled and redeemed.

I believe that God anointed Trump to be the agent of change necessary to defeat the so-called wise politically correct crowd that presently stands in the position of power and authority.

Related: Donald Trump’s secret weapon

Bishop Craig Jackson, Philadelphia

My name is Bishop Craig Jackson. I am proud to say that I am a man of colour who supports and has endorsed Donald J. Trump. Many people are surprised that I am a Republican and even more surprised that I support Trump for president. When asked why I support Mr. Trump, I generally tell people that Mr. Trump is the man who will make America great again. I also tell them that his opponent represents nearly everything that is wrong with America.

Many ask me how I came to the decision to support Mr. Trump and how I became so invested in politics at such a young age [16]. I was, up until last year, an outspoken hardcore Democrat. I was listening to my family and what they believed. In the black community, most view Republicans to be racist individuals who only care for the rich white people of the nation. They also believe that the Democrats are for the people, and, more important, black people. I carried these beliefs with me.

Related: How populism is pulling America’s parties apart

One summer I decided to invest myself in the upcoming election cycle. I began to ponder deeper and deeper and after much consideration, I began identifying as a Republican. I began supporting Sen. Rand Paul then moved to Sen. Ted Cruz. After much consideration and investigation, I decided to support Mr. Donald J. Trump. I support him because of his stance on the issues. He was the first candidate I noticed that was pointing out the serious problems that were occurring at the border and with illegal immigration. He also began calling out President Barack Obama on his failed Obamacare policy —that was one of the President’s many moves that are crippling our nation. Through the debates he stood tall and defended himself against the other candidates and the media.

I am proud to support Mr. Trump for president of the United States and I am proud to be heading the Blacks for Trump Movement that is so ever growing.

Dr. L. Roger Abel, Boynton Beach, Fla.

I am an American, and have voted in every presidential election since my 21st birthday, sometimes Democrat and sometimes Republican! I graduated from dental school in 1961, and immediately entered the U.S. Army as a 1st Lt. After 30 years in the Army reserve, I retired as a colonel. Now I am 80 years old and the political welfare of this country is more than ever important to me.

In 2017, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Clinton and Trump have completely opposing points of view on every issue of importance: the Supreme Court, immigration, economics, taxation, the military.

If elected president, Trump will appoint a conservative judge who will make decisions based upon the Constitution of the United States as it was originally written. Clinton, on the other hand, will appoint a justice who is a liberal and who will make his/her decisions as if the Constitution were written today, and would also mimic the socialistic view of present-day Europe. Another left-leaning Supreme Court member will change the character of the United States for many years to come, and hence increase the already declining moral structure of America.

Regarding Trump, he is a businessman/entertainer—not a politician at all. He, therefore, makes remarks that could be considered offensive to some. Comparing the character of Hillary to that of Trump shows her to have far more disturbing faults than occasional insults.

Although in times past I have voted for presidents who were Democrats, in the upcoming election I will vote a straight Republican ticket from president to dog-catcher. Therefore, I must vote for Donald Trump, and together, we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Kristen Ingvertsen, Canton, Conn.

I am 38 years old, born and raised in Connecticut in a somewhat affluent town but with parents and family who stressed hard work and responsibility. I currently live in Canton, and am a teacher at a regional school in Litchfield County.

Why would I, a middle school teacher from Connecticut (a solidly blue state) cast my vote for Donald Trump? I’m a woman, a strong woman at that; it would seem that voting for a woman (Hillary) would be the way to go. To add fuel to the fire, I have an intense aversion toward obnoxious and arrogant men. Both terms, I would say, could be used to describe Mr. Trump, and yet I will vote for him.

In Donald Trump, and his blatant outbursts of truth and honesty, I see a refreshing change from the “talk the talk” politically correct banter; a change from the lies and illegalities that are rampant and commonplace. I can appreciate honesty, even when I don’t particularly love the way in which the honest ideas are delivered.

In Trump, I see someone who will not sit back and let terrorists allow us to live in terror.

In his lack of political background, I see someone who has not spent their life so wrapped up in politics that they have been numbed over and forget the people. I see someone who will make decisions based on what is best for our country, deferring to solid values and beliefs, and not on a multitude of political manoeuvres perfected over many years.

As a person who knows that our economy is in trouble, I can appreciate that in Trump’s riches and “arrogance” he clearly knows how to make money, build foundations and grow economies. In Donald Trump, I feel there is hope; hope that America can be great, even greater than ever, perhaps. It is hope that allows forward direction; the ability to look to the future with a true mission. And with a mission, we have purpose.

Susan Bates, a Donald Trump supporter, stands for a portrait. (Photograph by Michelle Frankfurter)
Susan Bates, a Donald Trump supporter. (Photograph by Michelle Frankfurter)

Susan Bates, Culpeper, Va.

I am 66 and retired from the business world. I have an M.B.A. from Tulane. President Kennedy was one of my heroes and ran when I was 10. My parents were both from Mississippi but taught me that all are created equal. They were poor children from the Depression but went to college and did well for themselves. I was hopeful for a successful President Obama because we would have conquered discrimination. Instead, race relations are worse.

