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.What follows is the Trump voters describing, in their own words, why they're voting for Trump. In other words, they're allowed to put the maximum positive spin on their own motivations. Results are...not entirely successful.
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.)
Here's one respondent*:
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.Well, the "massive influx of illegal immigrants" is imaginary, and it's a misperception that's likely to be a product of racial animosity--as is the perception that certain people working for a living is "stealing jobs".
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.And the coded racial language is just bursting out all over the place here, from "political correctness" (racial or other sensitivity is Public Enemy Number One to Trump supporters) and "entitlement" (lazy moochers) on one side of the divide to working taxpayers (the opposite of lazy moochers) who go to church (as opposed to, say, a mosque) on the other. In the geography of language, this is Lee Atwater country.
What I have observed is that both parties have separated themselves from the Constitution because of political correctness...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....Here's a guy who hates political correctness so much he mentions it three times in his little spiel. But hey, no racial resentment there, right?
I almost support all of [Trump's] statements, because they are not polictically [sic] correct, they are mostly the honest truth....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.
Another left-leaning Supreme Court member will ...increase the already declining moral structure of America."Declining moral structure" is deliberately ambiguous gobbledygook that could cover anything--from godless secularists attacking the Constitution Jesus gave us, to lazy moochers stealing our jobs. "Could be considered offensive" is obviously a slightly less direct way of calling out political correctness.
[Trump] is a businessman/entertainer—not a politician at all. He, therefore, makes remarks that could be considered offensive to some.
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."Politically correct"--everybody drink!
He says the truth without worrying about the feelings of our enemies.And yet another variation on the theme of political correctness.
Now, that's a sampling of people trying to justify themselves, presenting themselves in the best possible light, and the coded language is still there--sometimes ambiguous, but certainly (at least) suggestive.
I'd love to see some follow-up questions. The ones who emphasize "God" and "Christian"--how do they feel about Muslims? The ones who hate political correctness--what are some examples that particularly bug them? The "hard-working" people--who exactly is it who isn't working hard?
What I'd have to see before I believe the premise of the story is these people answering questions for some non-trivial amount of time without slipping into overt racial resentment. Most of them? Not gonna happen, I'm guessing. But hey, maybe Macleans could do some follow-up interviews so we can find out.
*In all of these, the emphasis is added.