Student urges open dialogue in open letter to anti-Trump supporters

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Firstly, I would like to share my personal beliefs before I attempt to engage the anti-Trump reader in a serious conversation. This student at Union did not support Donald Trump at any point during the campaign and strongly believes he has done a major disservice to America after one month in the White House.

My hope is that you understand how to have meaningful conversations with Union student Trump supporters. The intention of this article is to encourage my peers to have meaningful dialogue with their peers who think differently. Some students may have never engaged in a dialogue with a student Trump supporter, while others may actively do this on a regular basis. Just how many Union students support Donald Trump? Nearly 15 percent of students selected Donald Trump in an open primary last spring during common lunch.

Approximately 360 Union students would support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and John Kasich. What are the causes or reasons so many Union students support Donald Trump? Unfortunately, many liberals misdiagnose the reason that Trump won the election and has support from the student body.

Typically, the discussion about Trump supporters will follow a similar pattern, “They are racist, misogynistic and Islamophobic.” While these labels are not incorrect, it is important to try to avoid using these labels when talking to a Trump supporter for a number of reasons. The reason Trump supporters are called “the silent majority” is because they are afraid to express their views openly.

This fear of being ousted as a Trump supporter exists because nobody wants to fit into those labels that are not socially acceptable. The only way to win the ideological war against Trump supporters is to have an open conversation with them. By no means should their views be normalized. Instead their ignorance should be exposed.

Additionally, an average Trump supporter thinks they are the one being persecuted for their beliefs. The root of this thinking lies in an inability to recognize status quo hegemony of culture, religion and race. Any transition of power that attempts to “even the playing field” such as expanding welfare, increasing immigration, affirmative action and reproductive choice are perceived by them to be unfair. It is unreasonable to completely shut off conversation with a Trump supporter because their views are different.

In reality, since we are the same age, we both have the same fears and hopes for the future. The fear is that we will graduate and be unable to find jobs in a bleak economy. Ask the student Trump supporter specifically what sorts of policy that Trump will enact that will help our chances of finding a well-paying job after graduation. Hear their response and bombard them with facts. Remind them that increasing deportations will lead to an opening of low-paying, high labor jobs once they graduate.

Ask them if they would like to remain on their parent’s healthcare plan until the age of 26. Tell them that Trump’s tax plan will give the richest Americans tax cuts and widen the already tremendous gap between the rich and poor. Ask them if Director of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt is qualified to ensure clean air to breathe, fresh water to drink and protect our planet from catastrophe events in the not-so-distant future. Inform them that the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists or seeking to destroy our democratic values.

Actually, Moscow is a greater threat to our security and American influence by delegitimizing our elections and influencing our campaign process. Is freedom of press so important anyway? Could this article be spread throughout campus if that right hadn’t been guaranteed in the Constitution? Remind them that one of the principles of patriotism is celebrating our diversity of ideas, religions and races.

I implore all the anti-Trump readers to never tolerate oppression, communicate effectively with those that disagree with you and listen to what others have to say, in that they offer you the same courtesy. Finally, this is one conversation that Trump supporters can’t deem a “fake conversation” and filter this information from their news feed. At a certain point in life, a Trump supporter will tackle his or her own personal insecurities and ignorance; this dialogue is only expediting that process.

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