In an effort to move beyond my political bubble, I tried to research conservative blogs similar to mine, but had a hard time finding someone I could relate to. So I put a call out to a blog group and Jenni from Mama Plus One enthusiastically emailed, “I Voted Trump!”
When it crossed my inbox, it made me so happy because I love opinionated people. As you’ll see from Jenni’s responses, I was floored by her thoughtfulness and insight, so much so that I responded back, “Oh goodness, Jenni, I love you!”
I feel honored and blessed to have connected with someone who has so much heart. I’m excited to share what Jenni has to say. Unedited.
Jenni from Kansas City, KS Mama Plus One
Below you’ll find the responses I had to your questions, as well as my reaction/response to your blog post.
- Why do you support Trump? I support Donald Trump not because I feel he’s the best possible candidate, but because he was the best of those on the ballot in terms of aligning with my own political beliefs. While I’m a registered Republican, I have yet to vote a straight republican ticket, so leading up to the election, and even during the primary season, I looked into what each candidate was saying and where they stood. I also took the quiz at isidewith.com multiple times during the election season to help me research who I would vote for in the primaries and to prepare for the final election. For me, Donald Trump best represented what I thought our nation needed, regardless of whether or not his personal comments were always… appropriate. I also voted for Trump because I felt his running mate was someone that I could get behind, and because I felt our country could use a fresh perspective. Finally, I voted for Trump because I like the idea of us having someone who isn’t a politician back in the White House. Our founding fathers had some pretty harsh words to say about career politicians, and I feel some of our best past presidents were not politicians, so I think Trump may be something good for our country.
- What are your thoughts on Hillary Clinton? I have a pretty negative perspective about Hillary Clinton, and truly felt that way about her before all of the scandals that plagued her during the election. I wasn’t a fan of her during her time as first lady, and when she decided to run, I tried to keep an open mind to her as a presidential candidate, but it came clear our political perspectives didn’t line up. In many ways, the scandals that did come out during wikileaks and with the Anthony Weiner situation made it clear (to me, anyway) that she was a cheater not interested in winning the election the way our founders intended elections to be held, but instead in a way that meant knocking her other opponents out unfairly. I felt she was a poor secretary of state, which is why she wasn’t the candidate I hoped would lead our nation. That said, going into election night, I was fully ready to accept that she would become our President, and accept the fact that the nation wanted her to be.
- What are your thoughts on Obama? My thoughts on Obama are scattered at best. I haven’t been a fan of his policies, and I didn’t vote for him either time that he won the presidency. That said, he is our president and I’ve tried my best to remain supportive of the office, even if I was not a fan of the person filling that role.
- Are you a Republican and why? [full disclosure: I am a former Republican who voted for Bush and McCain, then went independent to campaign for Hillary Clinton] I am a registered republican who has yet to ever vote a fully republican ticket. While I consider myself conservative, I also am open to the fact that a republican isn’t always the best choice just because they happen to be a republican. I vote based on how the issues line up with my thoughts on the best leader for the area they represent, rather than based on party lines.
- Are you surprised by the election results? I was absolutely shocked by the election results. As I said, I went into the night fully prepared to accept a Hillary win, simply because the media had made it clear she had already won. Every projection I looked at said she would win, and I feel like in many ways, that was her downfall. The percentage of registered voters who decided to go to the polls to vote was incredibly low. If voting were compulsory, obviously Trump would have gotten some of those votes, but I feel going in thinking she’d already won was potentially a big blow to her getting elected– I had many friends who decided not to vote or who voted third party because Hillary already had the election in the bag. However, my friends who were voting for Trump knew he wasn’t going to win, voted anyway, and it just happened to be enough to push him over.
- What do you think of Trump’s character given his negative sentiment toward muslims, immigrants, women, and the disabled? I think that Trump’s policy is what will make him a good president, not necessarily his character. I don’t believe Trump has an issue with immigrants, but rather illegal immigrants, as he’s stated. His deportation plans that he’s announced in the days following his election are no higher than the numbers that Obama himself deported during his tenure as president of the United States. I have no issue with legal immigrants, and from what I’ve seen, Trump has no issue with legal immigrants, either (he’s obviously married to one). What he takes issue with is those here illegally, and in that stance, I support him on that. As for his negative sentiment towards women, after talking to many of my male friends on both sides of the party lines, his “grab her by the pussy” comment says less about Trump himself and more about society as a whole. As a disabled woman and the mother of a child with autism, I fail to see that he’s been negative towards the disabled– I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, watched clips where people said he was, and I still don’t understand where that’s coming from. In your blog post, I noticed that you also mentioned alinenation of LGBTQ+ communities, but he’s been very supportive and clear that he has no intention of taking away their rights. Trump is a big advocate for states rights, as are most conservatives (we’re big supporters of small government!), but aside from that, he’s been clear that he doesn’t have any issue with the LGBTQ+ community. I think a lot of the opinions that he’s negative towards these people is largely fabricated by the media, taking out of context clips and words and twisting them to say something they’re not saying.
- What do you want to tell me as a Hillary supporter? I want to tell you that it’s going to be okay, and I want to tell you that there’s an election in 4 years where you can make sure yourv voice is heard by informing yourself and by voting again. I want you to know that I am not any less of a woman because I didn’t vote for what could have been our first woman president, and that by voting for Donald Trump, I don’t hate or dislike other women. I want you to know that I respect you and the vote that you made in the election, and I’d hope that you would extend the same courtesy to me– that I made the vote I felt best represented me and my values, as I’m sure you also did.
- How has this election changed you? The election itself didn’t change me, but the aftermath has. The riots and protests that have ensued have made me less likely to share how I voted, because many people have been violent to Trump supporters following his election. I hesitate to tell people that I supported Trump because as a nation, we are very hurt and raw from the divides our country has (which I don’t feel is a result of either candidate, but instead those living in our country).
- What can we do to unite as a country? As a country, the best thing we can do is try to start by understanding that we are one nation. I’ve seen calls for California to leave the union, I’ve seen people saying he’s “#NotMyPresident,” and I’ve seen people very upset on both sides of the election. What bothers me is that there’s no real communication happening– if we can’t communicate, we can’t unite, and if we can’t unite, we can’t move forward as a country together. We have to open up those lines of communication in a way that both sides will feel safe sharing their thoughts and opinions. Right now that isn’t happening, but I have to hold out hope that eventually it will.
In response to your blog post, I would hope that over time, you’ll become less divisive, less “us vs them,” like your statements near the beginning of the post, and become more open moving forward, like your statements near the end of the post. I understand the shock, grief, anger at Hillary losing– trust me, I do. I went through many of those same feelings when Obama took office. I agree, screw Glass Cielings– we don’t need a predecessor in a position to make it clear we can get there, because of course we can! I think it’s important to recognize that, as you said, our nation’s system of elections voted him in. We have to accept that, move forward the best we can, and open those lines of communication. You reaching out and encouraging discussion is an amazing start towards that goal, and for that, I applaud you.
Please feel free to reach out if you want any clarification on the answers I gave– I’m happy to communicate with you and explain anything that wasn’t clear in my answers.
Best of luck, and thank you so much for being open to communicate with those who supported another candidate– it’s what our nation really needs for healing.
Catherine back here. How incredibly fabulous is Jenni? I seriously have a new woman crush. She is someone I can genuinely relate to. And she made some really important points! Would love to hear what you think in the comments. xoxo!!!
Below are links to our collaboration.