Voices

Trump doesn’t represent all US Republicans – many of us think he’s the worst

The new breed of socially liberal conservatives are no fans of Trump
(Reuters)

As an American and as a millennial, I have never wanted to associate myself with a party that supports Trump. But in America, we still get separated into two outdated labels: either you’re a conservative Republican or a liberal-minded Democrat. So, where does this leave me?

I am a journalism student from the United States and I have had the amazing opportunity to intern at the Independent for a few months. I noticed the question that I get asked the most in the UK is, “What is your opinion of Trump?” I answer honestly. He’s the worst.

For the most part, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut when it comes to politics because it tends to bring out the worst in people, especially in America right now. In both parties, there is so much anger.

Before Trump, I wasn’t embarrassed to call myself a Republican, but now I feel like I always have to explain myself: “No, I’m not one of those Republicans.”

It’s time to introduce a new kind of conservative party in America, because the new age of conservatives aren’t Trump supporters at all. In fact, they are very socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and prefer to keep religion out of politics.

Yet, after living in the UK for a couple weeks, I have noticed that people here tend to think the exact opposite, associating anything slightly conservative with racism or sexism. I have also been astounded to see that the majority of people here believe Americans are idiots. Yes, we are louder than the average person on the tube, but we aren’t stupid. We didn’t see Trump coming. In fact, we didn’t vote for it. Hilary Clinton won the popular vote, but the Electoral College put Trump in office.

Let’s consider Trump a reality check for the Republican Party – don’t swing too far one way, or you won’t be able to come back

Side note for my new British friends: the Electoral College isn’t that complicated. Basically, each state gets a number of representatives (based on the state’s population) that will vote after the people have, representing the voice of the people. In theory, the Electoral College is supposed to keep the American people from doing something astronomically stupid. In this case, it didn’t work.

Basically, Clinton got more votes from people in more populated states, such as California, but in fewer states overall. Thus earning her a smaller number of electoral votes. In contrast, Trump won more small population states, which ended up getting him more electoral votes overall.

So, I apologise for my party, but want to remind others that there is hope for the United States. Every four years we get to hold a new presidential election, which allows the political pendulum to swing to the other side every couple of years. This system does create polarisation, but also ensures balance from a big picture perspective.

But now that Trump has ruined the name of the main conservative party, representing an extremely unpopular and small portion of Americans, I’m not sure that this pendulum will ever function the way it used to. This is a good thing. Let’s consider it a reality check for the Republican Party and for all American politicians. Don’t swing too far one way, or you won’t be able to come back.

All this being said, I am not ashamed of defining myself as a conservative. I don’t like a lot of taxes. I’m sceptical of nationalised healthcare, although, yes, I think it is necessary. I have faith in the private sector to create opportunity. I believe our national debt needs to be seriously examined and I’m a fan of national security.

Yet I am also pro-choice and I believe global warming is a real problem. I believe all races, sexualities and genders should be treated equally. I welcome immigrants and hate guns. Most importantly, I believe Trump is the worst.

Even though I feel very confident with my political beliefs, I know they aren’t for everyone. You’ll never hear me say that my thoughts are superior and I would never try to convince someone to think otherwise. In fact, I celebrate a difference of opinion and often prefer that diversity of thought.

So, for the people in the UK who think they understand Americans just because they have watched a few seasons of Friends, I beg of you to remember we aren’t as senseless as you’d think. We may talk with less elegance, but we have the same feelings of frustration that you have. We are just closer to the source.