David Smith, The Guardian, August 23, 2017
Sylvia Allen, 70, former property saleswoman, now an Arizona state senator
Trump is breath of fresh air. He’s totally not a political person. He’s a businessman: he’s anti-left, he’s anti-PC, he’s anti-stupid. He just wants to go in and make the best deal for Americans that he can.
Of course he’s not racist. That’s a label people want to put on someone when they don’t agree how to solve a problem. You don’t see the issue, so you attack. That’s the way the left has operated in our country very effectively.
Both sides were wrong in Charlottesville. Everyone has a right to peacefully protest under the first amendment but this was a form of domestic terrorism: the left started it and the white supremacists helped it explode. Trump was trying to say Nazism and Marxism are on the same spectrum: they want to control how you think, how you live.
I support a border wall. We absolutely have the right as a society to protect our safety as a country. We also need to reform our legal immigration process.
Middle America, the middle class, the blue-collar workers, the small-business owners like hearing from our president, but the media in our country is leftist. They can’t get the real story. The media has lost all integrity: they’re a disgrace. They’ve sold their souls for political gain. People want a president who is not politically correct, who will say it like it is and will not do it because he wants to get elected.
Shanna Gallo, 55, self-employed accountant
I voted for him because I believe in the things he was pushing for. It’s great we have someone who’s not a politician to shake things up. Our government needs a fresh viewpoint.
He’s trying. Politicians are getting in the way, and sometimes his mouth gets in the way. When you put in someone who’s not a polished politician, that’s what you get. He tells it like a normal person, not someone raised to be politically correct 100% of the time.
He’s not a racist and his response to Charlottesville didn’t bother me. I’m a mother of two kids and I know every time there’s a fight there seems to be two people involved, but I can understand why people were upset. He should have done more to condemn white supremacists but I don’t think I would have done any better.
We need a border wall. I’ve suffered from the high cost of healthcare in Arizona and part of that is having to take care of people who can’t afford their own healthcare. We need to fix our healthcare system. I’m self-employed and being forced to pay for things I don’t need.
The failure to repeal Obamacare was Congress’s fault. They’re so out of touch: I don’t think they’re held accountable for what they do. In Arizona I’m going to side with change: I think senators Jeff Flake and John McCain are not willing to change to looking at something new. They’re fighting to keep the status quo.
Social media is the way of the future. It should be used. I don’t think he’s always thinking right when he does it. But he’s not a politician, so I forgive it. I approve of the fact he’s willing to take on social media.
He has a right to attack the media. They’re being very dishonest and never show an unbiased view of things. He has the right.
Jillian Henry, 19, biology student
Henry drove for four and half hours from California to be at Tuesday’s rally in Phoenix
I do have some friends in California who challenge me about Trump, but we also have constructive conversations.
I voted for him because he was the best candidate running. I agreed with him on border protection and didn’t want someone being investigated by the FBI sitting in our president’s seat. He’s doing pretty good so far. Healthcare is Congress’s fault mainly, because they can’t decide what they want and need to figure it out.
I don’t think he’s a racist. I think if they’re calling him a racist, they may be racist.
The border wall is a good plan. We need to protect America. If we’re not safe, why should we be OK with that?
I think he is right to criticise the media and fake news. There are big problems with the media stirring up things that are not there and fake interpretations all around. The thing with tweeting is it’s a great way to keep the people involved. People didn’t have a problem with Roosevelt doing it on the radio and they shouldn’t have a problem with Trump doing it on Twitter.
Patricia Morgan, 70, retired from park police in New York
Morgan travelled from Brooklyn for the rally – her seventh Trump rally so far
I voted for him because I thought he was the best man, the one to change the country, to bring it back to the way it used to be. I’m 70 and I’ve seen country go down and down and the left become more and more socialist. I’d like to get back to the 1950s. My daddy fought on Omaha beach; they came back and built the expressways. People cared about each other and now they don’t.
