In the run up to the presidential election taking place in the United States this November, The Millennial Source will be publishing a series of interviews showcasing different opinions about President Trump and former Vice President Biden to give readers insight into the views of candidates’ supporters and detractors.
For the first article in this series, we interviewed Andrew Shecktor, a delegate to the 2020 Republican National Convention for Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District. Shecktor was also a district-level delegate in the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Shecktor is formerly an elected member of the Berwick Borough Council, the local government in the town of Berwick, Pennsylvania. He made an attempt to run to represent Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives (formerly the 11th District) in 2018. The seat eventually went to Republican Daniel Meuser.
Each interview will be published with only minor edits made for clarification purposes and readability. If for any reason the content conflicts with the accepted facts of a given situation from nonpartisan sources or if some additional information could provide clarity, the reader will be informed in the “Editor’s note” (in italics) following the interviewee’s answer.
TMS: In your view, why does President Trump deserve to be reelected?
Donald Trump has in the last three years built up the economy and removed many of the restrictive federal laws that had been tying the hands of industry. Even though it appears down now because of current situations, Trump has bolstered the economy sufficiently for it to fully recover from this.
Trump has taken all the obstacles that have been thrown in his path, including a virus pandemic and racial strife. US corporations have full confidence, as shown by the quick market rallies following these events.
Despite what we sometimes hear in the mainstream media, Trump has made no attacks on the LGBTQ [community] or on citizens of any color or race. His actions against hostile foreign nations thus far have been warranted.
He has also supported our religious institutions without promoting or interfering in their operation. He fully supports our first and second amendment rights.
Not seen in the mainstream media are his many takedowns of international sex, drug and organ trafficking operations run by many high ranking individuals including political leaders, business executives and international organizations.
Donald Trump has stood strong against numerous adversaries who have been working to take him down. He stands tall and proud and still has faith in the United States of America.
Editor’s note: In January, Trump signed an executive order that created a new post within the White House dedicated to combating human trafficking. He has received criticism, however, for making misleading statements on trafficking in reference to security on the southern border. According to the State Department, although convictions have increased, federal prosecutions decreased in fiscal year 2018, the latest year for which data is available.
In reference to attacks on the LGBTQ community, although Trump has tweeted his support of the community, some allege that his policies have in fact negatively affected LGBTQ individuals. In 2019, the Trump administration supported a ban on transgender individuals in the military. The administration has also rolled back health care protections for transgender people.
Shecktor’s claim that Trump has taken down international sex, drug and organ trafficking operations has been popularized by the far right group, QAnon. They have no factual basis.
TMS: What are some of the Trump administration’s policies that you support? Why do you support them? How are they making a difference?
The Trump policies I support most are those that involve bringing jobs, manufacturing and self-sufficiency back to America. As has been seen with the ongoing pandemic, having little or no domestic resources puts our entire nation at risk. Should we become isolated from the rest of the world totally we would be helpless.
Controlled borders is another issue I agree with. Every nation in the world controls the entry of immigrants. Many require proof that the immigrant has sufficient wealth and abilities so as not to be a burden to society.
I also support Trump’s shrinking of government control and taxation. Government overreach shuts down innovation and economic development.
Trumps reining in of money going to foreign entities and organizations is something I strongly support. We are a tiny nation in terms of population, yet we have been providing the majority of funding to organizations such as WHO, NATO and others. It is time the rest of the world pay their share.
Editor’s note: The US is the third largest country in the world by population, with over 331,000,000 people. America is one of the founding nations of the WHO, NATO and other global organizations and has been an influential member of these institutions since their establishment.
TMS: In your view, does the media generally cover Trump fairly? Why or why not? What is your primary news source?
The mainstream news media from day one has been totally biased against Donald Trump. There are far too many examples of their bias, including their use of biased polls in an attempt to sway elections.
The media totally fails to report any of the good things the president does and hammers home his alleged failures.
Trump has been working hard, meeting with people and businesses to find out what their needs are. He has donated his presidential salary to noble causes. He has made significant inroads into making it easier for businesses to operate and innovate.
Trump has worked and is working to create equitable trade deals. The media has reported none of this, not even the typically conservative media.
Most of my news comes first hand by getting out in the field, working with members of Congress, attending events personally and connecting with trusted reporters.
My “mainstream” media outlet is RT America. And even that I take with a grain of salt.
Editor’s note: Although polls don’t always accurately predict correct outcomes, there is no evidence to suggest that polls are explicitly biased. As for trade deals, the media has reported on them extensively.
RT America, the “RT” of which stands for “Russia Today,” has been labeled a foreign agent by the US Department of Justice due to its ties to “Russia’s state-run propaganda machine.”
