It’s obvious now that Trump has a large following. I’m predicting he will be the GOP nominee for president of the United States. But, why? What are the reasons people follow this guy? I know he’s great at fueling a crowd. Is it the resentment that has grown from the border crisis? Is it racists rallying behind a guy that says he’ll build a great big wall to keep all them thar Mexican rapists out of our country, and doing so will make America great again? Is it because he’ll take out all the terrorists and waterboard them? If that’s the case, he must be Cheney’s favorite person. Or, is there more to it?
Actually, there is more to it. It’s easy to go straight to the xenophobia and pro-military and only focus on that. But what are his supporters actually so attracted to other than this? The entire audience can’t be a bunch of racists, can they?
So, I, of course, went to the digital playground of Reddit and found a thread dedicated to why people support Trump. I had to comb through the responses to weed out the hilarious fake responses, but I did find posts where people had actual reasoning (albeit misguided) for other reasons than xenophobia. To give you an idea of what I found, this post sums it up.
Scary indeed. Don’t worry. I’m not questioning myself. I’m not trying to sell Trump to you. I feel it is very important to understand your competition to be able to defeat them (friends close, enemies closer). You have to have more to your arguments and counters than, “You’re racist!” These are the reasonings we have to understand, so we can poke many holes in them until they sink.
So, here’s why Trump supporters support Trump.
“At this point I don’t even care what he says anymore. I just don’t want a politician who’s full of shit”
“Just gonna copy my own post from another thread…
So I’ve spent the last 30 years living outside D.C. And at least since the Bush Sr. administration I’ve paid pretty close attention to politics, and have become pretty disillusioned with both parties. Basically as I see it every candidate we get from either side has the same flaws, flaws that Trump, despite being a very flawed individual in his own right, doesn’t share.
First, every politician is a corporate whore. Campaign finance law basically exists to be super muddled, keep out 3rd parties, and disguise where any politicians money is coming from. We legitimately don’t know who our leaders owe favors to, it’s usually a lot of people, and it’s definitely influencing policy. With Trump we know exactly where his money came from, it’s going to be a lot harder for random lobbyist/backer to manipulate Trump. We’ve even seen this reflected in some policy ideas he’s talked about like the changes to the tax code to close loopholes that he knows as well as anyone because he’s used them himself for decades.
Second, if you think about the traits good leaders have had, from a historical figure you admire to a great coach or the boss you really liked, typically those people are straightforward and honest with people, speak their mind and stand up for what they believe in, are open minded but firm in their convictions, and tend to shine when making difficult decisions. I think the traits necessary to be a politician are the opposite of all that. To be a successful politician you have to hide your true thoughts and motives when they’re at all controversial and instead give people what they want, you have to avoid tough decisions like the plague and stand for what no one is opposed to. Just look at political debates, no one answers any questions, they all talk and talk and say nothing. Trump seems to legitimately say what he thinks. He seems honest, even when what he thinks is pretty weird. He legitimately doesn’t care if people aren’t going to like what he has to say. He answers those questions in those debates, it’s pretty refreshing.
I’d actually go so far as to argue that Trump is open minded. He used to be a Democrat, now he’s a Republican, he’s still very liberal on a large number of issues. He was on a Comedy Central roast and was a good sport about it. He’s clearly capable of laughing at himself, which implies he’s aware he may be wrong at times.
I don’t think he’s racist at all, though he’s definitely more worried about terrorism than I feel is warranted. He’s definitely an asshole, but I’m not interested in having him as a friend. George W. seemed like a genuinely nice guy and we invaded two countries, Obama seems like a genuinely nice guy and NSA spying and drone strikes are at an all time high. Maybe being a nice guy isn’t that important to running a country.
