I'm a 21-year-old woman in my junior year of college studying political science. Demographically speaking, I am unlikely to be a Trump supporter. However, against all the odds, I have been on the Trump train even before he officially launched his campaign.
I have been called many spiteful names, such as racist, sexist, closed-minded, and more as a result of this. I have denied my support for Trump around my peers because of social stigma. Instead of proudly voicing my logical and well-constructed arguments, I often chose to not participate in political discussions, but I am ready to change this. I am ready to defend my choice to vote for Trump. I want to show people that even though we don't all share the same vision for America, despite what many think, my view is not a result of hate. I believe that I come from a place of love and compassion.
While there are many reasons that Donald Trump appeals to me, his stance on immigration is what appeals to me the most. I do think his rhetoric and choice of words could use some tweaking at times (or a lot of tweaking, let's be honest), but no candidate is ideal, especially in a two-party political system.
I have had a rare upbringing. My mom is Slovak, and I spent about 10 years of my childhood and teen years in Slovakia. American immigration laws have affected my family dynamics, since my mom had to surrender her green card. Despite being married to a U.S. citizen for over 20 years, and also having four U.S. citizen children, my mom still lacks the ability to legally reside in the United States. This is all due to minor administration mistakes. I firmly believe this country is in desperate need of immigration reform.
It is clear that gaining U.S. citizenship, and even residency of any kind, is no easy task. People from all over the world are dreaming of the opportunity to pursue a life in the United States. Because U.S. citizenship is highly sought after, I don't believe that our country can afford to grant amnesty to all the undocumented immigrants currently residing in America. This sends the wrong message to individuals who are pursuing a life in America. I acknowledge the U.S. is a diverse nation of immigrants. However, I also believe we can stay true to this notion while also enforcing our laws. It only makes sense that the people who illegally reside in our country should be required to get in the back of the immigration line just like anyone else in the world who is pursuing a life in America. Trump has often mentioned "the big door on the wall," representing continuous immigration opportunities in America; this is rarely mentioned in discussions about Donald Trump. This being said, I believe calling him anti-immigration is a bit deceiving.
Much of the media refuses to acknowledge the problems associated with undocumented immigration. While I have heard the notion that the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. has been falling rather than rising in the recent years, this is just another way of saying that the influx of new undocumented immigrants is outnumbered compared to the number of people who are either being deported or choosing to leave. This is Hillary Clinton's main argument when the need for stricter border security is discussed. While I believe that this is definitely a step in the right direction, there are still thousands of individuals making their way into our country through that penetrable Mexican border. Contrary to what Hillary Clinton says, illegal immigration poses many problems for the United States. Our economy is currently dependent on the undocumented immigrant labor force. This is less than ideal for our economy and the vulnerable population that is being exploited, working in terrible conditions. This economic dependence is unlikely to change, especially when we have politicians who fail to address or even acknowledge this issue. I am aware that our economy will always be dependent on imported labor, but we need to create a system that enforces accountability for employers and employees.
Separating families is not ideal but necessary in many cases. As long as there are incentives, means, and demands for undocumented workers, thousands of people will be a subject to exploitation and various other tragic unstable circumstances. Removing the incentives of illegal entry and overstay is the only way to give hardworking people from around the world an equal and safe opportunity to achieve the American Dream.
I do not see any reason why Hillary Clinton should oppose the strictest border security, other than for political reasons — trying to appeal to certain demographics. As a humanitarian, she should work on policies that prevent the exploitation that many undocumented immigrants have to endure. When it comes to the discussion of undocumented immigration, the inhumane treatment of this vulnerable group of people is rarely mentioned. People working on many farmsteads are not paid fair wages, and in cases of abuse they lack the ability to seek justice. We cannot eliminate this unless we can stop these individuals from coming in without proper documentation.
I understand why many people choose to support amnesty, but I hate to be called ignorant because I refuse to share this vision. I believe amnesty and incentives related to undocumented labor lead to mistreatment and exploitation that is anything but humanitarian. It breaks my heart to see families torn apart, especially since I know how that feels. That is why I proudly support the candidate that acknowledges the need for order and accountability in the immigration process.
Although I am Republican, I have many progressive views. I am pro-choice, and I have adopted a plant-based diet for environmental reasons. I am definitely not opposed to progress. Despite this, I proudly identify as a Republican. It is hard to find the perfect candidate in a two-party system, especially during highly polarized times. So for me it is important to prioritize the issues that matter the most to me, because in a two-party political system, there is no candidate that will fully align with my beliefs.
I often find that people are open to political discussions in social settings, up until they are faced with irrefutable facts and arguments that go against their vision of what is best for this country. I have also noticed that many people do not like to acknowledge any kind of logical justification for the support of Donald Trump, even if they lack the ability to logically challenge the reasoning behind his massive support. My contribution to political discussions based on my support for Donald Trump is often only answered by something like, "We shouldn't talk about politics." I completely respect anyone's choice in not wanting to discuss politics, but I find it a bit hypocritical if it is coming from someone who was more than happy to share their political wisdom.
I completely understand why Trump's rhetoric does not appeal to millions of Americans. I can also understand why some people are offended by his words, but this does not justify any kind of ignorant blanket statements about his supporters. Personally, I get more offended by Clinton's statements, especially when she talks on the behalf of all women. There are many reasons Hillary Clinton won't be receiving my vote this November, especially since I refuse to support a candidate who is clearly trying to use her gender as an advantage. On the contrary, I do not go around attacking the character of her supporters. Trump is one of the two presidential candidates in a two-party political system; he is not some kind of extreme third-party candidate. Therefore, there is no reason support for him should be highly stigmatized.
I realize that there are many drawbacks to his candidacy, and I fully respect when people make arguments about his policy proposals and controversial word choices. I believe we should all be able to have an open discussion about the issues that matter most to us, but I often do feel like as soon as I express my support, Trump people frequently feel the need to judge my character before I even have an opportunity to speak about my reasoning. I have heard many ignorant blanket statements against the large following that Trump has acquired. It seems to me that it is completely acceptable to label anyone who supports the Republican presidential candidate to be closed-minded and xenophobic. I refuse to accept that it is OK to judge my character based only on the candidate I choose to support in America's two-party system. It is time for Americans to learn how to compromise and accept that we don't all share the same vision for this country, but we all get an equal say when we cast our vote this November.