The Fil-Am Voters and the Trump Politics

by Fernando Perfas

President Donald Trump returning to White House, after loosing the presidential election while on his golf course on November 7. | Photo via Wikemedia Commons

During the years before Donald Trump officially entered politics and ultimately won the U.S. presidency in 2016, I had watched him in one of his TV interviews. Somewhere in that interview the name of Melania, who later became his wife, was mentioned. “Where is my model? Where is my model?” Trump said repeatedly and proudly looking for Melania who was seated among the audience. He presented her with an air of satisfaction as if she were a trophy among his collections.

How he objectified her stunned me. His opinion of women was obvious years before countless of them came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct of one form or another. Then came the election of Barack Obama to the presidency and Trump’s apparent contempt for the first black man who won the highest office of the land. The birtherism directed at Obama that he spawned and embraced by some Republicans was fundamentally racist. When he became president he was obsessed with repudiating Obama’s legacy.

“How he objectified her stunned me. His opinion of women was obvious years before countless of them came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct of one form or another.”

Obama nailed it in his new book, A Promised Land, when he prognosticated that his presidency has stirred a latent racist streak among whites who continue to harbor the idea of white supremacy. If there is something of significance in Trump’s presidency, besides the obvious fact that he is inept and glaringly flawed as a person, is the underlying racial division in America and the tenacity of white supremacy that came in full display. It is remarkable that despite all the controversies around Trump’s personal conduct and historic failure to get a handle of the pandemic, more than 74 million Americans voted for him against Biden’s 80 million votes.

Trump is the catalyst of all that is ugly in this racial divide. His rhetoric, especially around law and order issue, racial justice, and immigration policies, is enough to incite fear among white voters. After all is said and done, with Trump’s massive leadership failure, there’s still about 57% of whites who voted for him against Biden’s 42 %. Despite the focus on the shifting voting patterns among Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and the Indigenous populations in battleground states and how they were crucial in Biden’s victory, the fact remains that whites always vote for candidates who represent their best interest. With minor variations, the majority of white voters have always shown the willingness to vote for candidates who promote white interests and overlook their corrosive and corrupt influences, as was the case of Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 elections.

“Trump is the catalyst of all that is ugly in this racial divide. His rhetoric, especially around law and order issue, racial justice, and immigration policies, is enough to incite fear among white voters. After all is said and done, with Trump’s massive leadership failure, there’s still about 57% of whites who voted for him against Biden’s 42 %.”

That said, it is quite easy to understand the white voters’ support for Trump. What is puzzling is the 34% of Filipinos who supported and voted for Trump. Although a large majority of Filipinos voted for Biden, much like other minorities, I still could not wrap my head around the reason one would vote for someone who casually characterizes the country of origin of an immigrant from less developed nation or third world country, like the Philippines, as a “shithole.”

Some Filipinos who have voted Republican in the past cite the values that the party stands for that they share, such as traditional family and religious values, respect for life, less government and taxation, anti-communism, etc. However, one has to be blind not to see how Trump does not stand for those or even pretend that he truly represents those ideals. Instead what we see is a person who is willing to sacrifice the interest of the country and its people over his own. He is beyond immoral and displays attributes that can be described as criminal. Sometimes I wonder if deep down the Filipino psyche lies an unconscious desire to identify with whites and those whom they believe represent white interest, an echo of colonial mentality. Some of them who are more enlightened can see how Trump’s beliefs and political strategy is reminiscent of a despot who ruled the Philippines in not too distant past and sadly some continue to adulate.

“Some Filipinos who have voted Republican in the past cite the values that the party stands for that they share, such as traditional family and religious values, respect for life, less government and taxation, anti-communism, etc. However, one has to be blind not to see how Trump does not stand for those or even pretend that he truly represents those ideals. Instead what we see is a person who is willing to sacrifice the interest of the country and its people over his own.”

Trump’s handling of the pandemic and his denial of Biden’s victory is not only delusional but catastrophic for the whole country. With so much death as a result of his vouched pandemic response, he’d rather spend his time cranking up all sorts of debunked conspiracy theories over the election and his loss than finding ways to alleviate the grief and suffering of the American people. Since he is too indifferent to lead to ameliorate the mounting crisis, the least for him to do is to simply keep quiet and retreat to oblivion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Fernando B. Perfas is an addiction specialist who has written several books and articles on the subject. He currently provides training and consulting services to various government and non-government drug treatment agencies regarding drug treatment and prevention approaches. He can be reached at fbperfas@gmail.com.

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