I was a “closet” Donald Trump supporter and I’ve decided to come out. I am a professional woman, educated and hold a university terminal degree. I am a former community college president. I am not racist nor am I xenophobic. I have a multicultural son conceived with an Iranian Muslim former husband.
Since the tsunami election occurred, pundits, journalists and pollsters have obsessively given credence to the voting bloc of male, working-class individuals from rural areas as being the cause for Trump’s successful campaign. They have consistently showcased an elitist attitude about Trump supporters.
Many predicted that Trump’s campaign was doomed because it could not attract enough women or minorities. But reports suggest Trump captured about 42 percent of women voters, including white, college-educated, middle-class and wealthy suburban women.
Writing this op-ed was important because I believed it might help others (including 95 percent of my friends, family and colleagues) who are so distraught by the outcome to understand the rationale of a college-educated woman who “quietly” cast a vote in favor of a Trump presidency. Let me explain.
As an unaffiliated voter in North Carolina, during my lifetime I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans. Voting for Barack Obama in his first term, I was proud that we had elected the first African American as president. I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Extremely conflicted during the 2016 primaries, some days I considered supporting Bernie Sanders (he was authentic and a disrupter) and on another day Hillary Clinton (she was prepared and experienced). In the early days, I never considered Trump a serious contender. But as the campaign evolved, a significant change in mindset emerged. Listening more intently to the messages of both Clinton and Trump along with analyzing revelations from WikiLeaks and the FBI investigation led me to believe the system was way beyond badly broken.
It became clearer and clearer that we needed to shake things up and restore people’s trust. We needed a “bull in the china shop” to break some glasses, not someone who needed to shatter the glass ceiling.
While most uncomfortable with some of Trump’s inappropriate and disturbing rhetoric, I like many others chose to take his comments seriously but not literally, as Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal columnist, so aptly described. After eight years of ineffective leadership, it was time for an epochal change.
My biggest priorities in this election were the economy and national security. Trump’s pro-growth agenda will address much-needed tax reform, massive challenges of the Affordable Care Act and it will restore equilibrium between accountability and burdensome regulation. Unleashing the potential of individuals and businesses will create greater prosperity and innovation.
Lastly, I was attracted to a Trump presidency because I sincerely believed only someone as unorthodox and bold as he could take on the deeply infested establishment and extremely dysfunctional system that exists in the federal government. As a non-career politician and businessman, he thinks differently and his unconventional and nonconformist campaign proves it.
The earthquake election results have offered a very clear message and mandate for Democrats and Republicans alike. Change is needed and action is expected.
Catherine Chew is a consultant with Yellow Cape Communications in Charlotte and the former president of Craven Community College.