Trump has been the victim of gotcha journalism and misquotation or out of context quotation pretty heavily recently, and I think people don’t know what he really stands for. He believes some weird shit, but it’s not all as crazy as it’s made out. For instance his statements that made the front page recently on the internet were wildly misrepresented. He was asked specifically about ISIS’ ability to recruit online and was talking about trying to take steps to limit that. To me it was obvious from what he said that he doesn’t know much about the Internet, but to me what he said about “get with Bill Gates” that was so heavily mocked here was pretty clear in context, that he was saying he wants to meet with experts in the field and see what our options are. As much as it’s been ripped I thought he was making a point mentioning Gates. Trump knows Bill Gates politically, and how liberal he is, and I think was implying it’s a non-partisan issue and showing the angle they’d take, which was what the next line mocking people crying about freedom of speech was about. Trump knows Bill Gates is the last guy on earth who would want to filter the Internet and restrict freedom, that’s the point in dropping his name. I’m far more concerned with the similar statements, from a more informed position, that Hillary and Obama have already made concerning freedoms and spying on the Internet.
TL:DR/summary: All that is not to say that Trump isn’t a wildly flawed individual, and I can’t say I think Trump would necessarily be a great president. I don’t think he can win anyway, but I love what he’s brought to the election process. He actually says what he believes in the debates, answers questions honestly, takes stands, and calls people out. He’s also clean in a weird way when no politician is, because he was one of the ones buying the politicians in the past. I think there’s a chance that if it goes far enough Trump’s success can change our political climate and make candidates actually answer questions about real issues in the future. It probably won’t but then I never thought he’d do this well to begin with.”
“Previously posted in another thread. Sorry for the length but there’s alot.
I don’t believe that the GOP would dare screw over Trump at this point for multiple reasons.
1) Like it was said above. Trump is the only candidate that has enough support saying he can beat Hillary head to head. I think most would agree that if the GOP screws him over on the ballet, the Democrats get an easy win. With Trump they can stand a fighting chance.
2) Trump actually has the balls and support to run as a third party candidate, and although his campaign has been very controversial when it comes to political correctness. He has run a very successful and well thought out campain to keep him in the place he is in. Showing he also has the staff capable to run a fairly successful independent campaign. Though it is still incredibly unlikely he will win as an independent . It hurts the GOP even more all the more to not have him as their front runner.
3) The fact that Carson has also said that he would leave the GOP just smears more mud on the parties name.
Loosing the election when you had a chance the win because you screwed over your strongest candidate just because they are scared people are actually supporting some of the controversial things he is saying, then also loosing a second party member who is directly calling you out for your unfairness is a fight I don’t the the GOP wants to start. Which IMHO is the right decision anyway.
4) His fiscal/tax policy caters to many people on the political spectrum by being quite moderate in the grand scheme of things. Trump caters to the more conservative opinion which involves continued tax cuts to stimulate economic growth, while still suggesting a 0% tax rate for people earning less than $25,000 a year. The lack of federal taxation for the lower class is generally a more liberal idea. Which is accompanied by his plan to soak the rich with a one-time 14.25% tax on individuals with a personal wealth valued over 10$ million dollars. Collecting an estimated 5.7$ Trillion in revenue over ten years. Greatly cushioning the ever increasing national debt and giving the economy some breathing room for the growth spurt it would undergo following his proposal to American companies overseas that have outsourced. Making it financially beneficial to bring there outsourced labor back to the domestic playing field. Creating jobs and strengthening the American economy.
His fiscal policy while being quite moderate is also supposedly financially neutral. Relying on the business returning from over seas to support the government. As well as a surge of foreign investment in the American market place as he makes the United States one of the world’s top competitive nations in terms Corporate tax rate by lowering it down to 15%.
I personally believe that Donald Trump’s charisma, controversial words, and domination/utilization of the media won him the nomination even without GOP support. Showing great campain and media skills which many people view is an area he lacks in.
Furthermore his compromise between liberal and concervative ideologies for fiscal matters could win him enough of Bernie supporters away from Hillary Clinton to give him a good shot in the general election. Given that Sanders has such a small chance for gaining the nomination.
