How I Embraced the Trump Train

I did not become particularly aware of Donald Trump’s candidacy until some students here and there made some comments during my summer research program last year. “Oh, did you hear that there’s seventeen GOP candidates running this year?…Yeah, and Donald Trump is one of them too.” That sort of thing. To be honest, I didn’t really know much about Donald Trump. I know, hugely famous billionaire with his name plastered everywhere and I didn’t know him. Please do shame me for such heresy.

Yet perhaps this lack of familiarity was destined to be my undoing, for almost immediately after Donald Trump announced his candidacy last summer, I completely despised the guy. As a lifelong conservative, to me he represented every stereotype that conservatives have worked so hard for decades to dispel. He’s rude, he’s unprofessional, he’s unintelligent, and he says legitimately hateful things. Most illegals are “rapists” and only “some” are good people? Seriously? They must be “haters” and “losers” then. This is not my conservatism, and this man certainly does not represent me.

At first I was not too terribly concerned. It was just a joke that was likely to end as the election got more serious. I understood people’s frustrations with Obama and the desire to keep the GOP accountable after doing nothing, but I still expected this sideshow to end pretty quickly. But then Trump’s numbers kept going up. All the polls, every single one. None of them dropping an inch. Surely, I thought, come time for the actual primaries, people will not vote for this guy. But they did. The headlines in February: “Trump wins New Hampshire.” “Trump wins South Carolina.” “Trump wins Nevada.” He nearly won Iowa too. He just keeps winning! What in the world is going on??

By this point I thought my fellow conservatives had gone completely insane. I know you’re frustrated, but why —WHY — would you support someone so crass, childish, and unprofessional? As Ted Cruz pointed out, surely you wouldn’t want to hire someone who acted like this at a job interview? Look, again, I get it. Obama is a traitorous piece of filth, the economy is a disaster, Obamacare is a disaster, our border is a disaster, the Supreme Court is a disaster, race relations have been worse than ever, the Cult of Social Justice is at its peak of power, and the GOP just sits there like a lump of bricks no matter whether we give them the House or Senate. But to vote for someone out of vengeance instead of logic? I expected better of my fellow conservatives. Anger only breeds more anger and destruction. Nothing good ever comes out of such reactionism.

He’s not even a Republican, I urged! He was a registered Democrat before he ran! He gave money to the Clintons! He supported single payer healthcare! He was openly pro-choice! He’s been married three times! He’s gone bankrupt on several occasions! He may be an outsider, but where is the logic here? Why not vote for Dr. Carson, or even Carly Fiorina for that matter? Why throw your country away like this?

I could not understand it. I prayed so much that God would show me the truth. Please, help me understand.

Then a bombshell hit. Dr. Carson endorsed Donald Trump. I remember my mom texting me the night before about such rumors, but in disbelief I rebuffed it. Yet the next day, there it was. The man I had voted for less than two weeks prior, the man who earned my complete trust and respect, and the only man running with true integrity and love for this nation just endorsed the one candidate I couldn’t despise more. I was in total shock. “WHAT?? He called you a child-molester, Dr. Carson! What are you doing??”

As expected, the media was all a-buzz and quick to call him a sell-out, including Fox. I just sat there shaking my head, thinking, “No. No, that’s not right.” Dr. Carson would never sell out. He wouldn’t. So as frustrated and confused as I was, I gave his endorsement speech a listen to. And for the most part he clarified everything very well, but I was still in disbelief and shook it off for a while. Yet one line of his got in my brain and stuck with me:

“There are two different Donald Trumps. There’s the one you see on the stage, and there’s the one who’s very cerebral–sits there and considers things very carefully–you can have a very good conversation with him.”

Then along comes bombshell number 2, this time in the form of Milo Yiannopoulos. Around February or so our newly-formed conservative club on campus somehow nailed us a slot on his Dangerous Faggot tour. The guys who secured the spot were all excited, but all I said was, “Who?” Never heard of him. So I proceeded to look him up. At first I thought he was rather strange and far too outwardly flamboyant, but he grew on me very quickly. A sassy, gay conservative who utterly wrecks feminists for a living. What’s not to like?

He was slated to come to our campus in April. The weeks leading up to it were frankly an organizational mess because the guys (same ones as before) didn’t know what in the world they were doing. Lots of drama. There were a couple news articles published about it too, but I’ll spare you the details for now.

