Separating Trump from his alt-right supporters

Elizabeth Fequiere, Staff Writer

Since Donald Trump has been elected president, the nation has been wondering, when exactly is he going to make America great again? So far, he has yet to fulfill any of his campaign promises, but his supporters continue to have high expectations. Unfortunately, some of their responses to the presidential election have been troubling, to say the least.

On Nov. 19, 2016, Richard B. Spencer, leader of the Alt-Right movement known for promoting white nationalist views, gave a speech in which he made known, in no uncertain terms, his support for Trump and the opportunity America has today to revert back to what he calls, a “White America.” In his speech, Spencer stated, “America was, until this past generation, a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.” Afterward, the audience gave cheers in agreement and Nazi salutes. Spencer exclaimed, “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”

People like Spencer are exactly what’s wrong with America. The division between race and class, the racial tension in society and the hateful views imposed upon the next generation are caused by people who think this way. This unnecessary struggle is caused by people who are ignorant and misguided enough to think the color of your skin defines your worth.

Consequently, Spencer and others like him feel more confident now to spout their racist views because of who Trump is and how he presents himself. While Trump’s platform may seem inviting, the execution and presentation of his views has brought out the worst in people.

Admittedly, a lot of what Trump’s campaign was characterized by: changing the way money drives political decisions, establishing a stronger economy and building a stronger and more viable military which was alluring to me. I believe in most conservative views and his platform seemed to epitomize, more or less what the conservative party is all about. Trump’s message and his platform are based on principles that I think can be beneficial to our country, but it’s hard to see the positive side when Trump supporters give speeches like Spencer did.

There’s a big difference between a movement and its supporters. It’s difficult to see past the people who follow Trump and proclaim their loyalty while also pushing their own agenda. All you can think is, “I can’t support Trump because people who support Trump believe in white supremacy and despise the values this country was built on.”

You could hear Spencer’s speech and just write off Trump entirely because the people who back him say such abysmal things but I think that might be a mistake. It would negate all of the positive things, Trump and his administration could do for America.

Trump is a different kind of candidate, to say the least. He has always been a businessman. He made his fortune and knows how to make money efficiently.

He has a unique opportunity to improve the lives of all Americans, if not by touching their hearts, then by filling their bank accounts. And, although he probably can’t change the way he’s perceived because there will always be voters who feel he doesn’t belong in office, he can prove them wrong. He can show that he doesn’t support views that isolate the majority of Americans. He’s a man who is more concerned with the economy and less concerned with public relations, and, at the very least, he’s qualified to cut government spending.

It’s his accomplishments that can be remembered. If he wanted, he could go down in history as the one politician who actually fulfills his campaign promises. I choose to believe that some good will come out of a Trump presidency even if that is just a stronger economy tomorrow.

Elizabeth Fequiere is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]