Related: Of course you can fake good kids

I believe that the federal government is broken and corrupt. I believe that members of the Washington establishment, with few exceptions, are working for their own benefit. I believe that our country became great because of the freedoms defined by our founders in the Constitution. We have drifted so far away that I believe the election of Hillary Clinton would seal the fate of our country of moving in the direction of Europe. I believe we need someone from outside the system and someone who cannot be bought by special interests.

That being said, why have I supported Donald Trump from the beginning?

1) Donald Trump has had a consistent view of our international trade agreements for 30 years. He predicted the economic mess in which we find ourselves.

2) Donald Trump has built a business and made a payroll. The construction industry is rough and tough. It requires constant decision-making because there are always surprises in construction projects.

3) Donald Trump has raised three successful, productive adult children. This does not happen by accident.

4) I have read that he always had confidence. He had a big vision from a young age. Why is this important? Because you take risks early and make so many more mistakes than most people. Therefore, you give yourself the opportunity to succeed in a bigger way.

5) I think that the nation must return to being a nation of laws that are followed. The immigration problem must be solved both for our security and our economy.

I believe that Donald Trump often could have said what he needed to say in a better way. However, I have noticed for quite some time that politicians say a lot of pretty words and really say nothing. I don’t like calling people names and being unkind. However, I believe in redemption and he has surrounded himself with some incredibly smart and well-spoken people.

This should probably be near the top [of the list]: Donald Trump has posted the list of people he would recommend for the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is not a legislative body. If Hillary becomes the president and picks three or four justices, our country will be gone.

Maya Brudnoy, a Donald Trump supporter, stands for a portrait. (Photograph by Ricky Rhodes)
Maya Brudnoy, a Donald Trump supporter. (Photograph by Ricky Rhodes)

Maya Brudnoy, Cleveland

Will I, Maya Brudnoy, vote for Trump in the November elections? Yes, I will. Since I became an American citizen in 1996 (my family came to the United States from the U.S.S.R. 25 years ago), I voted for Democrats in the beginning. But then 9/11 came and my views started to change. I realized that with my love of my new country, freedom to express yourself is not associated with Democrats anymore.

So here I am: Jewish, conservative and a former Russian giving my vote to Trump.

He was not my first choice, but he loves America, he loves people and will stand up against corruption. Hillary just loves power. She is the same socialist as Obama is and dislikes Israel as much as he does.

I know how bad socialism is. I had it for 40 years of my life. I hope Trump wins.

Arthur Robertson, a Donald Trump supporter, stands for a portrait. (Photograph by Ricky Rhodes)
Arthur Robertson, a Donald Trump supporter. (Photograph by Ricky Rhodes)

Arthur Robertson, Cleveland

I support Donald Trump for many reasons.

He says the truth without worrying about the feelings of our enemies.

He has the interest of America first. America isn’t respected or feared around the world anymore. Trump will bring that back.

He is tough and smart and gets things done. I also believe he will clean up Washington.

I am a homeowner and work in the field of electronics. I have always been a Republican but after this I will probably go independent. I’m sick of both sides.

I grew up in the mountains in West Virginia where we tell it like it is. With Trump as president no one will mess with us and he will bring jobs back to America including the coal mining jobs that my area desperately needs.

Aaron Hendricks, Punxsutawney, Penn.

I truly believe that Americans want to work. However, a system has been created where it is simpler to take, take and take from the government rather than go to work. I would like to see the days of small business come back. I feel government is the biggest business there is, and we now need a real CEO, a CEO that has used bankruptcy laws to make deals better.

I did a book report on The Art of the Deal in ninth grade. I loved and admired Mr. Trump back then. He was a role model for me (barring his hair). I will never forget a photograph of Donald Trump sitting on his father’s lap, at age six, running a dozer. I was a Democrat, so was Mr. Trump. In fact, oddly, we both had about 18 years committed to that party.

Now, on the issues. NAFTA, from my family’s experience [in coal mining], was one of the worst trade deals in history. Trump wants the mining back. Mr. Trump wants to build a military. We are going to need coal mined, we are going to need steel mills to process the coal into steel, to build those ships, tanks and make a military so powerful that nobody will mess with us. We need to use our natural resources to our advantage.

Related: Is NAFTA a goner?

Now, let me touch upon education. The Common Core [State Standards Initiative] is a disaster. We spend the most per pupil and rank 30th in the world. Education needs to be turned back over to the parents, the students, the teachers locally. Teachers are buried in so much paperwork, it’s pathetic. I blame the [George W.] Bush administration for this debacle.

As a gay American, [I feel that] Donald Trump will keep the members of the GLBT communities safe. We need to enforce the laws that are on our books already, not create bigger government and new laws.

Now, let’s talk about that wall Mr. Trump wants to build. When I go to bed at night, I lock my doors. Don’t you? So, essentially, you are securing your little piece of border. Do you want someone coming in illegally? I think not. So, we just want to lock our doors and invite our friends in legally.

We need to get off the words African-American, Hispanic-American, as we are all Americans. My physicians mostly come from Damascus, Syria. Awesome, I love them.They are legal immigrants.