Sunday , November 19, 2017 - 12:00 AM
Since the November 2016 presidential election, the United States has seemed, to a lot of people, more politically divided than it has been in a long time.
One could argue that the root of most of the divisiveness comes from the debate between people who support Donald Trump — and the people who don’t.
The 2016 election was a close one, with the popular vote being nearly half and half between Trump and Hillary Clinton. Now, one year after the election, the right (Republicans/Conservatives) and the left (Democrats/Liberals) are still going after each other back and forth, making the nation seem more divided than ever.
Arguably one of the biggest accusations from the left is that the people who voted for Trump are racist or bigoted in general. That since Donald Trump has proven himself to be racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc., people who voted for him are too, since they elected him to run the country.
TX. asked some high school seniors — teenagers who are close to the voting age, but couldn’t actually vote in the election — if Americans who voted for Trump are, in fact, bigots.
“People who voted for Trump are bigots themselves (because) they excuse his behavior, which is basically saying it’s OK,” said Adelaide Call, a student at Davis High School.
Raven Farley, also a Davis High student, said, “Not all people who voted for Trump are bigots, (some are just) opinionated and conservative. (And) some only voted for him to avoid voting for Hillary.”
Many people who voted for Trump weren’t necessarily supporters of his campaign, but simply voted for him because they felt like he was the better option compared to his opponent. Many swing states (states where it’s hard to predict if people will vote Republican or Democrat in presidential elections), such as Florida and Pennsylvania, ended up voting for Donald Trump likely for this reason.
“I lean right fiscally, (and) it’s possible to vote for someone because you believe in their policies, not their morals,” said Nathan Black, a Bear River High student. “There (also) weren’t many candidates to chose from.”
McKenzie Harris of Bear River High added, “Opinions belong to each person (because of) the freedom of speech, (but) people voted for the person they thought would best represent the country.”
The fight between the left and right stems from what each side defines as acceptable opinions and behavior. For the left, being racist, homophobic, sexist, etc., is unacceptable in today’s world, and it’s especially unacceptable for the president to have those opinions. To the people on the right, those “traditional” views aren’t necessarily bigoted or discriminatory, they’re just less concerned with people’s feelings and political correctness.
“The right is usually more worried about what life is like for the individual, while the left pushes groups such as feminism and LGBTQ,” said Hunter Elliott, a Bear River High student. “The left pushes these so much that the government (gives them) extra benefits. That isn't equality, that's socialism. So if being against the idea of free benefits and get-out-of-jail-free cards makes you a bigot, then I guess you can say most of the right are bigots.”
Many argue that they only voted for Trump because they agree with his views on policy (such as taxes or foreign policy) and his morals are irrelevant in regard to his ability to be president.
”(People who voted for Trump) are only bigots if they (actually) agree with (Trump’s) hate,” said Liz Callaway, a Career Path High student. “Your views on policy can be different than your views on social issues.”
Others argue that social and fiscal views go hand in hand.
“You wouldn’t vote for somebody you didn’t agree with, so yes, (people) who voted for Trump are probably bigots,” Katie Durtschi, of Davis High School, said.
Regardless of your thoughts on whether supporting Trump makes you a bigot or not, the important thing is having a political stance. Many teens either don’t care or don’t want to be involved in politics, but it’s important to be have input on the issues that do or will affect you in the future.
Laney Baumann is a senior at Utah Connections Academy. She loves reading, writing and music. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for e-mail news updates.