OXON HILL, Md. — Thousands of young millennial conservatives poured into the Gaylord Convention Center Feb. 21 – 24 for a three-day conference on conservatism and “Making America Great Again.”
For the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) — an event targeted to excited young conservatives — it’s not uncommon to see men dressed in MAGA hats and suits or women wearing red elephant skirts. What garners more intrigue, however, seems to be the minority Trump supporter proudly wearing his MAGA hat and defending the president and his policies.
In the year since the election, minority Trump supporters still seem to draw interest and curiosity from liberal and conservative media, with one side trying to understand how a person of color could support what they call a racist president, while the other uses them as means to prove Trump isn’t racist.
Given the drama in the past year surrounding the Trump administration, how do these minority Trump supporters feel about the president and his performance?
The Daily Caller News Foundation spoke to many who students who said they were still excited, if not more so, since Trump entered the White House. They believe the president is getting results in areas that weren’t happening before the 2016 election.
“Prior to the election, there were no results. So far, we’ve seen tax reform, and we’ve seen that it works. We see him making steps to push for stronger trade,” Capitol Hill intern Jordan Hamilton said to TheDCNF, while donning a “Make America Great Again” headband.
TheDCNF interviewed others who echoed the same responses and felt more excited about a Trump presidency a year in. One attendee pointed out that while he was less excited because the reality of a presidency had set in, he still viewed Trump’s presidency as historical because an outsider had made it into the office.
“I’m just really, really excited. I’m as much as excited as I was when he was first running for office in 2016,” Stone Washington, another attendee, said to TheDCNF. “I’m not gonna be complacent for the 2018 election. I’m gonna keep that same excitement going.”
But what is it about President Donald Trump that has these students still so fired up about him? A common thread among the CPAC attendee’s responses was a belief that Trump holds up conservative principles and excitement over his economic policies and border-security proposals.
“I like how he comes back at anyone who comes at him first. I like that, but I know that some people don’t. I like that he does try his hardest to work across the field, even though he doesn’t get the results that he wants,” college student Shawn Gamble told TheDCNF. “He’s pretty much doing everything he promised us.”
Another attendee criticized Trump’s handling of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients, saying it was a complicated situation that he believed the president hadn’t fully examined.
No matter how much the media tries to ding Trump on his racially charged rhetoric, these minority Trump supporters don’t seem to care. What journalists see as racist, these supporters view in an entirely different light. Most of the supporters also didn’t seem concerned with racial diversity at CPAC — a long-time favorite liberal insult against conservative circles and events.
“I think diversity of thought is more important than like ‘Oh we’ve got a black Republican and an Indian guy.’ I feel that if the GOP communicates their message effectively, they’ll attract more minorities,” Hamilton told TheDCNF.
One attendee views Trump’s rhetoric as a symptom of not being a professional politician, while another called for knowing the context of what Trump was talking about before calling his rhetoric “racist.”
“A lot of us in our day-to-day lives have said things that aren’t racially charged but could be perceived as so from someone who doesn’t know us,” he told TheDCNF.
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