Milo came, he saw, he conquered. We had him speak on microaggressions, since a black chick economist had recently come to campus in favor of them. It was glorious. The poor guy was sick to death, but I had never laughed so hard at any speech. He had a pacifier ready for the first questioner. She did not refuse it.

My “bombshell” with Milo was actually not so much when I saw his “formal” speech, but when I saw his behavior behind the scenes in comparison to his “stage self.” We actually got to spend the entire day with him at Six Flags the day before his speech. I said no for a long time because of my MCAT studying and crazy class schedule, but I eventually conceded (thanks to my mother’s persuasion. “He’s a celebrity! Do it!”). I could not have made a better decision, because not only was it an incredible experience, but I also might not be a Trump supporter today without it.

I got to witness the side of him that wasn’t in front of the camera. He was totally different, yet still the same person. He was almost shockingly chill, incredibly friendly, and was quite possibly one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He bought us all lunch, in fact. Frankly I didn’t even recognize him at first because he was so calm (but it was mostly the outfit — he had to go “incognito”). He was still sassy and hilarious, but he never put on the “show” he does onstage. Believe it or not, when he jokingly says he’s humble, he actually really is. He’s pretty shy and awkward. Frankly a big dork. Yes, I am still talking about Milo. He loves Star Trek, Stargate, and Disney movies, and he said his favorite Disney movie was the Lion King. He can’t shoot a basketball to save his life. And yes, we have video evidence:

Grade. A. Dork. Oh and he got soaked by the waterfall. If you’ve ever been to Fiesta Texas, you know exactly which waterfall I’m referring to. 

Then after going to his official speech the next day, all the sudden it hit me: “Is Donald Trump the same way?” Then Dr. Carson’s words came flooding back to me, and suddenly everything started to make sense. What if Donald Trump is just like Milo? What if the controversy he generates is just a clever marketing tactic to get his name out there? And above all, what if he is, in actuality, an amazing human being?

At that moment I became significantly more comfortable with Donald Trump, but I was still uncertain. I had to get to the bottom of this. So from that point forward, I decided to ignore everything in the media and everything I thought I knew about Donald Trump, and I resolved to find the answer for myself: “Who is the real Donald Trump?”

In some brilliant stroke of fate, someone on Youtube already had me covered with a video by the same name:

To this day this is one of my favorite Trump videos, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s still on the fence about Donald Trump (and for even more, check out my growing playlist of 100+ videos here).

I honestly couldn’t believe it. Here was a man the media was portraying as some insulting, childish fool, yet right off the bat this same man is telling someone “never think of yourself as average.” Needless to say, I was hungry for more. So I kept watching video after video, interview after interview — not just of him, but of any family or friends talking about him. Arguably the latter were more convincing to me than the former, because not only did his old friends, butlers, ex-girlfriends, and ex-wives speak well of him, but all his children did as well. Through all those divorces, all that hardship, all of his children not only spoke glowingly of him, but they were also incredibly intelligent, kind, and successful people. No trace of the typical spoiled, screwed up rich kids; only hard-working, wonderful human beings who clearly had a lot of respect for their father. That said a lot to me. If Trump was the man the media said he was, his kids would not be that way. Period.

Another source that was instrumental in my “conversion” was this transcript from a closed-door meeting Trump had with about 900 pastors. Because as much as Trump was growing on me, I was still shaky on some of his social stances, namely whether he truly became pro-life or not. But in this transcript, a lot of my worries were quickly put to rest, not only by Trump himself but by all of the amazing people there supporting him, including Dr. Carson and Mike Huckabee. This part of Dr. Carson’s speech really stuck out to me:

“There are so many people who say, ‘I don’t like Donald Trump’ or ‘I don’t like Hillary Clinton’ or ‘I don’t like whoever.’ But it’s not about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. This is about whether this will be a nation that is of, for and by the people — not of, for and by the government.

