Shalhevet students say why they voted for Trump

School mock election Nov. 8 mock election saw Trump win 91 – 84, surprising many.

When President-elect Donald Trump won 91-84 in Shalhevet’s mock election Nov. 8, many thought people had voted for him as a joke.  After all, a schoolwide poll in September had found him trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by four percentage points.

But interviews with students and staff after Mr. Trump actually won on Election Day showed otherwise.

Shalhevet’s Trump supporters interviewed in school offered arguments that seemed to be straight out of campaign commercials, though with the addition of rationale concerning Israel.

Ezra Fax
VOTING: Students with last names in the first half of the alphabet voted outside the STEM lab on the second floor during Mock Election Nov. 8. Shalhevet followed national trends, with an upset victory for Donald Trump.

“I don’t think that Hillary understands the Middle East conflict,” said sophomore Honor Fuchs.

“The countries that gave her tons of money through the Clinton Foundation worry me. I like most of his policies – lower taxes, less government and government spending.”

According to Haaretz, Ms. Clinton has the longest track record out of the other presidential candidates for supporting the State of Israel in the government.

But according to the New York Times, the Clinton Foundation has received tens of millions of dollars from countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Algeria. Also, the e Times reported that many Jews in Florida supported Trump because Ms. Clinton supported Iran Deal, which they think will endanger Israel.

“He’s better for Israel than Hillary and he’s also better for the economy than Hillary,” said junior David Khakshooy, who voted for Trump in the mock election. “He’s a businessman and his eyes are more pointed towards business than Hillary.”

While President-elect Trump has called for tax cuts and less government regulation, he also has called for massive spending on infrastructure, five times more than Mrs. Clinton’s proposals, according to The Atlantic. He says he’ll pay for it because the country will undergo such an economic boom that taxes will come pouring in.

Though many economists disagree and have criticized Trump’s tax plans, junior Aaron Silverstein said that he mainly voted for Trump because Mrs. Clinton’s domestic policies would be worse.

“Hillary … would raise minimum wage and create many regulations which would harm the economy and jobs,” said Aaron. “Another four years of a Democratic presidency would just continue Obama’s legacy of expanded government.”

Junior Maya Schechter said she voted for Trump more because of her distrust of Ms. Clinton than because of Trump’s policies.

“She seems very fake and I don’t trust her to be the leader of the free world,” said Maya. “I don’t respect what she represents.”

Even though President-elect Trump has been accused of grabbing women without their consent and has said lewd things about women, Maya said that she made her decision not based on what they do on their own, but what they will do for the United States.

“People who vote for Hillary just because she’s a woman are ignorantly being sexist,” Maya said. “I consider myself a feminist for the simple reason that I believe in equal rights for men and women.”

Junior Elana C., who did not want her name to be used, said she preferred Mr. Trump’s plans for domestic policies and that Hillary’s track record made her unfit to be president.

“To reelect someone who has failed the American people would be dumb,” said Elana. “I like that he says that he is going to make inner cities safer. I like that he says it is going to make it illegal for immigrants to enter the state. I like that he is going to lower taxes.”

Elana also brought up the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which took place when Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State.

“She left Americans to die,” Elana said.

Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State during the 2012 attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi. However, according to Politifact, there were eight investigations of her conduct on Benghazi – most controlled by Republicans – and while they thought State Department procedures should be improved, none found any wrongdoing by Mrs. Clinton.

Other students said that they followed their parent’s political standings.

“I don’t really have a reason for voting for Trump other than I don’t trust Hillary and my dad voted for him,” said an anonymous junior.

Junior Ben Mashiach agreed.

“Weighing the costs of how horrible Hillary is and who my parents believe is better for Jews and for the country, I voted for Trump,” said Ben.

Evidence that some might have voted without actually favoring Mr. Trump came from junior Daniel Lorell. Daniel said he was influenced the last-minute FBI case investigation Hillary Clinton’s email scandal by FBI Director James Comey.

But he also stressed that he might have voted differently if it was the actual election instead of a mock election.

“It was more of a gut reaction thing,” said Daniel. “It wasn’t really high stakes.

“I think the recent FBI re-probe into her emails — that was probably the most influencing factor,” he said. “Although I’m not sure I would have kept my vote the way I did, not because of the actual election but because of his stance on climate change and the sciences.”

Teachers and staff did not vote in the mock election, but many students had assumed faculty had mostly supported Clinton.

Associate Director of College Counseling Ms. Lisa Gruenbaum said she voted for Donald Trump in the actual election, because she appreciated that he was new to the political scene.

“I liked his perspective as someone who hasn’t had their entire career in the government,” said Ms. Gruenbaum. “I thought with his skills as a businessman, he could come in like an auditor and see what policies the government has and could change that.”

As for the president-elect’s controversial comments about women, Muslims and Mexican-Americans, Ms. Gruenbaum was not bothered.

“For me it was part of his humanness,” she said. “It is something you or I might say at the dinner table one Friday night.”