‘Apart from his tweet, I like the results’
Trump supporters in Michigan are certainly enthusiastic. Along with the thousands of people who attended the Muskegon rally, hundreds more who had stood in line for hours but couldn’t get in remained stranded to watch the president on a large video screen outside. of the place.
“Seeing a sitting president come to your hometown is once in a lifetime,” said Todd Twining, who attended the rally with his wife, Mary. He said it was something worth telling “to our children, to our grandchildren, that we were a part of this, in the midst of a pandemic, in the midst of all the chaos and the division is happening ”.
The Twinings credit Trump with a booming pre-pandemic economy. Todd Twining said he had never before seen so many “Help Wanted” signs in Michigan as he had under Trump. He also said that following the tax cuts approved by Trump in 2017, the furniture company he works in is spending millions of dollars on new machinery.
“You see more enthusiasm than in 2016. More people are not afraid to come forward and show their support,” Twining said.
Trump is counting on continued support in Calhoun County, which includes the Rust Belt town of Battle Creek, the headquarters of grain maker Kelloggs. In 2012, Obama beat Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney here by 2%, but Trump crushed Clinton by more than 12% four years later.
One enthusiastic Trump supporter is Republican Dave Morgan, who is running in this electoral cycle in the Michigan House of Representatives. Morgan is on leave from his job as an Amtrak engineer and is a proud Teamster. He is also the former chairman of the Calhoun County Democratic Party.
“I was tired of having to be outraged all the time,” Morgan said. “In the Democratic Party, it seems like you are focusing more on protests, outrage, resistance, and I’m more on results. I’m getting too old to be upset every day of my life. ”
He credited his party’s shift, in part, to labor issues. Morgan believed that NAFTA was a disaster and that the USMCA deal negotiated by Trump to replace it was a victory for everyone, especially the Michigan auto industry, which he said has seen a big turnaround.
“I hope he wins [again] Morgan said. I think outside of his tweet I like the results. ”
Calhoun County Republican Party Chair Jeannie Burchfield calls Trump’s policies “unmistakably good.” It’s a sentiment she says is shared by the volunteers and supporters she meets every day, including people from different ethnic communities who reject accusations that Trump is racist or that he refuses to speak out. white supremacy.
These supporters blame the media for fueling these labels, she said, and focus more on job security and, especially for many, on strengthening their 401 (k) pension plan. sponsored by the employer. “The media don’t stand a chance against the real 401 (k) of people,” she said.
Nathan Halder, 19, chairman of the Calhoun County Republican Party, who has already voted – his first in a presidential election – for Trump, is one of Burchfield’s volunteers helping to publicize Trump.
Just hours before Trump’s rally in Muskegon, Halder and two other young Republican volunteers knocked on doors in a Battle Creek neighborhood, trying to get homeowners to vote for the president.
Some were receptive to the message, such as the three men inside a house garage, dressed in hunting clothes as they cut up a deer that one of the men had just killed with a bow and arrow.
Halder repeated his repeated opening sentence that Trump created the best economy in 50 years and if anyone can get it back on track, it’s him. Perhaps while reading the room, Halder also pointed out that unlike Biden, Trump strongly supports the Second Amendment, which guarantees every American the right to bear arms.
“How can we have a president who is not for the Second Amendment,” said the one man. “You are president, and are you going to oppose?” ”
Kathy Heath, a retired teacher, didn’t need to be convinced by Halder either. She too will vote for Trump, who she says has stood up to other countries with the message that the United States will no longer be rushed. Having said that, she admitted that she doesn’t like Trump’s personality. “I just wish he kept his mouth shut.
Not everyone in that neighborhood seemed to like the president, including the occupants of a house with a “Pro-America, Anti-Trump” sign posted in the yard. Halder decided to bypass this house – that is, until resident Jim Barron came over for a chat.
“Yeah, there’s no way I’m voting for that guy,” Barron told Halder. “Yeah, there’s no way to hell. My parents are both at home right now with COVID, and I think the President has done a horrible job of dealing with COVID-19. ”
Then Barron asked the young volunteer, “So you think he handled the virus well?” ”
As Calhoun County saw a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, Halder defended Trump’s actions, saying the president halted travel from Europe and China, which he initially claimed against .
Barron responded by claiming that the president could have imposed a mask warrant and that he was “talking shit about Biden wearing a mask” when he himself had already been infected with the coronavirus in the first presidential debate. on September 29th.
“The president is over there saying, ‘It’s not a big deal, I feel better than I’ve ever felt,'” said Barron. “Well that’s cool you can get all of these advanced treatments. My dad can’t get it. He’s just home, lying down but in pain for weeks, and the president is on TV saying, ‘Not much’ about it. ”
The back and forth between Halder and Barron remained polite, and in the end, they agreed to disagree.
“I’m just saying that Trump did everything he could to deal with the virus,” Halder said.
“Two hundred thousand people died from it,” Barron replied. “I think he could have done a better job. “