Last year, ahead of the contentious presidential election, we asked two different Women's Health readers who they were voting for and why. One woman was a Donald Trump supporter, and one was a Hillary Clinton supporter.
Both of them had different reasons for their choices. Lauren, who initially supported Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, told us that she admired Trump's business background and felt he was the right choice to reduce the national debt and wasteful government practices. Danielle told us that she felt Clinton's views on abortion rights, education, and LGBT rights mirrored her own, and that she trusted Clinton's decades of experience in government.
A year after Donald Trump's victory, we caught up with both women to see how they feel about their choices and the election outcome. Here's what they had to say:
'I Voted For Donald Trump. Here's How I Feel A Year Later.'
By Lauren Cooley as told to Carly Breit
On election night, I learned that Donald Trump would be our next president in a room almost full of Hillary Clinton supporters. I was chosen to be on a televised panel for Fusion Media in Miami, and at the beginning of the night I walked on set to people mocking me, in a tongue-in-cheek way, and saying things like, “Here comes the loser.” I laughed along, thinking and hoping that in a few hours, my hard work campaigning for Trump might just pay off.
As the numbers started rolling in, the people on the set who were mocking me started crying. I didn’t gloat. I thought about how I would want to be treated if the states on the television were all turning blue instead. So that night, I celebrated quietly. But I celebrated. For the first time since I could remember, my views and my values were on the offense. I had played defense as a Republican for eight years, and even though Trump wasn't who I'd hoped would be on the ballot (I had supported Ted Cruz and Rand Paul during the primaries), I was ready to start scoring some points.
I haven’t regretted my decision to vote for Trump for a minute. For the first time in my lifetime, I believe we have a president who is actually trying to enact his campaign promises. He hasn’t just said he would put America first—he has actually done it. He has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. He is renegotiating the controversial North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico to get better terms for the United States. The DOW Jones continues to hit record highs, and, per the New York Times, illegal border crossings have indeed decreased.
When I look at the president’s, or anyone in political office’s, accomplishments, I look at hard numbers. While people like to focus on his tweets or his personality, I try to stay focused on the facts. I’ll admit Trump isn’t perfect, but I think that many people take issue with what he says simply because they don’t like the man. His views could go as left as Bernie Sanders’ and I think liberals would still dislike him. Trump is bombastic, yes, but as I said last year, I don’t think America needs a pastor in the White House. We need a strong leader and a good businessman. And so far, I’d say that’s what Trump has been.
Political engagement is part of my job—I’m an editor at an online publication by and for young conservatives. But when it comes to engaging with friends and family with whom I disagree politically, I don’t try to push my beliefs. In fact, I don’t think it’s a big deal to disagree with people. The fact that we all have different views, and that we can freely express them, is part of what makes this country great.
When I do get into political conversations with my liberal friends and family, my strategy is to be compassionate and see people for who they are, not simply what they believe. If the goal of the conversation is to shut down someone you love and “win,” that won’t help your relationship. What’s more productive, in my experience, is having respectful, genuine conversations. We can learn from people we disagree with if we keep an open mind. My childhood friend’s husband, who is liberal, and I will often exchange emails about different issues to discuss where each of us are coming from. That’s something that more people should do with people they respect. If we did that instead of debating with strangers on Facebook or Twitter, I think our country would be a lot more united than it is right now.
If we really want to heal the partisan divide, we have to remember that we all want what’s best for each other and what’s best for the country. At the heart of every political disagreement is that important common ground. No matter how heated our discussions may get, we can’t forget that we all have the same goal—we just have different ways of achieving it.
'I Voted For Hillary Clinton. Here's How I Feel A Year Later.'
By Danielle Glover as told to Carly Breit
I will never forget election night. After calling, campaigning, and finally, casting my vote for Hillary Clinton, I watched as electoral votes rolled in for Donald Trump. My heart sank with every state that turned red. I knew, and I feared, what we would be in for in the next four years. While many people seemed to dismiss him as a reality star who could never actually become the president, I took him seriously. I saw his rallies. I knew he was a threat to Hillary, as well as our country, and I knew he might just win.
Still, it’s in my nature to try to stay positive. That night, I celebrated the great things happening in elections around the country: Young people were more involved in politics than ever and diverse Democrats were getting elected to hundreds of important offices. And though ultimately Donald Trump claimed victory, Hillary had won the majority of the votes. That gave me hope that it wasn’t time to give up. It was time to fight.
I won’t lie—it’s been a hard year. As much as I try to stay focused on championing the progressive values I believe in, I often face the fact that it’s not easy to be a woman in politics right now. To have watched an ambitious, passionate, competent woman lose to Donald Trump revealed that sentiments of “a woman should stay in her place” haven’t gone anywhere.
That said, this year hasn't been very surprising. Donald Trump has tried to do everything he said he was going to do. It frustrates me when people—particularly those who voted for him—say they’re shocked by his extreme policies. Because while a part of me hoped what he said on the campaign was just talk (like how he'd completely ban Muslims from entering the United States), I know I can’t be surprised when he turns his words, which I find hateful, into actions. (The President has issued to date three executive orders that primarily ban people traveling from majority-Muslim countries, all of which have been blocked by lower courts, according to CNN.)
And we're seeing a rise in people around the country who think it’s now okay to follow suit. White supremacists are rallying, loudly, proudly, and violently—just look at the events in Charlottesville and Shelbyville. They no longer feel like they have to hide. And with a president who has also bragged about grabbing women by their genitals and belittled women over their weight, it seems that people aren’t holding back their misogynistic views either. I’ve had more sexist comments made to me than ever before.
My family is full of Republicans, so I’m often caught in the fires of political discord with the people I love most. The election, and the never-ending cycle of the president’s controversies has given way to new conversations and some new education—some of which has happened around the dinner table. Despite the hate I see coming out of the Trump administration, I’ve realized that most Republicans don’t feel that way. There’s some common ground we can all connect on, and I always try to find it before diving into a political disagreement. I stay positive and I stay calm, but I stand firm in my beliefs. And I always come with facts.
Even my mom, a staunch Republican, has come around to accept some ideas that I never thought she would. We’ve talked about climate change (which she now accepts as a fact) and she’s surprised me with some of her more progressive stances on policies. Our relationship reminds me that we don’t all have to agree with each other, but we do have to be willing to listen, learn, and accept each other.
We're stuck with Trump for another three years. He's not going anywhere for the time being. But I’m not going anywhere either. And neither are the strong, progressive women in politics who want to make the country a better place for everyone. We’re seeing more and more women run for office. More millennials are getting involved, running for council races and state house races. And as hard as every day is in Trump's America, that gives me a small sliver of hope for the future.
Date Posted: Friday, November 10th, 2017 , Total Page Views: 9033
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