I’m pleased so far except for Congress. He’s tried as hard as he can. He never stops working. He cares about the country and the people. We have too many Never Trump Republicans. John McCain really messed it up on healthcare. They weren’t voting to pass the bill, they were just going to take it away and look at it. I think McCain should be a Democrat and Jeff Flake isn’t strong on immigration.
I watched Charlottesville from the beginning to the end and there was violence on both sides. Neither retreated. The extreme left and the extreme right, they punched each other out. When Trump made statements about it, he told the truth on everything.
You go back and look over the years and Trump is not a racist. Last week, Sean Hannity pulled videos of him denouncing the KKK and neo-Nazis. He used to get awards from some of the black organisations because he would go in and help them. When the left can’t win in debate, the only thing they can say is, “You’re a racist.” Sometimes it’s an excuse.
The media are very prejudiced against him. I don’t think the media are fair: they have their own agenda. It’s good when he tweets and tells us what’s going on.
Bob Neilssen, 63, former property salesman
Neilssen ‘lost everything but the car’ when the housing market crashed and his wife, now 76, fell ill with Alzheimer’s. He now cares for her and sleeps on an air mattress at the home of a 94-year-old friend who also lost his wife to Alzheimer’s; both men live off social security
Is Trump racist? Hell, no. The stuff about Charlottesville is bullshit and I agree 100% with what he said. There are haters on both sides. The KKK had the legal right to express their opposition and they got a permit and everything would have been fine except that counter-protesters came with baseball bats and rocks. It’s not the KKK that started it. If they’d just let them kick around in the streets, that would have been it. Paid protesters started it and the media does not want that narrative to be told.
I voted for him because it was an obvious choice. Hillary Clinton had decades of foul play and illegal acts, and she was attached to Bill Clinton, who had decades of foul play and illegal acts. I’ve got nothing good to say about either of them.
The American people are sick and tired of a namby-pamby politician who is politically correct. Want a businessman who can make decisions. Best leave if it hurts your feelings. I want Trump to continue to call it like it is. I would vote for him if he quit the Republicans and started his own party.
I think Trump is doing as well as he possibly can considering all the foot-dragging and whining and non-belief in his election, with the media doing all it can to delegitimise him. The stock market has confidence in him and unemployment has plummeted.
I agree with him about a border wall. Immigration needs to be under control. We have to know and approve who’s going in and who’s coming out. If you have no border, you have no country. We don’t have a problem with Canada.
I want [Arizona senators] Jeff Flake and John McCain gone as soon as we have the next vote. Both are anti-Trump and are trying to sabotage Trump at all costs. I’ve been disappointed with McCain for decades. I admire his military service but being a good soldier does not make you a good politician. This vote on healthcare was just a slap in the face to Trump.
The media has been distorting the truth for decades. They’re so leftwing. If you said the glass was half full, they’d call you a Nazi and say it’s half empty. Now they don’t make sense any more and CNN is fake news. This Russia thing is made up: they don’t have a shred of evidence after a year.
John Oldham, 69, retired car components maker
Oldham served in the Vietnam war for a year as a ‘Huey’ military helicopter mechanic
I gave up my entire lifetime with the law ruling my life. I served in Vietnam. You do what the country wants you to do, not what you personally want to do.
I support a border wall. The wall can take many shapes. As long as people feel they can come to the country in an unlawful manner, they’re anti-American values. You have people who say ‘We don’t give a shit about the laws.’ That’s why the other party supports sanctuary cities.
I voted for him because he was much better than the alternative. Certainly, considering the lack of cooperation he’s getting from everybody, he’s doing good. If he had a bit of cooperation, he’d be doing great and the last six months would have had an entirely different outcome. When half the country and Congressional leaders decide they’re going to be uncooperative, they get what they deserve.
