January 22, 2024

GLASGOW | As an Independent, I’m Voting for Trump

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He’s coming back. 

I used to hate Donald Trump with every fiber of my being. I even drew him as the devil on January 6. In 2021, I fully believed that Biden was the solution to all of my problems and that Trump was the origin of them. I was brainwashed since age 11, and all of my teachers spoke out against his campaign announcement in 2016. But getting older has heightened my awareness of a truth beyond red or blue. Our country will flourish so much when we understand that both sides of the political spectrum are necessary — democracy thrives when all perspectives are heard. When I peered behind partisanship, I latched onto a candidate I would have never expected.

The vilification and attempted silencing of Trump stems from systemic biases and censorship against Republicans. I will never support Twitter’s decision to remove Trump’s tweets on January 6th, tweets that urged his supporters to remain peaceful and respect the officers and the law. Twitter and Facebook suspending a sitting president from their platforms only further diminished conversation and heightened divisiveness — wouldn’t you rather have everyone at one table?

My president does not have to be nice; he needs to be complex and practical. When Trump asked Fox’s Bill O’Reilly “What, you think our country’s so innocent?,” people understood that Trump doesn’t just say what people want to hear. I feel heard when Trump speaks directly to voters and underestimated when other politicians try to sugarcoat. I give Trump credit for making politics less politically correct. In a post-truth world where we create our own reality, it’s good to have a straight-talking president.

Democracy is about choice, and Democrats assuming my affiliation on the basis of race or sexuality perpetuates historical cycles of trauma that shackle minorities like me in mental hypnosis. Look at me: one-bedroom apartment in Queens, a single mom from the Soviet Union and the classic stereotype of a runaway Black dad. In this entire country, it’s just me and momma. And I still want to vote for Trump. 

Calling Trump supporters like me bigots, deplorables and white supremacists doesn’t erase the fact that I carry a name given to me by a slave owner. Nobody can get rid of the fact that I was raised by an immigrant. I’m going at it alone — generation number one, and I will vote for who I want. Trump is pragmatic in highlighting that a victim mentality does not improve conditions for minorities. Identity has been dangerously exploited to the point where people believe that certain sexualities and races can only vote a certain way. Biden said it best: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”

Donald Trump elevates the Black community: He increased funding for HBCUs, advanced criminal justice reform and was great for improving Black unemployment levels. The guy threatened a trade war with Sweden just to release A$AP Rocky. Trump working with people like Kim Kardashian on prison sentencing reform or pardoning Lil Wayne on his last day in office exemplifies my ideal American president.

Just because I’m voting for Trump in November doesn’t mean I agree with him on everything. For example, I will always support access to abortions, no matter what. The very nature of our political system makes it impossible to find a candidate I fully agree with, and that is ok.

Trump is not an extremist; he has never backed a national abortion ban, even calling Desantis’ six-week ban “a terrible mistake.” Before Roe v. Wade’s reversal, Trump said it would be left up to individual states, the type of thinking needed to keep 50 states together. I’m not the only non-Republican who agrees with Trump; beloved Cornellian Ruth Bader Ginsburg similarly criticized Roe v. Wade, saying that it had “stopped the momentum.” We cannot impose personal values over states without changing people’s mindsets first. Ohio and Kansas proved that when voters chose to keep abortion as a right.

An area I think Trump dominates is border security. Widespread, ongoing human trafficking, cartel exploitation and one of the greatest humanitarian crises in our nation’s history should evoke concern beyond political correctness. Millions of people have been waiting so long just for visas, the crisis makes the backlog more extreme. Trump wants that to change. The trouble from an open border makes me regret believing that Trump was overemphasizing its magnitude in 2016. Millions of  undocumented immigrants entered through the border under Biden. Indian, Iraqi, Cameroonian, Chinese and even Ukrainian migrants are crossing the Rio Grande. A Brooklyn school recently forced students into remote learning so that it could house 1,900 migrants during a storm, and Biden still denies the crisis. If New York City has to take money away from valuable social services over a portion of migrants, a grave change has to be made to the permeability of our borders. Trump has maintained his stance on a tight border, and voters can rely on his consistency. He made the border a mainstream conversation, and the current crisis only confirms his incredible foresight.

