Last week we delved into the minds of two American Donald Trump supporters living abroad, and there was just too much interesting material to put all into one post! Although not an expert on American politics, and certainly not a lover of Trump myself, I am fascinated by how divided the United States (US) has become in recent years and am bringing you, from time to time, some perspectives from Americans from different backgrounds and belief systems in the lead up to the election in this US 2020 Election Series.
The Trump supporters we met in Part 1 are Gautham and Jeevan; two pro-choice, anti-gun Trump supporters with varying degrees of tact.
“I’m very selfish,” Gautham said when asked about attending Trump rallies and/or protests. “I want to lead a good life. I want to lead a good, comfortable life. You can go fuck yourself. If you want something better, you work for it, or you fight for it. Don’t put me into this. I have my own fights. I mean, you know, everybody has their own fights. I take care of my fights, and I can do it the way I want to. This is your fight, go fight for it. It’s not mine.
“Any sensible person wouldn’t go into protests because you don’t know what’s going to happen next when, you know, when you have thousands and thousands of people congregating together, this mob mentality comes in to play.”
Aaaaah Gautham. As characteristically blunt as ever. He goes on to say that even a normally rational person can get stirred up and do something crazy they wouldn’t normally do, like “throw a stone at a bus or something.” The only huge gathering you might find him at is a concert.
“To this day, I still hold on to certain of my leftist views,” Jeevan told me. “Certainly. I am extremely anti-gun. I don’t understand. I still, I kind of see it, but I don’t understand the Second Amendment rights. Okay? I believe if the guns are banned there will be less, much less violence happening. So I’m not a deranged, right winger. But if I was white, I’ll be called a white supremacist, but you see what I’m trying to say? I am extremely anti-gun. And I am pro-choice. A woman has a right to abort or not. So where would you place me? Am I left? Right? Centre?”
I told Jeevan I would hold my judgement to the end of the interview.
“Just because I say I like Trump, I shouldn’t become the extreme right,” he said. “I paid my employees full salaries during shutdown. Yeah, it was difficult for me what I am doing. Yeah, I genuinely believe that they should be taken care of. I created a union, so I’m pro union, all that is fine.”
Life as a Trump supporter
Both Gautham and Jeevan think a lot of anti-Trumpers are ill informed.
“Of course I get abused,” Jeevan said. “My own mother in-law was shocked. How can you talk as a pro Trump supporter? And they became so agitated, that they were in the presence of a guy who supported Trump.”
“They don’t have the information, no?” Gautham said about people abusing him for supporting Trump. “They blame Trump, but then they don’t have the substance behind it. What happens is in two minutes I corner them, and they just shut up.
“People make fun of me, I give it right back, then they shut up. I do a fairly decent job in arguing, so I eventually get them to shut up.”
Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS)?
“There is something called Trump Derangement Syndrome, ‘TDS,’” Jevaan informed me. “That’s the name they have given it in America. And they say it’s a threat to democracy, but he was democratically elected, you have to accept it. The problem is you were not able to accept what the other person sees; the other person’s perspective is not being digested. And if the person who doesn’t have your perspective, has an opposite perspective, he is a bigot. So how can it be a danger to democracy if somebody has been democratic elected? So that’s a problem. That’s the way that people exaggerate it.”
Gautham didn’t mention TDS, but had similar sentiments about the people who are so upset about Donald Trump as president.
“It’s a fair deal,” he said. “Like, he won the election. Hey, I mean, you got to deal with it. You can’t get your undies in a bunch because things didn’t go your way. Only like, four-year-old children pick up a tantrum when things don’t go their way.”
When asked whether the electoral voting system was fair, both Gautham and Jeevan reiterated that it is the law of the land, and the popular vote is certainly with the Democrats.
“That’s exactly the reason why they have the system they have right now,” Gautham said. “So that, you know, one bunch of loonies can’t just, you know, what do you say? Call the shots for the whole country, yeah?”
Gautham notes that there are extremists on all sides of the equation.
“For the most part Trump supporters are normal people who have conservative values,” he said. “Yes, you just have got some of the crazies of the world, the white supremacist bullshit. It has brought them out of the woodwork and they feel empowered and all that stuff, which happens. You see when Black Lives Matter protests, like you know, I guess for the most part like there are those black people who are peaceful and all that stuff, but it brought that radical black people out of the woodwork and into looting and arson and all those things. That’s the same thing right?
“Those white supremacist loons? I’m not even white, so I just can’t even apply for that position… Imagine, imagine if you went to a Trump rally, right? I might get my ass kicked by those white supremacists.”
We already established Gautham is not one for crowds…
Will Trump be elected?
Neither Gautham or Jeevan is convinced Donald Trump will be elected in November.
