The New York Times, after polls showed a dramatic drop of support among white seniors without college degrees, sent reporting to various spots of the country to interview several and see how they feel about America’s corruptor-in-chief.
Clifford Wagner, an 80-year-old Republican in Tucson, Ariz., calls the Trump presidency “mortifying.”
“I’m a Christian, and I do not believe in the hateful, racist, bigoted speech that the president uses,” Wagner told The Times. “As much as I never thought I’d say this, I hope we get a Democratic president, a Democratic-controlled Senate, and maintain a Democratic-controlled House.”
Former U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo of Florida, a Republican youngster (only 40), says many seniors he talks to are disturbed by Trump’s record and actions and say they consider presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden “a mild and respectable alternative who did not inspire the same antipathy on the right that (Democratic nominee Hillary) Clinton did in 2016.”
“He’s not ever been known to be a radical or an extreme leftist or liberal, so there is certainly a degree of comfort there,” Curbelo told The Times. “This public health crisis is so threatening, especially to seniors, and because the president hasn’t earned high marks in his handling of it, I think that has also been a factor in Biden’s improving numbers.”
Patrick Mallon, 73, a registered Republican and tried information tech specialist in Battle Creek, Mich., says Trump’s “ineffective response” to the coronavirus pandemic weighs heavily in his decision not vote for Trump in this year’s election.
“The main reason is Donald Trump saying, ‘Don’t wear a mask, this thing is going to go away, we can have large gatherings,’” he said in his interview with The Times. “Everything he says is incorrect and dangerous to the country.”
Gayle Craven, an 80-year-old in High Point, N.C., is 80 and Republican who did not vote for Trump four years ago and sees no reason to do so this year. Biden, she says, looks like “an honest man” while Trump is anything but.
“Trump is the biggest disappointment,” she said. “He has made America look like idiots. I think he’s an embarrassment to my country.”
In emails from around the country, we have heard from senior citizens who say Trump is a menace and must be replaced.
“This president is a madman,” writes Carolyn Artesen, 77, of Missouri. “He lies constantly, insults people, infuriates our allies, and acts like a bullying buffoon. I’m a lifelong Republican but never should have voted for him. God help us all.:
George Raddison, 81, of Georgia also regrets his vote for Trump in 2016.
“I hated Hillary Clinton but even she would have been better than Trump,” he adds. “Everything he tells us is a lie and then keeps repeating the lie in the hope that people will start believing it. That tactic is straight out of the propaganda playbook of Adolph Hitler, another white supremacist, and bigot.”
Andrew Fulton, 74, says he had apologized over and over to his friends because of his vote for Trump.
“What was I thinking? That’s the problem. I wasn’t thinking,” he said.
I see the same feeling among other folks my age and older when I’ve written columns critical of Trump, those who follow him in a cultlike manner have flooded our remarks section and social media with threats and criticism.
Now, comments from Trump supporters are few and far between.
A positive sign in these troubled times? We can hope.
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