Photo by Yusra Waris
In the 2016 election, senior Justin Martin believed candidate Hillary Clinton was unable to to win the election due to her lack of campaigning in key states. Despite her loss, Martin hopes President Donald Trump, despite some of his unfavorable actions, will learn to better uphold the presidency.
Question: For what reasons did you support Hillary Clinton in the election last year? Why do you think she lost?
Answer: I definitely thought her tax plans and aid to the poor were much better than Donald Trump’s. His was definitely benefiting the higher class and giving tax cuts. I think she lost because she just made assumptions that she would get those key states she has always had and [there was] a change in the Midwest and all of those regions where Trump is promising he was going to bring back the jobs. She didn’t campaign in those states because those states were typically blue states, and he campaigned harder in those states and that’s why [Clinton] got the popular vote, but she did not win the electoral vote.
Q: What expectations did you hold for Trump’s presidency?
A: I definitely expected him to stick with his plans; he promised a lot of things to his voters that he has not upheld himself to and then he kind of switched from the primary to the general elections [and] got less extreme. His whole campaign was based on extremism, in my opinion it was far-right, so when he switched, for example, he started saying [he is] for LGBT rights but then we see him do things like banning transgender people from the military. [This ban was] blocked by a federal judge and all the things that he has done has been blocked by a judge, so we haven’t seen him fulfill much of his promises.
Q: How has he met your expectations? What do you hope he did differently?
A: I didn’t expect much from him to be honest, but I did expect him to get a little less extreme which I do think he has [done]. I expected him to be the oddball, [and] he isn’t the typical D.C politician; he does a lot of his own [vocal] things on Twitter, he is unapologetic and original in my opinion and I kind of like that about him. I think he could have done better on disaster relief; he did OK when it came to Houston, but when it came to Hurricane Maria, we had countless numbers of lives lost and many people without power, so I definitely could have seen better [there]. The bans on transgender people from the military wasn’t handled correctly at all; it was announced on Twitter where nothing was actually done. With the Muslim ban, I do think he kind of modified it, but initially, he just didn’t have any structure. I feel like I have to respect him because he is the President of the United States, but I feel like he isn’t doing enough to show Americans that he is a respectable president… [and] fit for office.
Q: How do you feel he has been handling foreign affairs?
A: I think he has been handling foreign affairs, especially with North Korea, like a child. I think he has been doing well in [the rest of] Asia [since] he’s being less extreme. I think if he continues to kind of get out of his ego, he can actually make some progress like we saw [in] Saudi Arabia.
Q: How do you feel he has been handling the economy?
A: When it comes to the economy, his promises just aren’t there, [like] his tax cuts and his repeal-and-replace Obama Care. Even his own Republican party didn’t approve, so he hasn’t been making strides that way. If he took less golf trips and really met with actual people [he might get something done].
Q: What do you think Trump has accomplished that no other candidate would be able to accomplish?
A: I think one thing that Trump did that no other candidate might have done is that he brought attention to politics, even though it hasn’t worked out for him all the time. There’s a scope on politicians a lot more, especially on foreign affairs with Russia [and its] involvement in the election and [on] his administration [since] he has fired so many people from his cabinet.
Q: What do you think would happen if Clinton was president?
A: If Clinton was in office instead of Trump, I think the North Korea issue would still be big. There are [also] countries where you have that stigmatism of her being a woman, but I feel like her structure and how she handles things are a lot better than Trump’s. [We] wouldn’t see a lot of things happening on Twitter and we wouldn’t be fighting with North Korea. Her experience in foreign aid would [also] definitely influenced how she [would have] run the country.
Q: Why did you think Trump won the presidency?
A: He appealed to voters who felt like they were getting the same thing [and] the same [type of] politicians. The voters just wanted something different, and [Trump won because] he appealed to people who thought they did not have a voice.
Q: What do you hope to see in the future of Trump’s presidency?
A: I just hope to see a change. The events at Charlottesville definitely created division in the country, and I just feel like Trump didn’t denounce [them] well enough and didn’t condemn them enough and a lot of them are his supporters. [I hope he takes a] better approach to things instead of just calling out liberals, because it just increases the division of the country.