What do college conservatives think of President Trump?
March 18, 2017
INDIANOLA, Iowa — The first few weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency have put American politics under the spotlight while sparking significant discussion, and Simpson students are taking notice.
Campus conservatives opened up about the issues pressing the nation, and praise of the administration’s fast action is also being met with criticism.
A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll released Feb. 14 found that 42 percent of Iowans approve of the job the president is doing while 49 percent disapprove.
Matthew Haynie is a nontraditional student who is “not a huge Trump fan.” Haynie is the father of three children and is studying to become a constitutional lawyer. With the debate continuing around the proposed immigration ban, Haynie feels there are issues with the Trump administration’s approach.
“I’m a social liberal, so I am not a big fan of what he is doing with immigration. I support people who live life the way they want to live,” Haynie said. “The problem is that the American population is built on the backs of immigrants, so to stymie immigration the way he does bothers me. I can’t put my finger on why, it’s just there is something wrong with that.”
While Haynie agrees that the issue of immigration needs to be addressed, he found the initial draft of the immigration ban was too restrictive.
“Limiting people who come from countries that support ISIS is counterproductive because the ones who are coming over from those countries are coming over legally. They’re coming over to escape that kind of lifestyle or they are contributors to society: doctors, lawyers, musicians and things like that,” Haynie said.
Senior Morgan Moline is student teaching at Emerson Elementary in Indianola and is looking for a permanent position after graduation. Moline was a Marco Rubio supporter during the primaries and “honestly didn’t know what to think” of Trump’s rise in popularity.
“As educators we are very affected by collective bargaining,” Moline said. “Right now, as we are trying to apply for jobs there aren’t a lot of openings because some districts aren’t sure what they are going to do with their budgets. They don’t know even know what they are going to be doing with their teachers for next year.”
Moline feels that education reform needs to be addressed immediately.
“A lot of teachers aren’t fans of Betsy (DeVos). Schools need more funding, and a lot of other things need more funding. It is hard to spread that money out,” Moline said.
In light of the heavily criticized appointment of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education and a bill that passed in the Iowa Legislature significantly reducing negotiation power for public employees in Iowa, educators are active at the Capitol. A demonstration was held Feb. 15 opposing the bill on the Statehouse lawn, which some Simpson students attended.
While education was not one of the most discussed aspects of the Trump campaign, the idea of changing the perception of our country has been a theme throughout.
Putting America first was a huge part of the Trump campaign, and Haynie cites Trump’s upcoming visit to the United Kingdom and firmer stance in the Middle East as evidence of this coming to fruition.
“(Other nations) fear trump. They know Trump isn’t going to back down,” Haynie said. “Think about Obama’s last couple years in office when he was always apologizing for America. Contrast that with Trump saying, ‘I’m not going to apologize for any of it. I am going to get the best deal possible for America. I’m going to put America first.’”
Haynie feels that politicians should carry out all of their ideologies based on basic liberties granted in the Constitution.
“There is no reason that conservatives and liberals can’t work together,” Haynie said. “Why can’t we? This is the ultimate test: Does it violate a person’s life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”
Haynie feels that abortion “is one area where I won’t compromise.”
In January, Trump acted on this swiftly, reinstating a Reagan-era ban blocking foreign aid or federal funding for those international, nongovernmental organizations that provide or promote abortions.
The ban has been abolished and re-established with each change of power in parties throughout the past decades. This makes the move a reaffirmation to the anti-abortion community that his presidency will keep with Republican orthodoxy on the issue of abortion.
The abortion debate in Iowa has turned toward the continued funding of Planned Parenthood. The Iowa Senate passed a bill defunding all 12 Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa and the bill will likely become law once it clears the Iowa house.
A recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa found 62 percent of Republicans believe non-abortion funding should continue, as do 62 percent of evangelical Christians. The Des Moines Register reported that Planned Parenthood does not receive any public money for abortions, but the bill was received well from the anti-abortion community.
While the election has given the mass media a much better idea of the unrest surrounding the Trump movement and some of these issues, it is still proving difficult to measure the response and influence of this group.
The Simpsonian contacted several other Simpson students who supported Trump during the election but none were available for comment.