Luke Votaw er det, man i USA kalder “blue-collar worker”: Han arbejder på en General Motors fabrik, hvor han samler lastbiler og varevogne.

Ung, amerikansk vælger
Luke Votaw med sin søn, Daniel, til St. Patricks Day. Privatfoto.

Derudover er han aktiv i den amerikanske hær via Missouri Army National Guard og regner med at skulle udsendes i slutningen af dette år. Privat er han i start-tyverne og far til sønnen Daniel.

Luke identificerer sig generelt som Republikaner – helt i tråd med sin hjemstat, Missouri i det midtvestlige USA, som også overvejende stemmer Republikansk.

Men denne valgcyklus har Luke været mere i tvivl end sædvanligt om, hvor han skal sætte sit kryds. Hør her om hans syn på præsidentvalget og ikke mindst den flamboyante Republikanske kandidat, Donald Trump:

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How long have you been a Republican for?

I have been a Republican as far back as I can remember, which was in 2004 during the Bush V. Kerry election. I was in fourth grade then, and from what information I could process at that time, I seemed to identify more so with George Bush.

How did you decide on the Republicans being your party?

The Iraq War in 2004 was raging and the prime topic of debate in 2004. The attacks on September 11, 2001, really affected me and frankly my entire generation. We’re growing up in a generation of war. We’ve only known our country to be fighting terrorism. And even though I do realize that the Iraq War, looking back on it, we should not have gone in in the first place; we still started that mess and so we needed to finish it. Being that young, in my mind it was good guys vs. bad guys, and we were the good guys, and I wanted us to win. So George Bush offered more of a sense of victory to me without retreating. Now looking back, it gets a lot more political than that. But President Bush’s strong sense of leadership and steadfastness in having our soldiers back’s is what really drew me towards the Republican Party. And now later on in life I’m seeing that the Republicans are pro a smaller government, typically for less taxes and less regulations on business, which I’m all for.

How strong is your allegiance to the party and why? 

My allegiance has not at all been strong this cycle. I do not like Trump, I do not know if I will be voting for him this year.

But why isn’t my allegiance strong? Because the two parties have only made Americans more partisan and it makes people not do their research and only vote down one straight ticket for Republicans and Democrats. It’s a bit ridiculous to me, and that only gives the parties more power over the way the individual thinks. We the people need to be the ones to tell our elected officials what we need and what is good for us. Not the other way around. Blind allegiance only makes you blind and won’t allow you to see the underlying issues and topics and what is actually even being discussed in Congress.

Would you ever vote for the Democrats, or would you rather not vote then?

I surely will not be voting for Secretary Clinton. But I voted for Bernie Sanders (Democrat) back in the Missouri primary. After the Republican that I supported dropped out (Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky), Bernie Sanders was the last respectable candidate left. I may not agree with the majority of what he stands for, however I respect the fact that he has stuck with his views his entire career in politics. But after he endorsed Secretary Clinton I lost a bit of respect for him.

Right now, out of all four of the candidates, I want Gary Johnson to be president. He’s on the Libertarian (third party) ticket this year. And what’s interesting is, if Gary Johnson earns 5% of the popular vote, America has a new minor party, and in the 2020 election cycle the Libertarians would be eligible for about $8 million dollars to start of their campaign. To put this in perspective: Johnson has raised only $8 million this election cycle, so becoming a minor party automatically doubles their efforts. And having a new party excites me.

I will be voting for a Democrat for my congressional district over the Republican incumbent though – and I may be voting Democrat for Missouri’s governor, but I’m still undecided.

What do you think about the current election in general?

This election has been terrible. Our two candidates focus more on ripping each other apart versus offering actual policies. Trump just recently gave his “contract with America”, stating what he will do his first 100 days and what a Trump administration wants accomplished. And all I’ve heard from Secretary Clinton is more so focusing on continuing the Obama Administration policies. Which the Middle East under his administration has only deteriorated and terrorism has grown. Domestically president Obama isn’t a uniter at all. The Affordable Care Act (Obama care) is taking on a lot of water with many companies dropping out of the changes, while premiums continue to go up, which is what Republicans, and some Democrats, warned of back in 2009-10 when it was getting drilled through Congress. And other things Clinton talks about doing is just spending more and not focusing on getting rid of our massive deficit.

These two candidates are the two most unpopular candidates in history. Both of their unfavorable ratings are higher then their favorable ratings. They both have run negative campaigns and I’m sick of it.

How do you feel about Trump being the Republican nominee?

He’s been a Democrat before he was a Republican. Which begs the question, is he really just doing this for show or to promote his name? I used to believe that, but I no longer do. I believe his campaign may have started out that way, yet I feel like after all the mud slinging between Trump and Clinton, the motivation is purely personal now. I feel like they absolutely hate each other – they didn’t even shake hands at the third debate nor I believe at the end of the second debate. I feel like Trump now wants to win just so that he can beat Clinton and vice versa. I don’t get the feeling from either candidate of them actually wanting to help our country as a whole.

What have your feelings for Trump been like throughout the campaigning? How has your view of him evolved?

My view of Trump has not changed throughout the campaign. He’s very authoritarian, has a huge ego for better or for worse. Trump says a lot of stupid things, but Hillary does a lot of unpresidential things. Such as her pay to play scheme with the Clinton Foundation, thank you to Wikileaks for that one.

The DNC, Democratic National Committee, worked with the Clinton campaign to derail Bernie Sanders’ campaign. They didn’t want Bernie as the nominee, even though Bernie would destroy Trump in a general election, but money talks and bullshit walks and Clinton has all the money. So to me, Trump is the lesser of the two evils. I have full faith that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan would keep Trump in check if Trump were to be elected president

That’s my argument for me voting Trump – if I don’t vote Johnson.

What do you think of the recent allegations made by Trump concerning election fraud?

As far as election fraud goes and rigging, I haven’t seen any credible sources confirming fraud. There was one occasion however, that I can think of, where in Ohio there were a bunch of ballot boxes that were discovered in a warehouse that was only Clinton votes and straight Democratic candidates only. Which is a huge red flag.

The last debate was on a while ago. How did you feel about the last debate?

I thought the third debate was a draw. No one heard anything new really, and I don’t think it changed even ten voters minds.