Editor’s Note: Hillary Clinton won nearly 90% of the vote on the Upper West Side, but that still means about 4,600 Upper West Siders voted for Trump. One of them, Howard F., is a West Side Rag contributor. Demographics suggest he would vote for Clinton — he’s a longtime Upper West Sider and native New Yorker who works in nonprofit fundraising for an organization that helps at-risk teens. His three boys went to PS 9 and his wife is an architect and artist.
By Howard F.
So…why did I vote for Donald Trump?! Here are three reasons.
I’m a registered Independent. Perhaps that means I don’t stand for anything. Or perhaps it means I’m merely a recovering alcoholic who doesn’t like to have any political party tell me what to do. What it’s meant practically is that I have voted for all affiliations of candidates at all levels for my entire voting life, which started in 1981. Congressman Bill Green and Senator Pat Moynihan are my heroes. I voted for Bill Clinton twice, because I thought he could do the job, and neither time for Barack Obama, because I didn’t think he could, which brings me to my next point.
My vote is always a “hiring decision.” If you can’t do the job, regardless of what you tell me on television or in ads, you’re not getting my vote. “Past performance IS an indicator of future success.” An indicator, not the indicator. I have never hired someone at work based on hypothetical Q&As or what they promise – job candidates and politicians lie – I look at their values and how they live them out with accomplishments that I also value. I was comfortable enough in what I saw in Trump, and equally nonplussed at Clinton’s lack of executive experience, that I believed he could accomplish my two priorities.
Trump as president could do what I valued most. I wanted a candidate who would (1) keep my family (wife and three kids) as safe as possible from terrorism, and (2) foster an economic environment to accelerate job creation for all Americans, especially poor Americans. All I want from a president is results in both these categories. Don’t let us get blown up, and help the most vulnerable by creating a path out of poverty.
I hope and pray I was right in my vote—I really do. Time will tell. But you have neighbors who are willing to look like racists—and who might even BE racists—who cast their vote for a candidate we hope will accomplish good things for all New Yorkers and all Americans.
One more thing…
The WSR ran an article on Inauguration Day about a small plane pulling a banner that read, “WE OUTNUMBER HIM! RESIST!” I had held my tongue for over two months about my vote, but that Friday felt for me like a new chapter, and I frankly was excited and hopeful.
Yet others—most others in NYC—were fearful, and I rudely dismissed that real emotion at the end of my otherwise even-keeled comment. I concluded, “…Get over yourselves and look forward rather than give in to your specious fears.” It was rude and, unfortunately, I embodied the earned reputation of Trump supporters being Neanderthals With Nukes.
Feel free to debate Howard in the comments, but keep it civil. We’ll be deleting comments that don’t adhere to basic community guidelines.