I voted for Trump on the spur of the moment, but I don’t regret it | Robert Lee

Despite major reservations about my partys candidate, hearing us all dismissed by other voters in line at the polls inspired me to support him

The commercials have stopped airing. The votes have been cast. The people have spoken. Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States.

I was reluctant to back Trump even though I am a Republican, because right or wrong, he caters to many Americans desire to the see the progress in the world slow down a bit just so they can catch up. I also have grave concerns about building walls around our country, and I fear what the impact will be when we start isolating our economy from others. But in the end, I voted for him.

As I walked into my polling place, I simply planned on skipping the ballot for president and voting on down ballot races. We had a very important Senate race in Georgia, and maintaining control of that body for conservatives was, far and away, the most important goal I had this election cycle on the federal level. We also had important local races and amendments to the state constitution that I felt compelled to vote on.

I arrived at my polling place early enough to avoid the lines, or so I thought. Although I was half an hour early, the line snaked around a corner and down a long schoolhouse hallway. Because I forgot my headphones, I couldnt listen to music as a I waited. And the reception was spotty in the building so I couldnt peruse social media, either. So I waited and listened. Most folks maintained conversations with neighbors they knew or just sat quietly. However, two individuals nearby were engaged in a conversation that I wish I never heard.

From what I did overhear, they resented the very existence of the Republican party, and their scorn was reserved most for people who didnt have the strength to stop this man from being even the nominee. Their banter contained the usual unfounded complaints about Republicans were racists and misogynists but also included comments about how truly weak they thought we were as people.

This was in no way reflective of the party I love. As chairman of the Georgia Young Republicans, I struggled to strike a balance between our membership that campaigned vigorously for Trump and those that felt alienated from the party by his nomination. I defend the brand that my organization has of demonstrating support for the Republican ticket but maintaining enough independence that our members have a place to learn, discuss and disagree.

Fellow Republicans I know are, by and large, hardworking people. They love their families, and they cherish the privilege of being Americans. They hurt when their neighbors are suffering. They rejoice when those same neighbors find success in their life. More importantly, they genuinely just want all Americans to have an opportunity at a better life and justifiably are concerned that dream has become a nightmare for far too many Americans. The Republicans I know and work with were not the Republicans I heard these people talking about.

Now, Ill fully admit I never even saw these peoples faces, and they engaged in other topics of political conversation as the line inched closer to the ballot boxes, but I couldnt help but continue to listen anytime Republicans were brought up. And what I heard kept making me angrier.

So I voted for Trump. I wanted to prove a point and vote against those types of people who had nothing good to say about us. But it also felt good to me to support the good people I know worked so hard in an election they were told was a losing cause from the very beginning. They fought for whats right and treated me with a lot of respect even though I remained skeptical about our Republican nominee from the outset.

Just to support them, I wish I had come around sooner than 15 minutes before I pressed the button to cast my ballot. Nonetheless, today its a vote I proudly stand behind to honor them. Now we get to continue the hard work of encourage positive reforms and holding our elected officials accountable when they fall short of expectations.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/11/i-voted-donald-trump-young-republicans-defending-party

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