Climate Change is very real. But unlike Democrats, Trump is honest about his plans. For example, US oil production has hit a record under Biden, not Trump. Democrats sometimes certainly pass good climate policy, but it’s not enough to make a difference. By 2030, developing nations, excluding China, are projected to emit more than half of total greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius goal. When the ice caps melt, a race will happen for trade routes and resources; oil isn’t disappearing and Trump doesn’t want our enemies capitalizing on what we won’t. How can we know that a climate catastrophe is here and still put so much energy into trying to prevent it? 

Another area where Trump captured my vote was his COVID response: We won the vaccine race. He also supported the American value of choice when it came to vaccinations, including for 34,000 New York healthcare workers protesting against vaccines, many nurses among them. I attended LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in New York and was forced to play the clarinet through a hole in my mask; I was too afraid to speak out because it would entail serious repercussions. Internationally, authoritarian governments have used the COVID-19 virus as an excuse to strip human beings of their dignity and basic freedoms. I hated Trump at the time, but now I know that he was the only thing stopping us from total authoritarian lockdown because of his willingness to question. 

Many world leaders don’t pick up the phone when Biden calls. Trump would not tolerate the level of disrespect from foreign leaders that we see today — he proved it when he told Kim Jong–un that our button is “much bigger and more powerful” and then still became the very first president to step foot into North Korea. Trump did not involve us in foreign wars, but still can’t be trusted with the nuclear codes? The Ukraine war has no visible horizon; why did American companies leave Russia instead of Russian companies leaving America? A businessman like Trump would never sacrifice an American business in the face of a foreign war. In the Middle East alone, Trump brokered four peace deals between Israel and Arab nations. He knows what we need when it comes to foreign policy. 

I came to Cornell to study China, and I have a Russian family across the new Iron Curtain. I wouldn’t be shocked that if Taiwan was “reunified” in the Spring of 2025 if he was in office, they would definitely blame Trump for it. Xi Jinping vowed to reunify Taiwan with China at the recent San Francisco summit, and under Biden, we’ve been inching closer to a World War — it will look very different in the 21st century: I see a world where elevators stop and information warfare overtakes tanks and guns. Hopefully, the world will come to its senses, but Trump supplies an unbeatable feeling of security in the face of evil. 

The constant attention and lack of media respect towards Donald Trump heightens the beauty of our country, where we can criticize the top in command. The Durham Report proved that the FBI rushed into investigating Trump without any adequate basis: a four-year witch hunt just to find no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump, even though some outlets seemed to act as if it was true from the start. My candidate is resilient; Donald Trump’s fortitude in the face of constant attacks, an FBI raid, seemingly endless trials during an ongoing election and a mainstream media that has waged war on him since day one is honorable. Dozens of states want to remove Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot; after Trump was put back onto the Colorado ballot, Maine’s top election official removed him from theirs. Removing the leading Republican candidate from the ballot doesn’t sound like a fair election to me. The American people should be able to decide who they want to vote for.

I am my father’s tenth child, once spending Christmas in the projects with my half-sisters at age six. I carry my crown of curls and my Negro nose proudly — nobody can tell me what I am or who to vote for. My candidate, Trump, is America personified. Even his haters can acknowledge that he’s got the most iconic mugshot in history. Trump inspired me when he said that “It’s the outsiders who change the world.” The fact that someone as controversial as him, who’s from Queens just like me, can make it inspires me.

If there was a second Holy Land, there’s no doubt in my mind that it would be America — Trump just proves it.

Leo Glasgow is a second year student in the College of Arts and Sciences, The Levinson China & Asia-Pacific Studies Program. His fortnightly column Can We Talk focuses on student life, domestic and international politics and social issues. He can be reached at [email protected].

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