Why hasn't Trump imprisoned Hillary yet
Why Trump voters don't regret their choice
As the world wonders at the daily capers of the Trump administration, his supporters seem more united than ever to stand behind him. Anyone who speaks to Trump voters in the rust belt hardly hears any criticism.
A year ago, the “NZZ am Sonntag” visited the town of Wilkes-Barre in northeast Pennsylvania. Like the whole of the so-called rust belt in the north of the USA, the region has suffered from the decline of mining and industry since the 1970s. In the once democratic stronghold of Wilkes-Barre, a surprising number of white voters switched to the Republicans in the spring 2016 primaries and voted for Donald Trump. In November, tens of thousands of former Democrats helped him to a narrow victory over Hillary Clinton, not least in Luzerne County, Wilkes-Barre. Now, six months after he took office, we returned to the region and asked Trump voters for an assessment of his past performance as president.
Respondents continue to view Trump as an outsider and praise his commitment to the police, military and war veterans. You explain his problems with health policy, for example, consistently with resistance from jealous politicians in the "swamp of Washington". The investigation into Russia's influence in the US elections is what they call lies by alleged fake news media such as CNN.
According to current surveys, support for Trump is also falling slightly in regions such as Luzerne County. Little of this can be felt in Wilkes-Barre. If anything, one has to speak of the finest cracks in the support. The Americans surveyed only criticized Trump's outbursts on Twitter and the lack of discipline in the implementation of his plans.
It should not be a coincidence that the statements are the same, and that the same terms are often used. Trump and his people know exactly the inclinations, preferences and aversions of their voters and repeatedly address the relevant issues in a targeted manner. The government remains on course in this strategy.
“It is not true that he should waste time on Twitter. A tweet takes seconds »
Lynette Villano, 71, local works employee
Election day last November was like a folk festival here. We had a huge turnout, and people in the polling lines wore Trump caps and Make America Great Again stickers. I've been a Republican all my life, wearing trinkets with Trump's name on it. So I continue to encounter positive reactions here.
On election night I informed the headquarters in Trump Tower about the high turnout. Trump recognized the importance of Lucerne County in the primaries. However, the Democrats who switched to Trump have not become active in our party. But in Pennsylvania, at least, the Republicans are now united behind him. He immediately impressed me. America needs an outsider to dry up the swamp in Washington. I say this as a longtime party official.
The media does not report on it. It's frustrating. They just want to talk about Russia. But Trump achieved a lot as president. He has abolished requirements, strengthens our military and brings the veterans authority on their toes. That makes me proud to be an American. Every week, the White House sets a different theme such as “Made in America”, thereby emphasizing its progress. The stock market is doing well and the economy is creating new jobs. Illegal immigration has fallen dramatically. Trump is his own border wall. It is not true that he should waste time on Twitter. A tweet takes seconds. Incidentally, Trump is concentrating on his work. The fact that he hands out heavily against lying journalists and even against his own attorney general should not surprise anyone: Trump is not a politician, he remains an outsider as president.
Congress is responsible for the plight in the abolition of Obamacare. They had seven years to develop an alternative and failed miserably. This accusation that Trump and the Republicans want to abolish the social network through health reform is completely unfounded. What worries me a lot is the growing tensions in our society. Left lose all measure. A Trump opponent recently called me a Nazi on Facebook.
"What I don't like are his children and son-in-law Jared Kushner"
Ed Harry, 70, former trade unionist
I was a Democrat for 52 years - until April last year. After my military service in Vietnam, I was a trade unionist and most recently president of our umbrella organization in the region. On the day after the primaries in April 2016, my colleagues asked me to give up my position. I did them a favor. Because I said on the radio that I voted for Donald Trump.
I didn't mean to vote for Hillary Clinton at all. In 1992 I was the party congress delegate for Bill. But he introduced the NAFTA free trade agreement. After that, things went downhill here and across the country. Jobs disappeared abroad. Hillary was for the Trans Pacific Partnership TPP. It is corrupt like the whole establishment of both parties. I haven't made a distinction between Democrats and Republicans for a long time.
When Trump announced his candidacy, I initially took it as a joke. But the more I listened to him, the more he convinced me with his positions against illegal immigrants and the outsourcing of jobs. He's an outsider. Then I saw how the people behind the Hillary campaign had tricked Bernie Sanders. That finished Clinton for me.
I'm glad Trump is President. He has already achieved a lot. The economy is doing well, coal mining is coming back. But he probably did not expect massive resistance from both parties. The corrupt politicians block it where they can. Presumably the central bank will soon raise interest rates only to overturn the good economy and harm Trump. And the established media stir up the conflicts in our society with fake news. I get information from “FoxNews”, “Breitbart”, the “Drudge Report” and “Infowars” with Alex Jones.
Worst of all is the hoax about Trump's collaboration with the Russians in the election campaign. This has been talked about for so long - if Trump had really done something wrong, it would have been known by now. The Democrats are using this to retake Congress. If they can do that in the November 2018 election, they will invent reasons for Trump's impeachment.
Trump was naive when he brought Republicans like Reince Priebus into the White House. He should fire everyone and replace them with trustworthy people. What I don't like are his children and son-in-law Jared Kushner. They hang out at parties with billionaire George Soros, who is causing riots here and around the world. I am just amazed that there is no more violence and conflict in our country.
"It is good that Trump does not want to let Muslim terrorists into the country"
Eileen, 72, and Richard Sorokas, 72, retirees
Eileen Sorokas: I've been with the Democrats for thirty years and continue to represent the party on the Luzerne County Council. I campaigned twice for Barack Obama and he sent me a signed certificate for my help in pushing through his 2010 health care reform.
