What teens think about Trump

BI Graphics_Undividing America_800x100_Post

teens rally
teenagers holding a placard take part in the ‘Rise Up New York’
rally at Foley Square in New York, the United States, May 1,


Most of teenage America — around 13% of the US
— was too
young to vote in the 2016 presidential election. 

While the research on this
generation is new, it offers insights into where American teens
fall on the political spectrum. In 2016, researchers Corey
Seemiller and Meghan Grace
conducted a review of three
Generation Z studies, which collectively polled over 150,000
teens about their perspectives on the world.

They found that today’s teens
tend to sway socially liberal and moderate, but
they’re moderate to conservative

want a balanced budget, but they want universal healthcare —
things that other generations have seen as opposing or a choice.
They see them as one or want both,” Seemiller
told Business Insider.

To get an idea of what teens
think about America’s 45th president, Business Insider asked
eight young people from across the US to weigh

They noted his unconventionally, especially his use of Twitter
and cable news to get screen time on the campaign trail.
A few teens found it surprising that he was able to hold
America’s attention in a way that they believe eventually led to
his win. Overall, these
teens expressed a sense of uneasiness about the country’s future,
especially around the growing polarization between the right and
the left.

Here are their responses to the
question, “What do you think of Donald Trump?”

Christian Parker, 18, Fort
Smith, Arkansas

“I would have voted for Trump [if
I was old enough at the time]. He was the lesser of two evils,”
he said. “As a president, he’s right 75% of the time. But
he needs to quit getting in Twitter feuds. There’s nothing
wrong with using Twitter to get your message out there. It would
be a good subversion tactic if things were getting done, but
nothing is getting done. He’s just getting in petty Twitter

He is a petty

“But he’s right about tax reform,
healthcare reform, things like that. He was right about the
Supreme Court justice to replace Anthony Scalia. Where he’s wrong
is when it comes to these incendiary remarks, quite frankly about
race…when you come out and say, ‘They’re all drug
dealers,’ that’s not good politics. That’s not good

Owen Grosserode, 14, Johnson
City, Tennessee

“I don’t think he should be
president right now. I’m not a big fan,” he said. “Whenever I see
him speak or on TV, I feel like I should respect him since
he’s the president of the United States, or I should hear what he
has to say. But I start listening, and I start shaking my head,
no no no. I think he’s very inexperienced, and he should’ve
started with at least mayor or something, not president.”

Kai Morton, 18, San Francisco,

“I watched “The Apprentice” back
when he was a reality TV star. It’s just crazy to see that man as
our president, because I used to laugh at just how crazy he was
even back then. And now, he’s the president of our entire free
world. It’s crazy to think that could be the same person, and sad
to think we could’ve changed so many things with someone else in
office,” she said.

“I was hoping for someone new
like Bernie — or even Hillary — over Trump. The main problem for
me is his cabinet. Trump himself isn’t really able to do much. He
needs to go through his cabinet members and Congress. His cabinet
members are the ones who are making policy decisions, like the
de-funding of Planned Parenthood and the healthcare bill, that
are really changing things for the worst.”

Tadhg Larabee, 17, Rockville,

“As a president, he’s
terrifically unconventional. We’ve never had a president who’s
been so active on social media before. We’ve never had a
president who uses his kind of rhetoric. And to my personal
taste, not all of that is good. I don’t like most of the things
he says, but I’m open to seeing how this new presidential role is
going to play out. Because there’s really no precedent for how he
is going to act.”

“I generally agree with him on
regulatory issues, but I don’t agree with him on his trade
policy… I do agree with what he did with

the Iran deal

. I feel
like he took a slightly more pragmatic position on it. And I
agree with what he has recently said about

Article 5 of

, things like

“I also think immigration is good
for our economy. Not that I think he’s completely
anti-immigration, but we should be accepting workers to do
skilled and unskilled work. We want to be able to produce things
in America, and in order to do that, we need workers.”

Sharon Lin, 18, Queens, New

“I don’t support his views
politically, but I think he did a good job at manipulating the
media in the primaries and leading up to the election,” she said.
“I think Donald Trump’s actual views are a little hidden,
compared to his public views.”

“I know many people who support
him now and supported him in the election, and they’re typically
either more traditional in their viewpoints, or they’re more
religious, or they come from a socioeconomic standing where they
would benefit from some of his decisions. I think that’s tragic,
because he is someone who does have enough influence to make a
lot of positive change. But instead, he’s using it for personal
gain, and that’s something I can’t personally support.”

Joseph Touma, 19, Huntington,
West Virginia

“I support Donald Trump as our
president,” he said. “I do think it is clear there is a learning
curve coming from the private sector to politics. I think there’s
something to be said for someone who had pretty much everything
he could want — a healthy, beautiful family, all the money he
could need — and to transition into a life of public service, or
at least four years, maybe eight.”

“I think he has good intentions.
I think he truly wants to make our country a better place. I
don’t agree with everything he does by any means. I’d love to see
a little less rhetoric on Twitter and less personal attacks on
people. As a president, it’s too early to say how he’s doing or
how successful he’ll be. But I think he is working on the two
biggest things: tax reform and

I like
him. He’s not perfect. Nobody is.”

Milo Stewart, 19, Houston,

“Honestly, what is there to like
about Trump? I’m concerned about the rights of LGBT people. And
immigration is a big issue that’s terrible. Healthcare is also
scary. I don’t want to think about an America with Trump’s
healthcare plan. I’m scared that my trans-ness could be
considered a pre-existing condition,” said Milo, who prefers the
pronoun “they.”

Milo pulled out their Tinder

“My first
picture is me at the Dyke March [an annual march for Pride
month]. And then, I have some basic selfies. The last picture —
and this is a very important part of my Tinder profile — is me at
the protest in Chicago where we mooned Trump Tower. So, it’s me
and my friends, and we’re mooning Trump Tower, and on our *sses
is written ‘f*** Trump.’”

Max Doocy, 17, Omaha,

“I respect him, but only due to
the fact that he and his campaign were able to set it up in a way
that fear was the main factor in winning. And I find that really
interesting, because fear beat acceptance,” he said. “I think a
lot of things he says goes against what the country is supposed
to be about, but I also respect the fact that he was elected. I
think that, as a citizen, you should accept and appreciate our
country is one where somebody can be elected even though you
don’t agree with them.”

These interviews have been condensed and