Summary: I’m a UK writer, entrepreneur and businesswoman who has a fleeting interest in UK and US politics. I was looking for a little friendly enlightenment from US voters regarding Donald Trump but was not prepared for the vitriol I received in return.
Like many of you, I hold strong opinions, and if it wasn’t for my business and career, I could quite happily while away the hours sharing these on various articles that pop up on social media.
I’ve found, over time though, that sharing an opinion is not always the best way to win friends and influence people and so I think before I speak and save the topics I’m most passionate about for articles like these.
Sitting on the social media fence hasn’t stopped me from seeking clarity though. I will ask questions if I don’t understand a behaviour or trend and I will research to ensure I can speak with authority on a subject (or else, leave it well alone).
It was this curiosity and genuine confusion that led me to ask a question about Donald Trump, it was this curiosity that nearly killed the cat that is me, or at least made me fear a little for my life.
To Trump or Not to Trump – That is the Question!
In short, here’s a little backstory as to why I asked the question in the first place.
In the UK, we’re fed stories that Donald Trump is sexist, ignorant, prejudice, racist, uneducated and ill informed. He’s known as a narcissist who lies incessantly and incites violence at his rallies. Now, I work in the media. I know how biased the media can be, and I understand how we can be fed different stories on alternate sides of the Atlantic.
Isn’t this the reason Donald Trump believes there are “no go” terrorist areas in London, or that Sharia Law is prominent in the UK?
I was looking for a little clarification. The image we’re fed of Donald Trump leaves me wondering how any person could vote for him, as he seems to alienate all sexes, all races, and all intelligent people. I wanted to know if the UK perception was right, or if we just believed what the media wanted us to. To find the answer, I asked the US Buzzfeed Politics Community.
My question was, quite innocent I thought, “As UK citizens, we’re told that Donald Trump is the lowest of the low, while Obama is class personified. Is this true and if so, just who is voting for Donald Trump and why?”
The comments started flowing in and they weren’t pretty. From those against Donald Trump, I found some answers, I was told the DT supporters were racist, uneducated and mainly from the South. I was treated with respect and many tried to answer my question without prejudice. I was expecting a similar response from those who support Donald Trump but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Maybe it was the way I worded the question, but a torrent of vitriol ensued along with many delving deeper to find my personal online profiles and to send me death threats.
I was hoping that just one DT supporter would say, “You’ve been spun a line. Yes, DT is outspoken but he also stands for A, B and C. The media latches onto the worst, but those of us supporting him truly believe he can make America great again.”
If not that answer than I at least hoped for one that would give me some insight into the positives of DT as a potential president. Over 10,000 replies later, I didn’t receive a single positive word about Donald Trump, not even from his supporters (whom accounted for 10% of all replies)
What were his supporters saying if they weren’t trying to defend their chosen presidential candidate?
They were throwing hate and violence.
I received comments like these:
We kicked the UK to the kerb years ago, you’re weak and pathetic, take your nose out of our business
You have no right to comment on US politics, this does not concern you, kill yourself
Why would we listen to a Brit when you have Muslims running your country and stopping you from being safe in your own cities
The day we take advice from a country that protects and harbours terrorists is the day we let Clinton win
Only one comment out of the thousands received from the Trump supporters actually used the correct spelling and grammar. That’s not me making a bold claim, or trying to put down a supporter of Trump, that is an actual fact.
For my own sanity, after comment 5000 I stopped explaining the reasoning behind my question and rightly or not, I came to my own conclusion – the media weren’t spinning anything, the perception I had of Mr Trump was the right one.
As if they read my mind, this is when the death threats started. I’m including screenshots to prove this as it really did blow my mind and I can imagine some struggling to believe such hate would arise from a single comment.
Along with these, one tells me that they hope I’ll get cancer and die, another tells me to keep one eye open as I sleep. The list goes on. I deleted the majority but kept these little gems.
In conclusion, I still haven’t heard from a coherent Trump supporter about why he would be the best next president for America, which leads me to believe that no one really knows the answer.