“If this COVID situation had not started, Trump had a decent chance because Biden is an idiot,” Gautham said. “No doubt. Even the Democrats think he’s an idiot, but like, because of this COVID situation, people have lost their jobs, and then you don’t have a job and you’re struggling to make a mortgage payment, you’re going to blame the leader, and you’re going to pick the next one. It’s unfortunate that all, this thing happened. That’s going to go against me, even if Hillary was the president now and the COVID situation was handled the same or even slightly better, she would have lost.”
What if Trump wins?
You may recall from Part 1 how Jeevan was anti-Trump in 2016, and only changed his mind about him after researching why so many people voted for him.
“If he (Trump) wins, there’ll be more to study of how he won, and why he won, okay?” Jeevan said. “And they will see that a lot of blacks and Hispanics have voted for him. That’s the only way he’ll win. Then people like you have to start studying why blacks and Hispanics are voting for Trump. Then it will be seen these people who protest Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter are actually not being respected by their own community.
“So when you do that analysis, and if you find that there are more blacks and Hispanics have voted for Trump, okay? Then you would start realising there’s something wrong with the Black Lives Matter kind of protests. And then you start understanding what is wrong. And then you’ll see there are more white liberals who are fighting for Black Lives Matter than blacks.
You will not see older, mature, balanced blacks jumping up and down about Black Lives Matter. It’s these millennial liberals like you know, 18 and 20s, maybe 30s kind of people will be jumping up and down.”
In the event Trump wins the election, Gautham graciously offered the lefty liberals the door.
“Again, it is wide open, they can just jump in the car and leave,” he said. “Nobody’s going to leave the country. You’re going to get these lefties, (they) are going to get a little bit more frustrated. But the good part is like, some of the Supreme Court oldies are going to croak. What’s her name? There’s one who is really, really old and waiting to die, but she’s not dying…”
I think he was referring to Ruth Bader Ginsberg who is one of the older Supreme Court Judges who may or may not last in her role for the next presidential term. He believes the Supreme Court makes better decisions when majority conservative judges are presiding over the country’s affairs. The example he used was how in some Democrat states there is forced unionism for labour if a company is unionised. He does not believe workers should be forced to pay dues and be a union member like in the ‘right to work states’ where it is a choice.
If Joe Biden wins
“Life goes on, Claire,” Jeevan said of the prospect of Joe Biden winning the election. “It doesn’t matter who is there and who is not there, life will go on.
“He’s gone a bit senile. He’s not got all his brain cells working. It’s sad. But I don’t know anything about him. If he wins he’ll be my president. I’m not going to say, ‘No, he’s not my president.’ Typical Trump haters will say, ‘He’s not my president.’ They’ve driven a wedge so far deep, it’s so difficult to get out.”
“The first thing he will do is tax the rich,” Gautham said on if Joe Biden becomes president. “That’s the standard mantra. If you go and look and see how much those taxes are, you take those very, very, filthy rich one percenters, and you put an additional 5% tax on them or whatever, when they already have I think about 39% or something like that. You tax them some more, the money you get out of it is nothing.”
Gautham then goes on to say how inefficient the government is, and asks who we think will spend the money more wisely.
Both Gautham and Jeevan concede Donald Trump has some character flaws, but they don’t think it matters so much.
“Yeah, he could have shut up,” Gautham said when I asked if there was anything Trump could have improved on. “In a sense, filtered his mouth kind of thing. Yes, I shoot off my mouth too, but it’s a very private audience, not on Twitter, you know? Where billions of people watch you. It’s his nature. Yes, he over exaggerates and borderline lies also might be. I don’t know. He’s crass; he’s a lousy bugger.
“But just remember one thing, to become rich, that kind of rich, you’ve got to be an asshole. You tell me one corporate CEO who is not an asshole.”
He went on to say later despite his erratic tweets, exaggerations, and “borderline lies,” he thinks Trump is mentally competent and basically rational.
“What I like about him has less to do with him personally, than what it means for the country,” Jeevan said. “But you’re intent on attacking him personally. He is a racist. He’s a bigot. He is anti-gay; anti LGBTQ. And he is a crook. He cheats. Okay, maybe all that is true. Maybe it’s not true. But at some point you’ll have to be done with it. You can keep talking about his tax returns after four years. So it seems to me you want to find something to catch him.
“There is a good possibility he did some crooked stuff during his business days. Most people do crooked stuff because you deal with crooks. You deal with people who always want to take money, and growing up in India, I deal with that. Right? It’s a dog eat dog world. If I don’t get this business, my own relative will try to pull me down and get that business. So why do you want to keep focusing on the personal issues?”
