We all have an inner Trump

Am I a closet Donald Trump supporter?

That question crossed my mind when I was discussing the result of the 2020 US presidential election.

Democrat Joe Biden defeated Republican Trump to become the 46th president of the United States. It was a nail-biting fight and friends asked why about 48% of Americans voted for President Trump. My anti-Trump friends find him a revolting character, and they were surprised almost half of America supported him.

I said, perhaps they voted for Trump because of his policies and not his personality.

“As a Sabahan, I’m concerned about the never-ending influx of illegal immigrants in my state, which has changed its political demography. I might vote for Trump (if I was an American) because of his anti-immigration agenda, ” I told my friend.

In 2016, one of the main factors for Trump winning the White House was his hard-line stance on immigration, which is an issue that galvanised his core supporters.

I will vote for a party which goes hard on illegal immigrants.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against (legal) immigrants. Like 83% of Democrats, I believe immigrants have done more to strengthen than burden the country. Malaysia is a blessed land because of its diverse citizens.

What I’m against is immigrants illegally entering my state and metamorphosising from Photocopy Sabahans to Ori (original) ones through unlawful means, such as buying identity cards or courtesy of Project IC (registering foreigners in the electoral roll).

So, does my anti-illegal immigrant stance make me a Trump supporter?

For the record, I see myself as a Democrat.

I studied at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the 1990s. The 1992 US presidential election between incumbent Republican George H. W. Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton and Independent Ross Perot introduced me to American politics. As a journalism student, I attended campaign rallies in Michigan for the three leading candidates.

Why do I prefer Democrats to Republicans?

Perhaps because I view the Democratic Party as an inclusive one which embraces minorities (Blacks, Asians and Hispanic), while the Republican Party bears the hallmarks of an exclusive “white” party. Philosophically, Democrats are liberal and left-wing, but Republicans are conservative and lean more to the right.

I also perceive Republicans to be pro-big businesses, while Democrats are pro-ordinary people.

For example, take the Democrats stance on taxes and government regulations.

According to www.diffen.com, Biden’s party prefers “progressive (high-income earners should be taxed at a higher rate). Generally, not opposed to raising taxes to fund the government.” Whereas Trump’s party principles “tend to favour a ‘flat tax’ (same tax rate regardless of income). Generally opposed to raising taxes.”

I believe we should tax the rich more. Trump’s tax cut, however, has helped billionaires pay less taxes than the working class in 2018, according to a report by Forbes.

Diffen.com, a website which compares just about anything, also states that the Democrat Party believes that “government regulations are needed to protect consumers.” In contrast, for the Republican Party, they “hinder free-market capitalism and job growth.”

I do wonder how anti-Trump Malaysians would have voted if they were Americans and their vote was based on two issues – gay marriage and abortion.

In general, Democrats support same sex marriage while Republicans are against it. As for abortion, Biden’s party stance is it should remain legal, while Trump's party wants it outlawed (with some exceptions).

What’s my view on gay marriage and abortion?

Well, I’m a Catholic and also a liberal (although as I age, I find myself becoming more conservative), I should refrain from revealing my personal view on the subjects.

Interestingly, conservative Malaysians might have more in common with Trump’s party than Biden’s when it comes to gay marriage and abortion.

“Many Umno and DAP supporters don’t know that they have something in common. They are more Republican than Democrat, ” a political analyst who studied in the United States told me when we were discussing Malaysian and American politics.

“A majority of white Americans and white evangelical Protestants backed Trump. Which parties do you think the Malaysian equivalent of white and evangelical supporters would support in Malaysia?”

If I were an American voter, I would have voted for Biden.

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