Before you start your finger-pointing and collectively have your “aha” moments about how this article must be about the stereotypical Trump supporter, take a breath. T. Musgrave is a wife and mother who resides in Texas. She practices Christianity as her faith and has not completed a college education. Knowing these most basic facts about her, you may be saying to yourself, can I have my “Aha” moment now? This is definitely a typical Trump supporter. She cast her vote for Donald Trump in the election in the hopes that her voice would make a difference.
T. Musgrave’s primary concerns revolve around her immediate family and the impact she has seen on them in the most recent years. The foundation of any great society is first established by how individuals provide for their own families and then their community as a whole. While we could view this motivation as selfish at its very core it is the absolute opposite. All of society is made of up family units and if every individual thought the way T. Musgrave does, we would live in a much better society. Her father passed away roughly two years ago and her mother, while retired, has since had to take a job at a convenience store to get by. She watched as her mother fell within that category of people who couldn’t afford health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and so paid a fine at the end of the year for what they already could not afford. The emotion in her voice is evident when she talks about the struggles she has watched her mother go through only to pay more money out as a penalty for trying to financially survive since her father’s passing.
She talks about her very young niece not being able to attend the pre-school program that her family had tried to get her into and how the influx of illegal immigrants in her area impacted that. In her area, a child having English as a second language is considered to be a disadvantage for that child and elective school programs, like pre-school, take those children before children that speak English as a first language. She expresses frustration that her niece whose entire family are American citizens could not attend the pre-school program so that children that were brought to the country illegally could attend. The frustration she expresses is never attached to a specific nationality or country of origin, she never mentions a specific race, it is an overall frustration in watching her country provide for those that are not citizens, that have not come into it legally, over her own family members who are citizens. She is watching a country behave as if it is more beholden to non-citizens than its own people and it has directly impacted those she cares about.
What she expresses is something heard time and time again from many Americans. She wants her family, who are all legal citizens, to be a priority in their own country. She wants her mother to have the option to not have health insurance if she cannot afford it and not have to pay money, which she scarcely has to begin with, to the government. Her choice directly reflects a very personal desire to see American’s be the first priority of the American government once again, she wants to see her children and her nieces and nephews provided for before those that are not even legally occupying the country.
T. Musgrave wants her children to grow up in a country less divided. She feels race relations and the divide in this country have not been this bad in forty or more years, and she knows how to accomplish that. Race, Religion, Country of Origin, Economic status, Political views, none of these should be able to divide us the way it has. The only divide that should matter with the current state of our country is whether or not one is an American. Legal immigrants are Americans; those of us born here are Americans. It’s a very easy priority to set. Americans first, and when we are able to care for our own, then and only then can we worry about caring for all others.
Right now you’re probably all geared up for your “Aha” moment, feeling rather justified, but the thing that must be considered is: is this racism? Is this Islamophobia? Is it bigotry? When did it become hateful to want one’s own country to care for its citizens before all others? When did we decide that we would neglect our own to care for others? The reality is we should help others absolutely, but only when our own house is in order first. There should be no debate between who receives help and who does not when one side of the aisle are not American citizens. That is not hateful, that is not racist, it’s the outcry of a nation full of people that want their house put right and those in it cared for before they are forced to help their neighbor. When our house is in order and people like T. Musgrave’s mother and niece do not have to lose out to help others, then we as a nation can provide for others. “Americans first” is a very simple concept and it’s not grounded in hate. When you feed your children dinner at night instead of letting them go hungry in order to feed the neighbor’s kids, does that mean you hate the neighbor’s kids? No, it means we must help ourselves before we can help others, and on a national level we are no longer putting our citizens first.
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