People are sick of the political system we have now getting us no where. Trump’s supporters trust him, as well as his critiques. I feel it’s been a while since the American people had trust in the man in offices word.”
“I often hop on and off the Trump bandwagon but as a whole am a half-hearted Trump supporter because i am a gambler and I think checks and balances can make him a pretty good president. First off i think he isn’t all idiotic and the parts where he isn’t pandering for republican support he had tendencies that fall in line with the majority of the country. For example the dumb shit he spewed about banning muslims and having them have to report like jews in Nazi germany is scary, but its not gonna happen in America, we have congress and we have the court system, and the internet and shit so that could never happen today. Same with kicking out illegals, we aren’t going to do mass deportations even if he wants to, its radical and the congressional bodies would never go through with it. On the other hand he supports a single payer universal healthcare system and I think that he could be the one that actually gets us to it. i think Donald right now has gone so wacko right wing just to get support from wacko right wingers (which there are, clearly, way too many of). but if he wins the primary and gets the republican nom, i think you will see a drastic shift in his speeches to trying to win the election by going very centrist and getting a ton of votes. Sept-December 2015 Trump would be the worst president ever, but I think come next september you will see that Trump was just gaming the system.”
“Trump is the only one who talks about imposing import tariffs. It’s my reason for supporting him.
This is how cheap outsourcing has become: Fish and seafood that is caught in North American waters are now shipped halfway around the world to be filleted or de-shelled before they are shipped back for us to eat. Same with poultry, chickens raised in the US are now being sent to China for processing first. Let that sink in for a moment–It’s cheaper for American companies to load up our food on to ships, send it on a two-way trip half a world away to prep for consumption…than it is to do it locally on the spot. All the Corporate incentives in the world won’t help to create jobs when other countries can get away with paying their workers fractions of a dollar. Any startup with a tangible product will inevitably move all production overseas when they get big enough. We need to apply import tariffs to make it not worth outsourcing jobs to other countries.
I know people will argue that getting into a trade war with China and other countries is bad, that they will return the favor and levy a tariff on American exports. But we don’t exactly export anything of abundance (besides meat to Mexico and our crops to other places). People will argue that protectionism is bad. The leading economies are generally protectionist. We need to bring the middle-class manufacturing jobs back and the supply chains back to the States. It would be tough at first but much better for the American Economy in the long run.”
“Everyone so far has given answer with caveats…”I don’t support him, BUT…” etc.
I support him. I will vote for him. Here are a few reasons why:
1) I think current levels of immigration, both legal and illegal, are unsustainable. Labor force participation rates are at record lows for native citizens. The tech industry is seeing serious wage stagnation and even deflation as foreigners with H1-B visas come in. They say we lack enough STEM degrees, but this isn’t true. Big tech wants cheap labor. I also think cultural clashes only grow as we don’t provide immigrants time to assimilate. In the past, we’d let in a bunch of immigrants, then follow it up with a moratorium to allow for assimilation. Trump supports this.
2) Trump’s rhetoric, while crass, is a refreshing break from the walking-on-eggshells type of PC rhetoric we normally get across the aisle. I think a Trump presidency would break about a cultural change in which people are less afraid to speak their minds, leading to a more open (if insensitive) society. I recognize that the way he speaks can make people feel uncomfortable and excluded, and I think that’s unfortunate. I wish he were able to be “non-PC” while still being kinder to those who disagree with him, but overall I appreciate his openness enough that I excuse the crassness.
3) Most GOP candidates are very pro-free trade. I’m skeptical of a lot of the trade deals we’ve made, and think the costs to our manufacturing sector outweigh the consumer benefits that come from trade, especially considering the negative externalities of what happens to cities like Detroit. Trump is practically the only Republican candidate who is more protectionist.
So, there you go. I like Trump because of his positions on trade and immigration, and appreciate his cultural impact.”