Do you have any doubt there’s blame on both sides in Charlottesville? When you have half the country calling everyone racist, when everyone in the Democratic party is racist, I don’t know what you expect. If you have an agenda when you put words in people’s mouths, people aren’t happy. If Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama had said the same things that Trump did, it would have been wonderful.
My wife is much younger than me and pays $1,555 a month for Obamacare, about 20% of our income. I don’t know the solution. You go around the world and they find a way to provide healthcare for people.
Given the situation he is dealing with, anybody is better than Obama or Clinton. If you don’t like the way Trump is acting, you always have the option to leave the country. A lot of people promised to and none of them did, which is too bad.
The media are very biased. I have never met an honest journalist in my life. Your profession is more for ratings than reporting. You can’t turn on the news without things being slanted one way or another. Let people make their own decision.
The Democrats are going to continue to protest and in the process they’re going to tear this nation apart. The protesters against Trump are haters. I fought for free speech all my life and they don’t believe in free speech.
Jered Pettis, 46, exterior designer
Trump is absolutely not a racist. I tend to agree with what he said about Charlottesville. If you look at any situation there’s usually three sides: yours, mine and the truth. It’s not just one side doing something. Everybody has a right to their opinion. It’s freedom of speech. If I recall correctly, one side has a permit to be there legally while the other tore a statue down illegally.
There needs to be some type of barrier put up between us and Mexico. There’s got to be some kind of regulation to stop people coming into America illegally. There have always been walls throughout history. If you can do it the right way, I’m all for that.
I voted for him because we need a change in our country. I wanted a new leader to give us a different political voice from what we had. He was not a politician like the ones in the past. He’s a businessman and the economy needed him.
You’ve got to give him a chance. It’s a learning job and you’ve got to take things as they come. I like a man who has the ability to speak his mind. We’ve all been in the position of working in a company where we wish we could speak our mind without worrying about the consequences. He can speak his mind without worrying about scaring somebody or worrying about offending somebody.
Brad Pontious, 66
Pontious lost the right hemisphere of his brain to Agent Orange during the Vietnam war. He became a quality engineer for Boeing. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008 and had a stroke in 2013. He uses a wheelchair and lives with his wife, April, 50
I voted for him because I was tired of politicians. He spoke to me on a personal level, not a political level. Considering some of the things he’s got in front of him, I think he’s done quite well. He hasn’t had the support of the Republican party to do the things he wants but he’s made a huge difference to the economy in particular.
In true Trump style, he spoke what he felt about Charlottesville. It might not be the political thing to say, but he was correct. I don’t believe he’s racist.
The border wall is probably a bigger thing than he can get done but the concept is correct. It will get us in a position where we can control the border.
Nobody knows what he is going to do, like the North Koreans, which is a good thing. We’ve been predictable for too long.
He’s got a point about the media. It’s hard as a consumer to find an outlet that tells you the basic facts. They should be giving us the facts so a human being with a little bit of brains can make their own minds up.
Isaac Powell, 19, student
Powell’s mother is Japanese and his father is African American
I voted for him because of diversity. He actually practices diversity unlike liberals, who don’t practice diversity. Obama had this whole country thinking about skin colour. Trump doesn’t look at skin colour. He doesn’t label anyone who’s non-white a minority, just people. Skin colour is colour, not culture. His cabinet is nothing to do with skin colour: they’re right for the job.
Both sides in Charlottesville are bad. He’s absolutely right. The Antifa [anti-fascist groups] are the equivalent of the KKK and both were responsible. Antifa is the KKK, just without the history. The Confederate flag is not racist: only 5% of slave owners had the Confederate flag; the US flag is more racist. Do you think I’d be that stupid to vote for an actual racist to be in office?
CNN and MSNBC are complete bullshit. They label the Antifa as peaceful protesters.
Thirty other countries have a wall to protect against illegal immigration but is the only one that gets called racist.
My dad and family are all Democratic except my grandfather. They’ve tried to change my mind but it doesn’t make sense to me what they say.