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UA’s Republican students speak up about why they support Trump

The+Turning+Point+USA+club+holding+signs+showing+their+opposition+to+big+government.+Students+who+support+Trump+typically+favor+his+foreign+policy+actions+and+see+him+has+thoughtful+and+informed.
Courtesy Taylor Hubbs

The Turning Point USA club holding signs showing their opposition to big government. Students who support Trump typically favor his foreign policy actions and see him has thoughtful and informed.

Despite the seemingly vast majority of UA students—and college students in general—in opposition towards Donald Trump’s presidency, there is a significant portion of the student population that remains supportive.

According to Business Insider, a third of millennials aged 18-24 voted for Trump in 2016.

“I liked his policies, but I initially wasn’t supportive because of his media presence,” said pre-law freshman and College Republican member Harlie Dolin. “But I guess that was also kind of his appeal.”

According to Trump-supporter John Dalton, a political science major and Pima County Republican treasurer, republicans who don’t support Trump are usually under the impression that he’s actually more liberal, or dislike the way he presents himself to the media.

“He’s definitely not your typical president,” Dalton said. “I personally like that he’s his own man, and I’ve been in support of him from the start.”

Dalton spoke about meeting Trump before his campaign even began, explaining that it strengthened his support.

“Having spoken to him at one point about the issues, it was comforting to know that he actually knows what he’s talking about,” he said. “He’s not just spouting things off he doesn’t know how to handle.”

UA College Republican member Tim Falter, an optical science and engineering freshman, said he was initially in support of Marco Rubio.

“When it was between Trump and Clinton I really started to support him more and more,” he said.

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Dolin’s first choice was Jim Webb. When he dropped out, she began supporting Ben Carson and Ted Cruz before she turned to Trump.

“I’m more of a libertarian,” she said. “I wasn’t one hundred percent behind Trump’s original views but you’re never going to be one hundred percent in support of any candidate.”

Dolin liked Trump’s economic policies and when it came down to him and Clinton, it was easy for her to make the choice.

“As Election Day approached, my support kept growing,” she said. “I do have a lot of friends who, since the election, have been researching and liking at least some of the things he’s doing.”

Falter said the one thing he wasn’t happy about was “the whole healthcare thing,” but that he’s pleased with the way Trump is handling foreign policy.

“I’m very passionate about repealing Obamacare but I don’t like the way they won’t let it be tinkered with and not be seen by the majority in Congress,” he said. “In the Obama administration I think the world was more chaotic.”

Dalton also said that the President’s foreign policy could be beneficial for the country.

“I’ve heard the claim that building a wall is inhumane,” he said. “But just the mere fact that he said he was going to build a wall reduced the number of people coming across the border significantly.”

Dolin, however, conceded that she doesn’t support all of Trump’s policies and actions.

Lately, Republicans and Democrats alike have brought many opinions to the table regarding Trump’s foreign policy, especially following the recent strike on Syria.

“It was a statement that what they did to their own people wasn’t OK,” Dalton said. “It’s not like he was bombing a city, he was going after a site that was known to have chemical weapons.”

Dalton added that Trump’s foreign policies should help strengthen both the U.S. and Mexico’s economies.

“My uncle in Mexico is independent and he was talking about how since Trump became president, the value of the peso has gone up,” he said. “Prices have gone up a little but Mexico’s economy will become less dependent on ours.”

Dolin said she understands why the majority of college students don’t support Trump.

“Of course you have a right not to support him, and I don’t want to change anyone’s views,” she said. “But the best thing anyone can do is just research everything.”

Falter added that learning how Trump has developed his positions over time and the way he speaks, were ways through which his support grew.

“The things Trump says that are construed as bigoted or racist, he doesn’t mean that way,” he said. “In general I would recommend for people to keep an open mind and listen to everything in its own context.”


Follow Jessica Blackburn on Twitter.


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