Soon I will visit with a person I honor, and this person is a Trump supporter. This individual feels that Trump was sent to us from God to improve society. She prays for Trump, and is adamant about her support.
Last time I met with this individual, our conversation became heated as I do not support almost every policy and statement Trump makes and leads. Yet, I don't want that to happen again as I honor this person. She is a person of good character who has worked hard, loved her family, and cared for others with her talent and craft.
I wonder why this person is such a staunch supporter of Trump, a President whose efforts to date do not support this individual's lifestyle or needs. I can only think of the following reasons.
Trump represents the "Great White Hope"
It's likely that this individual likes Trump because he is the same race as she is. It's possible that this person has deep seated racist views when it comes to diversity and skin shade. She watches a lot of television and probably sees mostly negative portrayals of people of color which has probably added to her potential underlying racist views and fears.
Trump has represented a strong stand on immigration
This individual's industry has faced considerable competition from new immigrants. Her own shop has noted less success in recent years due to this competition. This too could impact her support of Trump.
Trump represents an old America
I think this individual may long for days of old, the kind of days and routines that Trump speaks of when he talks of "Making America Great Again." This person lives a life that includes old time, traditional roles of women and men as well as old time prejudices too against new age freedoms for multiple people.
Trump represents Christianity
This person is religiously extremely conservative and values the idea that Christianity is the one religion. Trump has represented this viewpoint in action and inference.
Trump is Anti-Education
This individual did not have a positive education in her faith-based school. She was one of those students who came from a family that couldn't support her good education well, and she represented an alternate learning style--one of those students who is very bright, but a student for whom the traditional teaching methods did not work well. Hence, I imagine that she was a struggling student who was often demeaned for the fact that she couldn't grasp the learning quickly with traditional methods. Thus she has an anti-intellectual, anti-education attitude. Yet because she is so close to her faith, she still believes in faith-based schools. For these reasons, I think she may support Trump and his educational view.
Trump Values Traditional Ideas of Beauty
This individual values beauty in a traditional, "Ivanka Trump," way, hence she loves the way the women in Trump's life dress and look, and that's another reason why she values Trump.
Trump Says He Represents the Average Working Family
While Trump's policies and acts seem to represent the wealthy in our country, his speak says he represents the working family. This woman values that.
Conservative Radio and Television Supports Trump
This woman is an avid listener of conservative radio and television. She believes what she hears and supports Trump because of that.
I am much more of a fan of leadership that is altruistic, respectful of diversity, open minded, respectful, and honest. To me, Trump does not represent those values, yet for the person of whom I write, she values Trump as if he were a religious icon--it's perplexing for me, but makes me realize the following.
Trump's Support May Have Grown From the Fact That Many Americans Felt Disrespected and Unheard
I do think the woman I write of felt disrespected and unheard in the past, and her reaction to Trump tells me that we have to look for ways, in this country, to better respect all people of all classes, professions, neighborhoods, and lifestyles. This respect should include good services, support, and development of inclusive culture.
Media Has to Include More Positive Stories of Diverse Cultures
I often call the media the "bad news," because it highlights stories of despair, violence, and horror. Yet we know more good happens than bad. It's imperative that the media regularly include the positive stories of multiple cultural groups.Too often the only images of diversity people see are images that include violence and despair--this kind of reporting only leads to greater prejudice.
As communities we have to talk about and make decisions related to what it means to develop a strong culture. This woman sees her values diminishing in the culture, values of strong families, healthy food, positive activity. Do our culture acts and values demonstrate a value for people's choice of religion, family time, multiple career paths, and more. To build a strong culture, we need to work to invite the voice and choice of all.
In all, I believe that this woman supports Trump because she wants to belong and feel valued. She's afraid of the changes that have occurred and has somewhat felt voiceless and choiceness. I want to think about how I can work towards valuing all people in our communities and working towards building strong culture. I think if we do this, we'll see less people easily swayed by marketeers like Trump who use strategies to convince people he will care for them, when it seems that he has no real interest or insight when it comes to truly caring for the average family or individual in the USA.
This is a messy post as I grapple with this woman's very different perspective than mine and get ready to spend time with this person, a person I honor in so many ways.