You Should Read The Atlantic’s Conversation 22 Year Old San Franciscan Planning To Vote For Donald Trump | Gradient

You should read The Atlantic’s conversation 22 year old San Franciscan planning to vote for Donald Trump


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The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf published an email exchange with a seemingly unlikely Trump fan: college educated, early 20s, engaged to an Asian woman, and gainfully employed in a job earning him over $50,000 a year. Why would he vote for a candidate that seems to have a specific siren towards the assumed profile of disaffected uneducated, insulated white man? Friedersdorf, a libertarian-leaning columnist (and increasingly rare #NeverTrump-er), sought to understand the rationale undergirding his vote.

The young Trumper started with a pu pu platter of “I’m not racist because” sentiments (emphasis our own, throughout):

“I recently became engaged to my Asian fiancée”

“We are young, urban…”

“I want to have a discussion and not get shouted down because I don’t agree with what is considered to be politically correct.”

After articulating his good nature and feminism, he then shares his relative nonconcern with some of Trump’s rhetorical barbs, like say, falsely accusing Bill Clinton of rape:

If false, Bill Clinton will not suffer any real consequences from this. There will be no risk of jail for Bill, which is what the biggest worry is for false accusations. If Trump knew that these allegations were true, I’m not going to defend his conduct. But I will accept it.

Or, most vitally to his outlook, the primacy of PC culture running amok:

If Hillary wins, we’re going to see a further tightening of PC culture. But if Trump wins? If Trump wins, we will have a president that overwhelmingly rejects PC rhetoric. Even better, we will show that more than half the country rejects this insane PC regime. If Trump wins, I will personally feel a major burden relieved, and I will feel much more comfortable stating my more right-wing views without fearing total ostracism and shame. Because of this, no matter what Trump says or does, I will keep supporting him.

Conor fought the good fight, and tried to persuade the unnamed voter, reminding him of how Trump’s xenophobic, fanning the flames of white supremacists, and cluelessness on foreign policy, summarizing why Trump is a threat to the liberty this voter aims to value above all. Somehow, he writes these hopelessly contradictory statements in the same email thread:

For context, my right wing views include…a temporary ban on Muslim immigration.

I do not want a Trump presidency to turn into a racist administration. Non-PC, non-affirmative action is great, but actual discrimination?

That is not something I would be okay with.

His intention to round up 12 million illegal immigrants does not bother me; these people are criminals, are they not?

Trump Voter closes with this especially revealing justification for his vote:

I don’t know how to describe it, exactly, but I feel in a lot of ways that my identity as a white man is shamed. I am in zero ways a white nationalist or supremacist, and I consider myself a feminist. I will likely sacrifice my career goals, either with fewer hours or relocation as needed, so that my fiancee can pursue her ambitions and goals. But I do not want to be shamed or held back or attacked for just being what I am. [emphasis mine]

The conversation, skillfully conducted by Fridersdorf, is worth a full read. No matter how white, male, and “anti-PC” you are, identity politics come in all shapes, sizes, and skin tones.

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