There ARE AUP students who are voting for Trump.
It’s no secret that Donald Trump is unpopular amongst (American) students who attend The American University of Paris (AUP). As I went round asking students if they were going to vote for him, I got responses ranging from, “ew no” to “I hope he dies.” A student told me she ran a video project last semester, asking students whether they were going to vote for Trump or not. Every interviewee opted for the latter.
However – despite the populace – I found an AUP student who is voting for Trump. Tony’s Miami-based (Hispanic) family moved to America after the Spanish war. He believes that what makes a person American – regardless of his or her country of origin – is the spirit of Americanism. For him, Trump’s campaign is about restoring the spirit of Americanism. Tony is voting for Donald Trump mainly for the following reasons: immigration, taxes and national securities.
One of trump’s main campaign ideas is to strengthen the U.S. boarders. He thinks there should be a border wall, keeping out immigrants and refugees. He also proposes that immigration laws should be enforced both at the boarder and at the workplace. According to research, there were 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S in 2014 (mostly Mexicans). When discussing with Tony on his reason for backing this idea, this case study came up, “Let’s say you are a president and 100,000 Muslims were entering your country. If you know, for a fact, that 100 of them (not certain which of the lot) were coming into your country to commit acts of terrorism, will you allow all 100,000 in?”
Notwithstanding the fact that Tony, by all definitions, is a minority himself, he believes being American lies wholly in the ‘spirit’ of being one. He does not deem people Americans simply because they were born in the country. For him, being an American means to integrate completely with the culture (starting by learning the English language). He believes minorities (i.e. Pakistanis, Indians, Hispanics, Chinese) living in America should not speak their languages or celebrate being different; instead they should engulf themselves with America. Tony says that “America doesn’t need minorities, minorities need America as it is a beacon of light in a sea of darkness for all who seek a better life and new beginnings ” and stronger boarders need to be implemented because (although America is made up of them) minorities are just not American enough to live in America.
Trump is also looking to reduce the business taxes to the rate of 15 percent, individual rates to three brackets (12, 25 and 33) with a 0 percent rate for many. He wants to add above-the-line deduction for childcare costs, including for stay-at-home parents. For Tony, this is a fairer distribution of taxes as opposed to the one effective at the moment. Trump is proposing a flat tax system, which aims to equalize both the rich and poor.
Other issues Trump is looking to enforce (should he win the election) are rebuilding the military forces (so as to prepare the country for security challenges), banning the usage of government funds to pay for abortions (except in the cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in question), subsidizing education (so that students are not buried in debts). He has many other policies he hopes to apply varying from saving the environment to civil liberties to budget and spending.
Although Tony is voting for Trump, he admits that he (Trump) was not his first (or second, or third) choice. He had only recently settled for him since the competition now is practically between Trump and Clinton and Tony is voting against Clinton because he cannot elect someone who is constantly putting American lives at risk. He admits that Trump has a problem expressing himself; that he’s vulgar and politically incorrect, but will still vote for him because “his heart is in the right place.”
This article is long overdue, but the aforementioned interview was conducted well before the triumph of Trump. Interviewer’s name has been changed due to issues of privacy and a last-minute change of heart. Apart from that, every single detail (including his being a student at The American University of Paris) was true at the time.