By Oswaldo Vazquez and Matea Toolie
Los Angeles, CA and Savoonga, AK
A crowded night in Princeton served as the perfect setting to gather diverse perspectives on one of the most talked-about Americans today: President Donald Trump. On August 3, reporters from The Princeton Summer Journal asked Princeton residents to name one positive and one negative thing about the president. Some were enthusiastic to give their thoughts, others were uninterested—and their opinions varied.
“Trump is ruining the country. He is an embarrassment,” said Chris Michie when asked his views about the president. Michie, a middle-aged Democrat, thinks that the president’s current policies are “destroying decades of hard work from his predecessors. … He has no respect for the people and is a liar.” When asked if he could identify a positive aspect of Trump, he answered with an emphatic, “no!”
Cornelia O’Grady, a former Republican who no longer supports any party, said she did not quite like Trump, but she appreciated his ability to unite people. She said that Trump “is bringing people together—the people who would not normally be together. He unifies the middle.” She is concerned, however, about the president’s financial conflicts and the corruption in his administration. “He is making money off this country,” she said. “There is evidence that he is selling us out to the Russians. An example of that would be the cyber attacks” on Democrats.
It wasn’t just Americans who had opinions about the president. “He is brave for being a 70-year-old man. Probably one thing I like,” said Cici Zhan, who was visiting from China.
Perplexed, indifferent, or annoyed by the journalists’ questions—or perhaps a combination of all three—a man named Rene Saiguro said frankly: “I don’t know about the politics today. I don’t think anything of it.” As soon as the interview was done, Saiguro was on his way.
Rob and Kristen Holly, two registered Republicans, had positive things to say about Trump. Both commented on the “brave and fearless speeches” the president has given to the public since the start of his political campaign. The couple still had some concerns. “I wish he was not socially awkward. I would like to see a more eloquent president,” said Rob Holly.
The Hollys ultimately agreed that Trump still has a long way to go to become the “ideal president,” further criticizing his colleagues in the White House who don’t have the political experience to run the country properly.