“I think the support he has is a symbol of how fed up Americans are with how unbalanced and dishonest the system has gotten. We want politicians who will actually represent the people, not corporate entities. Even if his honesty is ignorant it’s still a change in the direction of having leaders that aren’t completely cynical.”
I want to preface this by saying I’m not decided on who I will vote for. I’ve supported candidates from both parties in the past, and I don’t agree with Trump 100%, but when it comes to thousands of Muslims coming over here, I have to say that as a gay man that worries me.
Let’s not mince words. Muslims are not at all in favor of gay rights (Page 14 for the lazy). Sure some are I guess, but they’re a small minority and they tend to be people who grew up in 1st world nations.
Now you may be thinking “why not just vote for Hilary or Bernie? They’re way more pro-gay than Trump.” True, but theres a little problem. Hilary only cared about gay rights when it became politically inconvenient for her not to and I have a whole host of problems with Bernie. Namely:
-Foreign Policy (Climate change caused ISIS apparently. Not our foreign intervention, but climate change.)
-The fact that he won’t be able to pass a single bill because neither party really supports him. Do we need more Gridlock?
-He’ll most likely die in office
Then there’s also the fact that even as a gay dude I don’t give a fuck about gay marriage. Sure I think it should be legal for those who want to get married, but in my personal (selfish) view it doesn’t affect me one way or another. I will never get married in my life, so you can make it as illegal as you want, won’t affect my life at all. But you know what will affect me? Countless people coming into the country thinking that my sexuality is immoral, should be outlawed, or even punishable by death.
I find it so funny how liberals will on one hand sing the praises of the LGBT community but then turn around and welcome the most homophobic and bigoted people on the planet. Seriously. Go look at that chart again. 71% of millenial aged Muslims think that homosexuality should be outlawed. If Liberals heard that 71% of American white men thought that I guarantee that they’d parrot it from the highest mountain. We would never hear the end of it. Yet when Muslims think the same thing we get the NOT ALL MUSLIMS speech. Ok, fine. I will concede that not all Muslims; just a sizable majority of them. And apparently I’m supposed to feel comforted by that, as if to say “Sure some Muslims may want to kill you for the way you were born, but since it’s not 100% shut up or we’ll compare you to Hitler.” (Apparently Hitler was a 21 year old blonde-haired, bearded gay dude-TIL).
I ask you, dear Redditor (who is no doubt typing furiously about how wrong I am and how I’m a fascist) please consider for a moment how you would feel if you were in my shoes. How would you feel if your president was allowing God knows how many people into your country who want you dead? I figure you’d probably be pretty scared, and any rebuttle of “shut up or you’re Hitler” wouldn’t soothe your fears.
I concede that Trump is a stupid blowhard who says whatever crosses his mind, but how many of you have spent years complaining that politicians are too scripted, that they don’t say what they believe, or they’re too beholden to moneyed interests? Well Trump is the answer to what a politician would look like without all of those things; crude and unrefined, but honest. He says what he really thinks, even if it isn’t good politics. He isn’t right about a lot of things but he does appeal to me simply because he isn’t a politician.
Like I said, I’m not all in on Trump, but he is the only one who is speaking sense on this one particular issue. My vote isn’t yet guaranteed to any candidate, but I am closer to voting for him than the average Redditor.
So…yeah. Bring on the endless downvotes. I’m expecting to be somewhere in the vicinity of -800 by the time I check this next. Don’t let me down here guys!
Edit 2: Corrected the page number on that study.
Edit 3: Someone said that that study wasn’t satisfactory. Here is another one that shows Muslim’s views on social issues from around the world, homosexuality included. You’ll see that upwards of 80%+ of people in Muslim countries think that homosexuality is immoral.
