Point-Counterpoint Part I: Trump supporter talks indictment and 2024 presidential election

I used to be the guy who checked his retirement statements every time they arrived. Today, I look at them reluctantly or not at all. Inflation under the Biden administration put a hurting on everyone. I watched as my own personal investments plummeted, counting the losses in my 401K. During Trump’s presidency, I saw the opposite.

  • 9 months ago
  • August 19, 2023
7 min read
Photo courtesy of Jon Tyson on Unsplash Photo courtesy of Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Tim Root votes for Trump
Interview Subject
Tim Root, 41, lives in a rural community in New York State. He works as a cable technician and runs two small businesses. He is an avid outdoorsman and lover of all thing’s firearms. He votes Republican and says, “My conservative friends think I’m liberal and my liberal friends think I’m conservation.” Tim considers himself “pro-freedom.”
Background Information
Former United States President Donald J. Trump currently faces 91 criminal charges in four jurisdictions including Georgia, Florida, New York, and the District of Columbia. The first indictment came in March 2023 in New York in which prosecutors allege Trump falsified business records to cover up hush money payments to pornographic film star Stormy Daniels. Three months later, in June, the federal indictment in Florida arose, pointing to Trump’s alleged mishandling of sensitive documents and a conspiracy to obstruct the government.

Two more indictments arose in August 2023. The first in the District of Columbia alleges Trump conspired to defraud the government and disenfranchise voters, and that he corruptly obstructed an official proceeding. Finally, in Georgia, Trump and 18 other individuals face criminal counts related to alleged attempts to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state. All of this looms as candidates, including former President Trump and current President Joe Biden, campaign for their party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential election.

HINSDALE, New York ꟷ On election day for the U.S. presidency in 2024, I will wake up, grab a cup of coffee, and head off to work. During the day I will go and vote, and then return to my job. I will cast my ballot in the general election for whichever candidate is on the right, the one who best serves my interests, even if that candidate is Donald Trump. If a candidate does not support gun rights, I won’t vote for them. At the end of the day, all I want is to have America back.

Read Point-Counterpoint Part II: Biden supporter talks indictment and 2024 presidential election

Watching my business dry up under the Biden Administration

On top of working my full-time job for an internet and cable company, I run two small businesses – a gun shop and a small construction and landscaping outfit. During Trump’s term as president, business thrived. I often found myself three to five customers deep at the small mom and pop shop where I sell fishing and hunting gear, guns, and ammunition. At any given time, I could have up to 20 shotguns, 20 rifles, and 60 pistols in the case.

When the line backed up, I focused on one customer at a time. I walked them through the 4473 Form, then would get online and run their background check. While the other customers waited, I listened to them talk, laugh, and tell jokes. Everyone seemed so happy. Now, I face days when not a single person arrives. Supplies and inventory dried up, making certain ammunition and calibers of guns hard to find. These days, I am lucky to have six rifles and four shotguns on the shelf.

When customers come in, they look markedly less happy. Instead of laughing and joking while they wait, they talk about politics and focus on disagreements. I used to attract recreational enthusiasts, swinging by to blow off a couple hundred rounds at the range, but that trickled off too. Although I can’t pin it to a single reason, I wonder, “Are they hoarding ammunition? Do they fear something catastrophic happening?”

Not only did customers slow their purchasing, but phone calls also diminished on the construction and landscaping side. “We just can’t afford that new driveway,” I hear people say. These personal hits affecting my life solidify my political view.

Overspending, inflation, and a turbulent stock market

I used to be the guy who checked his retirement statements every time they arrived. Today, I look at them reluctantly or not at all. Inflation under the Biden administration put a hurting on everyone. I watched as my own personal investments plummeted, counting the losses in my 401K. During Trump’s presidency, I saw the opposite.

When the paper statement arrives in the mail today, I simply wonder, “Well, how much did I lose this quarter?” At 41 years old, I have another 20 years or more to work and I hope it gets better, but I worry about my parents. “What will happen to them,” I wonder. “Will I have to float them money one day because they’re investments just crashed?”

I watch our government’s overspending and it feels like it’s not about us anymore. It’s not about Americans. When I hear the debate about the migrant crisis I think, “Why are we taking in all of these people and providing them with everything when we can’t even take care of our own?”

I no longer come home and click on CNN or Fox News on the television. It just feels like whatever party has the White House, the opposite party obstructs. I cannot say who is to blame. As Americans, we look to leadership for help and it’s just not there. I look at Biden versus Trump and Biden’s mental blunders leave me with little confidence. Trump, on the other hand, never makes you guess what he thinks. He says it whether you like it or not. He seems more real.

Social spending is overextending us

In addition to my view on guns, I feel strongly about social overspending. Growing up, my parents and grandparents taught me to help anybody who needs it in any way I can, but don’t overextend yourself. They also taught me welfare is a great social program, but not a career choice.

Through my work, I often go into people’s houses. I see moms and dads, unemployed, sitting around smoking pot and cigarettes while they’re kids have no bedframe – just a mattress on the floor. Yet, they have every gaming system available and an 80-inch Samsung television on the wall. I hear them say, “I can’t work, I hurt my back.”

Meanwhile, when I swing by to visit my friend who is a quadriplegic, I see the opposite side of things. He has some limited use of his hands and arms but lives in a wheelchair. For years, he did computer repairs and when that dried up, he fixed four-wheelers. When he struggled with the tools, someone would put the wrench in his hand so he could get to work.

Eventually he opened a bait shop, which evolved into a full-fledged outdoor store. The point is, everyone can do something, but you have to want to. Social programs are funded by tax money earned through labor. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and I believe our government overspends. My vote goes to stopping that. Our government has been helping far too many people for far too long and we are simply overextended.

The Trump Indictment and everyday people finding common ground

The day they indicted Trump for January 6th, I saw the news scrolling through Facebook. “Again,” I thought, “They already impeached him, and he was acquitted. How many times are they going to keep poking the bear on this?” From the outside looking in, it appears they will keep trying until something sticks. Many of us can’t help but wonder if the indictments are politically motivated.

I would vote for Trump, but that doesn’t make me the typical conservative. As a six-foot, one-inch, 230-pound, gun-carrying, cable guy, people see me a certain way, but I believe in “live and let live.” I may be uncomfortable seeing a man dressed as a woman, but if you had an event and someone threatened you, I would show up and stand outside the door to make sure you are safe.

My parents live next door to a gay married couple, and I love those guys. Sometimes, when they are having a little bonfire, I swing by for a few beers. Once night, I danced with Darren around the fire when they nostalgically played their wedding song. I have other gay friends who are as conservative as I am. I think people just need to grow up, honestly. We can focus on common ground and work together to improve what we agree upon.

Take the hot topic of abortion. I don’t agree with it, but I have my four kids and that was my choice. I don’t necessarily think it should be a form of birth control – there are other things men and women can do. Yet, if someone decides to have an abortion, I think, “Hey, I’m still alive and so are my kids.” I wish we would stop drawing a hard line and saying, “This is my point of view and it’s the only way it’s going to be.” It’s time for us to become political grownups.  

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