You know, we all think that we have the special word from God. But the fact of the matter is, this is like a chess match, and God is the great grand master. We’re the spectators. We all think, it’s time for him to cancel right now, or to take that bishop with that rook, or to use that knight. But sometimes he uses a pawn, sometimes he does things in a way that is not very apparent to us. And that’s where faith comes in. Because God sets up the rulers, and he takes them down. We just need to be willing to understand that, because you look, for instance, in the case of Donald Trump…”

God is the one in control. We may not like Donald Trump, but God doesn’t care. In fact, he almost always uses the most broken people for His greatest purposes. I loved this point because I actually got berated by a couple friends for saying essentially the same thing (but less articulately). I said that we would be foolish Christians to ignore evidence placed right in front of us — that we should have faith in God and what He is doing with Donald Trump. I then compared such doubt to Peter’s denials of Jesus. No matter the evidence in front of him, no matter what he knew in his heart to be true, he stood in front of God himself and denied His existence. My comrades said I was comparing Trump to God, but they clearly missed my point. It’s all about God’s Will. We cannot simply ignore it because we do not agree with it or do not expect it. God is the chess master, we are the spectators.

Regarding Trump himself in this meeting, yes he does kind of dodge the questions on gay marriage and abortion, but he also makes it very clear where he stands on the importance of faith in our country. He has an incredible, genuine respect for the clergymen and Christianity, and he recognizes how essential faith is in maintaining the moral compass of our country. Here’s a snippet:

“We have to bring those values back. We have to bring that spirit back. And in a way, it’s been taken way from you by the federal government and by these horrendous things that have been allowed in the past. But just remember this: You are the most powerful group in this country. But you have to realize that. You have to band together. You have to band together. If you don’t band together, you’re really not powerful. You have a powerful church. I see it. I see some of these incredible pastors and ministers and people that speak so brilliantly. And I see it. But they’re great within their audience but then outside they don’t have it. You have to band together as a group. And if you do that, you will bring it back like nothing has ever been brought back.”

Really great. I believe this was the first time he mentions the Johnson Amendment as well, and he gives more detail than in other interviews, so definitely check that out.

Thus, after watching videos and reading articles of this kind, not only did I realize that the media’s claims about Mr. Trump were either grossly misrepresented or totally false (e.g. racist, mocked disabled reporter, supported single payer, was a Democrat, was pro-choice, went bankrupt, gave donations to the Clintons, etc.), I also reached one simple conclusion. He loves America. The man sincerely loves America.

Henry David Thoreau advised us to “simplify, simplify…When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run.” 

When I asked myself why I was against Trump to begin with, I realized that I was not thinking simply enough. I did not see the forest for the trees. I was arrogant. I dismissed my fellow conservatives as unintelligent and driven by an irrational anger, a desire for vengeance against a corrupt political system that in the end would only prove to make the situation worse. I was wrong. 

I began listening to the voices of my fellow countrymen, and slowly I came to understand. They know about Trump’s divorces, his bankruptcies, his moderate social stances, his crudeness, and his giant ego. They know, and they are still voting for him. 

To me, that left only one possibility. They trusted him. They trusted this orange-faced, volcano-mouthed egomaniac, and only after doing some digging of my own did I realize why. He loves this country. That is the real Donald Trump. A man who tells a complete stranger “never think of yourself as average,” a man who gives $25,000 to a U.S. marine in a financial crisis, a man who goes out of his way to fly a critically ill child to a hospital with essentially no recognition from the press, a man who quietly hands out $100 bills to his workers and employees in private, a man who stops his motorcade to give ice cream money to kids from his own wallet, and a man who raises some of the most intelligent, compassionate, hard-working children to ever come from a rich household.  In this regard, I can see no one else more fit to become the next President of the United States than Donald J. Trump.

Thus, if you still have reservations about Mr. Trump, think simply. When you look at his candidacy in this mindset, everything starts to fit together perfectly. The majority of the arguments against him are predicated upon the notion that he is a fundamentally immoral human being who wants to run this country into the ground. But when you see that he does love this country and is a good man at heart, you begin to trust him, and most of these arguments quickly fall apart. Even the policy arguments. If he loves this country, why would he want to start a trade war? Why would he want other countries to hate him? Why would he want refugees and immigrants (legal or illegal) to hate him? He doesn’t. Just like his patriotic personality, all of his policies are centered around Americanism and simply doing the right thing. That’s why he’s building the wall, that’s why he’s temporarily banning Muslims and refugees, that’s why he’s repealing the Johnson Amendment, that’s why he’s appealing to black voters more than any Republican candidate ever has in recent history, that’s why he’s brought up education and childcare more than any other Republican candidate, and that’s why he’s brought up the VA more than any other candidate on either side. He’s not a politician. He’s not a Republican or Democrat. He’s an American, and he is fighting for every single one of us.

“To every parent who dreams for their child, and to every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I am with you, I will fight for you, and I will win for you.”

Categories: Politics