I’d also like to address a common thing I’m seeing, which is that people are saying we already have homophobes in the USA. True, we do, but does our government execute people for being gay? Do we have Christians burning people who come out to them? Nope. Nor do we stone women to death for adultery or any other number of barbaric things that go on in the Muslim world. To those who say “there’s homophobia here already so what does it matter?” I say that you create a false equivalency. Their homophobia is more rampant and far more extreme. But that’s a moot point anyway because I DON’T WANT ANY HOMOPHOBIA OF ANY KIND IN THIS COUNTRY!
No religion is incapable of atrocities, and no religion is inherently good, evil, violent or non-violent. It’s how the religion is interpreted that will determine that. But let’s be real: in 2015 Christianity isn’t the force for violence, death, and human rights violations like it was in centuries past. Islam has taken that role on. So those who are PMing me and bringing up the crusades are wasting your breath. Yes, Christianity has a violent past too, but there was a thing called the Enlightenment where the violent factions of Christianity were (metaphorically) beaten into submission by scientific and skeptical thinkers. Without it, things like women’s rights, gay rights, black rights, or any natural rights at all (see: Constitution, Bill of rights, Declaration of Independence) wouldn’t exist in the West. Islam needs it’s own Enlightenment period, and badly, but no enlightenment period will come if we aren’t allowed to criticize Islam.
*Edit 4:* Guys, it’s been fun but it’s 3am and I’m tired. Going to bed now. I’m getting the same basic arguments and talking points over and over so read through the responses before you send me more replies. Chances are I’ve already addressed what you’re going to say. And a special thanks for the gold to whoever was generous enough!
I’ve included a comment the user also posted later in the thread first.
“I wish he would shut up more because his “sideshow” is distracting from his biggest trump card (forgive the pun) which is immigration. I am not sure of the viability of a platform based on immigration alone but he had my vote when he said he’d take illegal immigration seriously. The rest of whatever he’s been saying is just causing people to get upset…”
“…As a legal immigrant I despise illegal immigrants. At worst they should be put at the back of the “queue”. Hillary’s offer to legalize them all is pandering.
edit: lots of passionate responses. I try to answer a few. I got in because my wife is a citizen. After college I tried for a work visa but was denied. I had to go back to my home country and wait there for more than a year. This was after having study here for more than eight years. So being forced to stay away from the friends I’ve made in that period while other people could basically sneak in seemed very unfair to me. But I respected the process and paid my dues so to speak.
Ask for those with horror stories, I appreciate that but I have a problem with people who have land access to the US getting priority over other people who are just as if not more in need of assistance . Why do we have immigration at airports? Why not just let anyone who can afford a plane ticket get into the US?
Lastly, as a person who grew up in the western world, I respect the rule of law. Philosophically if you have a problem with people cutting in line in front of you at a coffee shop or while merging into traffic or at an amusement park, then you and I are in complete agreement on this topic. Also immigration is a privilege not a right. A huge part of the world wants to get into the US . And the US has historically welcomed these people with open arms. But to demand that you be let in like it is a fundamental right is not fair to the people who live here those who were born here and those who came here legally.
The people who are here paid their dues, I don’t think it is unfair to ask the others do too.”
“here’s my logic. Let’s say you have 2 dogs:
One dog you KNOW will bite you because it’s bitten you before, every time.
The other dog is new and crazy and different and will PROBABLY bite you, but you don’t know for sure. It barks a lot but from past experience, you’re pretty sure that bark is all show. It’s just posturing.
you have to choose one of the dogs to pet. if you don’t choose, one will be chosen for you.
So in this very transparent metaphor, one dog is hillary, and the other is trump. hillary is totally a biter, she supports all sorts of things I’m against. illegal immigration amnesty, gun control. Trump, on the other hand, has said some pretty outlandish things that could never come true (banning muslims, etc). That’s the barking in the metaphor.
So if it comes down to trump v hillary, i’ll vote for trump. I’d rather not have to though. but out of the other republican candidates, they all seem to be religious crazies and I really can’t stand that.”
Featured image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.