Jeevan then goes on to state he is more focused on how Trump is dealing with China and bringing jobs back into the country, than whether he lies or not. He also noted that Hilary Clinton was one of the biggest crooks but did we all focus on that? Of course Donald Trump certainly did!
Gautham was not up on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, but he did say if Trump was discouraging people from wearing masks, he did not agree with that (since this interview Trump has done a backflip and is now saying it is patriotic to wear them).
Jeevan thinks he is doing as well or not as any other country given it is an “engineered virus.”
Ukraine and his impeachment
Both Gautham and Jeevan agree the impeachment over President Trump’s dealings with the Ukraine were a “dog and pony show”, but Jeevan in particular felt Trump was within his rights to do what he did.
“It’s not like Biden’s son, Hunter Biden didn’t have anything against him,” Jeevan said. “There was reason to believe he took money. No, no! He took money. He was paid some eight or some obscene amount, like a couple of hundred thousand dollars a month from a cash company in Russia, just to sit on the board, because his father was the vice president. And that guy is a coke-head. He flunked out. He hasn’t paid alimony. He has outstanding warrants against him. He has no knowledge on oil. But he was put on the board and paid hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars because Biden was the vice president. That is conflict of interest. And Biden has also said, that ‘I will not give you money if you don’t do this.’ He openly declares this. Shall I send you that video? So there is reason to believe there was corruption with Hunter Biden. Why shouldn’t Trump go after an investigation?”
When I pointed out Congress had already agreed to pay the money and the issue was that he was contravening that, he did not agree.
“He has every authority. He is the President,” Jeevan said. “He can pass an executive order that says, ‘Screw you Congress.’ Even if he demanded it, he is well within his rights. And the reason he got away? There’s a Harvard law professor, he’s a Democrat, he’s a registered Democrat, his name is Alan Dershowitz. Okay? He defended Trump. He is a lifelong Democrat. He is a Harvard law professor. Do you know what he said? ‘He is well within his rights as an elected president to make that demand.’ So why do you still think he’s guilty? He’s been laid off by the US Senate and the court. Yeah. So I don’t agree with you.
“I would have also done it, and every low, nothing politician sitting in the local City Council will be doing these kind of deals. What? What are you targeting? Because you have another agenda to corner. It is not a fair agenda.”
Jeevan believes the free speech of conservatives is being discriminated against, and that if what they say is not completely politically correct, it is called hate speech.
“Ben Shapiro is a right winger,” Jeevan said. “Okay? He’s a conservative. He goes and talks in different colleges. He was not allowed to talk in the University of California, Berkeley. Antifa (an anti-fascist political movement in the US) was protesting. They will go and demonstrate; they’ll go and grab his mic; they will go and buy all the seats; they will disrupt; and they won’t allow him to talk. So protest has now become disruption.
“You don’t agree with them, but you should allow him to talk. They’re not doing that.
“So he doesn’t like political correctness. He doesn’t like these gender pronouns. He is anti-abortion, and pro-guns. I don’t agree with those two. But I don’t try to shut him up. Look up Ben Shapiro. He’s one of the top conservative speakers in America. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I want to hear. His right of speech should not be removed.
“I cannot talk as a pro Trump supporter anymore. So people are silent. They show their colours in the election because I cannot openly say I’m a Trump supporter because the lefties are such snowflakes.”
Gautham said most of the mainstream US media is controlled by liberals such as CNN, CNBC and the likes, but the more right-wing Fox News rates higher than all of its competitors together, as it is much more trustworthy.
“Fox News is a combination of news and opinion,” Gautham said. “Yes, they definitely support who they want to support at Fox News. I think most of the contributors are hardcore conservatives. Their news is quite balanced, their day to day news part of it is quite balanced. Whereas that is not the case with CNN and CNBC or MSNBC, that is not the case. They will highlight the news which suits them and suppress the news, like if Trump has done something good that will get three minutes of airtime, but if Trump made a stupid… or blabbered something, they will make three weeks of this.”
Jeevan also feels the mainstream media are letting the public down, so much so he follows private news channels on YouTube to get what is really going on. He says the mainstream are mostly talking to the hard left or hard right, but there are so many variations of people in between who are not being heard.
“I can list out black conservatives. I can list out conservatives who are anti-left-wing conservatives, liberals who are anti Black Lives Matter. See, you need to see all these combinations. Would you be surprised if I said there are so many liberals who are anti Black Lives Matter? There are so many liberals who cannot stand this political correctness. Bill Maher is a very very well-known politically incorrect host of this show. Okay? That guy is extremely, extremely anti Trump. But he doesn’t like being politically correct. He’s like, ‘Dude, you cannot tell me what to say and what not to say.'”
