Hancen's Trump Photo

Pictured is the hat and shirt that fans of Trump often wear to show their support.

A great number of American voters are misrepresented by Donald Trump.

Among them is a vast majority in the Republican party—one which is not racist, bigoted, misogynistic, patriarchal nor anything in between. A large amount of this majority would cringe every time President Donald J. Trump crossed, and continues to cross, the line which renders a person presidential. They are kind, good-hearted people who do not think twice when confronted with an opportunity to fight injustice. They are people of faith, logic, reason and everything in between. These people—the majority—are the backbone of the republican party.

Among many defining characteristics, there is an inherent independence which accompanies the majority of the American-right. For these voters, independence is the ultimate ideal. The hardworking white and blue-collar workers, like themselves, are masters of their own fate. They desire a world where the only orders are given by themselves and carried out similarly. These voters frequently carry with them a deep mistrust of the big institutions, accompanied by their desire for an American government which holds every American to the same standards.

Donald J. Trump, despite his flaws, promised just that—a total philosophic change from the “everyone gets a trophy” culture. This right-voter does not believe every poverty-stricken individual to be playing the victim, but they are tired of those who do. They are tired of the growing percentage of their hard-earned check devoted to a precedent of handouts.

Instead of a climbing minimum wage, these voters want stable, full-time jobs which garner enough to actually support a family. They want their jobs back, stolen from the likes of Mexico and China. Unopposed to affordable healthcare for all, they want decreasing premiums and the freedom to choose as they wish.

Psychologically, these right-voters are tired of the many progressives who simply chalk up their economic concerns as explicit—in some cases, implicit—racism or lack of character. They are offended by those who confuse their long held traditional, biblical values as simply blatant homophobia, intolerance and xenophobia. They are tired of arguments based solely on personal attacks. Hence, this American-right has lost much of its compassion precisely due to progressives’ inability to understand, or even take into account, the many legitimate agitators and fears among the right-side.

This being said, I did not vote for Donald Trump. However, there are compelling, thoughtful reasons why others did and it will hurt our great republic if progressives continue to not listen.

Progressives should not pretend to understand completely the hardships and concerns of another; but, they can engage in a bit of listening—it is there, perhaps, where progressives, myself included, might find empathy.

Hancen Sale is a freshman in business management and can be reached at hsale@vols.utk.edu

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