But unfortunately, Obamacare is a disappointment. Insurance costs keep increasing. In the last primaries, Obama supported Hillary Clinton, but I voted for Bernie Sanders. Hillary is a snob, she is insincere and was unfair to Bernie. That's why I ended up voting for Donald Trump. A lot of Democrats have done that here. We like that he wants to dry up the corrupt swamp in Washington, fight terrorists and crack down on illegal immigrants. We also have a huge problem here with opiates getting over the border. A wall is only needed there on routes that are passed by many illegals.
It is good that Trump does not want to let Muslim terrorists into the country. He also promised to improve healthcare. But he has not come very far yet. The lobbies are fighting him, and maybe he's not putting enough pressure on himself or has too few people on the subject. But the Democrats are absolutely not helping him. Politicians in both parties are jealous of Trump for being an outsider. They don't grant him any success. CNN and most of the other media are unfair to Trump and spread the suspicions about Russia. The Russians don't have the power to influence our elections.
With so much opposition, his greatest achievement is that he continues to rule and meet other heads of state. But I do think that at some point the Democrats will come to their senses and work with Trump. It is good that he goes out into the country and gives speeches. So he stays in contact with the people. Trump is an outsider, a man of the people, not a politician. In any case, my party doesn't care that I voted for Trump. Everyone here knows that. But to this day no official has asked me how the Democrats can become a party for people like me again.
Richard Sorokas: My father was a miner. After my military service, I was the first member of my family to study and worked in product development at Procter & Gamble. From my youth I was a democrat. I am disappointed in politics and I voted for Trump because he is a businessman and not committed to any lobby. But he'd have to get better people into his government - just like President Eisenhower did. Now Congress is blocking its agenda. I do not believe in this story of Russia. There are also hackers in China, and the Chinese are our strongest opponents anyway.
What I don't like about Trump is his lack of discipline. He should stop these tweets. Perhaps his office is overwhelming, because as President Trump is no longer acting like a good entrepreneur. Otherwise he would develop a plan, implement it in a disciplined manner and constantly review his progress. That's what I miss about Trump.
"I voted for him and I still stand behind him"
Joe Novackowski, 55, military veteran and DJ
I perform as "DJ Baghdaddy", am active in veterans' associations and am currently organizing a golf tournament for the "America’s VetDogs". We help veterans with brain damage and post-traumatic stress syndrome. We use therapy dogs for this. After school, I served in the Air Force and became a prison guard in 1991.
From 2003 to 2005 and from September 2008 for another year I was with the National Guard in Iraq. We took part in the hard fighting against the Muktada al-Sadr militia in Baghdad. That was pretty bumpy for me. I became an alcoholic. But the veterans agency turned me away twice when I needed urgent help. I did a private cure and I am dry. There was a huge scandal at the agency under President Barack Obama. Hundreds of veterans have died waiting too long for care.
But Obama and the officials didn't really care. Now a new wind is blowing at the veterans authority. Donald Trump takes drastic action against grievances there. It gives the military and the police new respect. Obama has fueled racial conflicts and raised the mood against the police.
I suffered a complicated hip fracture in 2012, which gave me a lot of time to deal with politics. Since then I have been active on Facebook and have made contact with other veterans. In the last election, I liked Trump best. He's an outsider, not a politician. I voted for him and I still stand behind him.
Sometimes he goes too far with his tweets. He probably also uses tweets as a red herring when he's in trouble. But the political establishment wants to block it with all its might. The Democrats are particularly bad at this. They are bad losers, go to court and want to use this story of Russia to make life difficult for Trump. Investigators have still not found any evidence that Moscow is written on.
Trump has already achieved a lot. It is good that he is cracking down on illegal immigrants. That is a problem in our region. Worse are the drugs that come into the country across the Mexican border. Here opiates claim a lot of victims. But that doesn't mean we need a wall on the border. We should strengthen border guards with more staff. I don't understand the new excitement about Trump not wanting transgender people in the military. My taxes shouldn't be used for sex reassignment. He thinks soberly as a thrifty and successful businessman. But I don't think it's good that he's not presenting his own plan for health reform.
"You are rushing to this Russia story to somehow stop Trump"
Lorri Vandermark, 55, head of PR
Since our conversation last July, I've been feeling much better personally. I fell in love again after my husband's suicide and have just found a new job as head of public relations at the transport company in Wilkes-Barre. I am very happy that Donald Trump is now our President. My friend was always a Democrat, but he also voted for Trump. He thinks that Trump should put a lot more pressure on the political establishment so that Washington works for us citizens again and not for various lobbies.
As a veteran's widow, I am particularly grateful to Trump for doing so much for the military and our returnees. I am active in the scene and see great satisfaction with Trump there. As president, he has created numerous jobs. It combats terrorism and makes us safer. Criminals and terrorists know they will face harsh retaliation from Trump. The military and the police are regaining respect. That was not the case under Barack Obama.
But it is unbelievable how much opposition there is against Trump. He's just an outsider. The Democrats are totally blocking him. You're rushing into this Russia story to somehow stop Trump. The lying media are desperately looking for reasons to badmouth him. One can only feel sorry for the president and his family - every word is turned in his mouth. Even his speech to the Boy Scouts this week is being scandalized by the media.
Some people get upset about his tweets criticizing, for example, Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But that shouldn't come as a surprise - Trump hasn't changed as president or adapted to the swamp in Washington. The media are amazed that he doesn't let them get away with the constant hoax. The press always thought it was above us citizens.
I also criticize the Republicans. Many do not want to work with Trump, even though they won their mandate with his help last November. Overall, I am optimistic. Trump will still make a lot of progress, including on health policy. He didn't come up with a clear plan. But he may be holding back so the Republicans in Congress can work out a compromise.
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