Twitter and fact checking
Jeevan gets quite heated about Twitter fact checking Trump and thinks he was right to stand up to Jack Dorsey about it.
“If you fact check me, then you are no longer a platform, you are a publisher. Okay?” Jeevan said. “So you will be removed from the immunity granted to you as a platform. You fact check everything.
“If you let anything that is being libellous, you face the consequences. If somebody says anything bad about me, I’ll put a case against Twitter also, and drag Twitter to court. Billions of people will take Twitter to court. Everything can be construed libellous. Why should you have immunity?
“It is a platform. You have no right over what people are putting up in that platform, as long as it’s under the free speech. If it has got copyright issues, if it is a, you know, it’s racist, even racist is allowed, because that is a right.
“If a private Institute can say I will allow only Chinese people to play golf in this golf course. It is my golf course. That’s allowed. So be very careful. Now, in their zeal to keep on attacking Trump. They’re doing very unfair things.”
Socialism, communism & Marxism
I think it is fair to say by now Gautham and Jeevan are both comfortably down the capitalism end of the socialism / capitalism spectrum. I told Gautham in our interview trickle down economics has now well and truly been proven a fallacy, and the billionaires he was so concerned about, do not magically put buckets of money back into the economy as by definition they have literally taken billions out of it. We agreed to disagree.
“Let’s say some freebees are given to a poor person, what does he do with it?” Gautham asked. “He takes it and yes, he might buy some gear or he might like, you know, make an extra payment on his house or whatever. When you give a business a tax break, what does he do that money? He’s going to grow his business.
“The rich fellow is the one buying a private jet; the rich fellow is the one buying a yacht; the rich fellow is the one taking vacations. He’s the one spending the money. How many jobs does the poor man create?
“Let’s say you’re a billionaire, and like I am this guy, you know, working a $30,000 a year clerical job, okay? And a billionaire probably, obviously owns some businesses. And so when you give a tax break they have excess money and what do they do?
“Now anybody who has money in a business, if he has to take it out, he pays taxes. Now, like I own a business, right? If I want to take money out of it, I pay 35% tax, right? But I already have enough money so I don’t need to take it out. So what do I do with it? I make it grow my business, or I go and look at other business opportunities, or you know, in that business itself, grow it. So that is what a businessman does. He wants to just grow his business not just grab everything out of it for today and then forget it and go home tomorrow.”
Jeevan thinks if we want to know about communism we should ask the people escaping such places.
“The problem is the left is talking about communism, communists, communist, socialist, right?” Jeevan said. “People from Venezuela are coming and saying, ‘Dude, you have no idea what communism and Marxist and social ideas are. We are running away from a country that has done all this shit to us.’ Humans who have swam across the ocean with the sharks, in shark infested waters, are supporting Trump. Dude, you don’t know what is communism. The amount of freedom you enjoy in America is unbelievable.”
Jeevan feels the US has the balance between capitalism and socialism right, including the minimum wage, and companies like Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos are unfairly attacked.
“It is a company and I am paying this wage. You come, or you don’t come. This is capitalism,” Jeevan said. “And to make sure there is not extreme capitalism, there is socialism in America, and there is a minimum wage. There is always a balance to capitalism in America.
“Jeff Bezos is a capitalist, and he is playing by the rules. You don’t like the rules, you change the rules. Don’t attack Jeff Bezos, and don’t attack the company. Go change the rules. Go stand for elections to get into the Congress and change the rules. But don’t keep on attacking a businessman who’s following rules just to find a boogeyman
“But do you know what is what is the irony here? Frickin Jeff Bezos is the biggest left-winger. He runs the Washington Post that constantly attacks Republicans and Trump, and is one of the biggest supporters of the Democrats and these left-wingers.
“The second irony is this extreme left winger named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who stopped Jeff Bezos’s plan to set up a sector in New York. He had like, a few billion dollars he wanted to invest as a corporate sector for Amazon. He had selected some place in New York or New Jersey, I forget, which was a district of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She made such a hallabalah that Amazon is a capitalist, capitalist nonsense, I will do this, I will do that, that they ran away from that place.
“Yeah, it would have turned the district. See, he is not paying taxes. Because the particular city is willing to give him tax leverage to put up his company there. Yeah. What do you think Tamil Nadu (a State in India) did to bring Ford and Hyundai and BMW and Daimler into Tamil Nadu? They gave tax rebates to these companies. Dude, you pay 18% excise and VAT, you put up the factory here, over five years you take back the taxes you gave us. This is how industries are attracted to their cities.
“They’re playing by the rules. The politicians are voted by the people. So who’s at fault? The people are at fault.”
What do you think? Does the US have the government it deserves, one way or another?
Until next time!