TMS: Some of the president’s critics characterize his behavior as erratic and say that much of his rhetoric is not only unbecoming of a president, but that it further stokes divides within society. According to data from Pew Research, American society has become increasingly polarized over the past several decades. Some observers on both the right and left have lamented this fact, arguing that it is holding the country back.
Do you see this as a problem? If so, do you think Trump deserves any blame for helping further stoke these divisions?
The growing divide in American society is a result of the overall Trump plan.
We have two different ideologies in our country. A situation predicted by our founders and deeply discussed in the Federalist and anti-Federalist papers.
The problem we have is that there are the cities and there are the rural communities. The operation, ideologies and needs and wants of large cities is diametrically opposite that of the rural communities. While the cities have a larger population than the rural areas, they occupy but a fraction of the land mass.
This is why the founders created a democratic republic instead of a true democracy, and also why we have the Electoral College to prevent the city masses and ideologies from dominating the entire nation.
The only way to sort out and address this is to acknowledge these differences exist. It is a tough situation, and in fact the founders predicted the situation we are currently in would come to be and that a populist president would rise in response to rural oppression.
Trump has responded the best he can to this situation, however, we are in a predicament where there may well be no acceptable compromise.
TMS: It has been widely reported that Trump lies more often than other politicians. According to research by the University of Oregon’s David Markowitz, Trump has lied an average of 23.3 times per day since January 1.
What do you make of this? Do you doubt the accuracy of these statistics? Do you believe it doesn’t matter if he lies or do you feel that you still support him despite the lies?
Trump actually lies far less than the media states. Trump sometimes lies intentionally to “push the buttons” of his adversaries or the mainstream media.
Sometimes what seems like a lie is actually a partial truth that he later puts in context. There have been many “lies” told by the president that were actually given to the president by staff and others who are supposed to be knowledgeable.
Other times what may or may not be a “lie” is actually an opinion, or an assumption – this from one who has never been in such a high position of political leadership.
These are the flaws of placing a businessman in a high level political position without having learned the [rules] of politics. You really can’t run a nation like a business. It is a whole different world.
Most of what Trump says, truth or lie, is part of a bigger puzzle. Those who understand Trump understand this and wait for the puzzle to be complete. Those who don’t jump on the opportunity to attack him.
I support Trump based on what he has accomplished and how, even with all the current events, my personal life has improved with him at the helm.
TMS: What is one thing you wish Trump’s detractors saw in him that you and perhaps other supporters see in him?
Personally, I wish that Trump’s detractors could see the good in him, that they could see how he really cares for all the people and for our country. If others could see through the media obfuscation and unwarranted hatred, this would prove a great starting point to understanding the man.
TMS: What is your view of President Trump’s accusation that a Chinese lab leaked the coronavirus, despite US scientists within the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, saying there is no evidence for this?
My personal belief is that the virus, and most of the other recent events, are a planned attack on Trump and others who oppose the worldwide deep state agenda. Trump has been on the attack against these forces since day one and many wealthy individuals, major corporations and worldwide organizations are involved. Some call this deep state agenda the “New World Order.”
Conspiracy theories aside, those who would discredit the possibility of an intentional act pick at the details. They say that this virus was definitely not “genetically engineered,” because the markers for that engineering aren’t present. That is just stupid. It could have been modified without artificial intervention, as has been done in the past. It could also be that it was an existing coronavirus that was intentionally released. Bioweapons don’t have to be manufactured or engineered, they just have to exist.
The other possibility is that the virus was accidentally released by the lab in Wuhan and simply got out of control. Either way, there are many lies from all sides, including the idea that the virus originated from bats sold at a nearby market, despite the fact that the market does not sell bats!
Regardless, it is the worldwide response which is odd. The COVID-19 pandemic has been exploited to destroy or damage the US elections and other events going on worldwide.
Knowing where the virus came from or how it was created is not relevant. It is the intentional over reaction that is the critical key.
Editor’s note: There is no evidence that the coronavirus was artificially created or that there is any underlying political agenda surrounding its spread. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both claimed that there is evidence that the virus leaked from a lab in China, contradicting what US health and intelligence agencies have said. Pompeo has since backed down from this view.
TMS: How do you feel about Trump’s handling of the George Floyd protests? How do you think the president is responding during a time of national crisis? Critics say his behavior has been divisive (e.g. his tweet where he wrote “when the looting starts the shooting starts.”) Do you agree? Some supporters say “Trump is Trump” and leave it at that. Do you feel that is a sufficient reply?
The George Floyd incident is another highly questionable event, however, Trump has left this to the states to deal with, as it should be. He has offered the military to assist as needed. This is as it should be.
I am still trying to figure out what the Trump tweet “when the looting starts the shooting starts” was intended to mean. I think his intent was to warn that looting is not acceptable and action will be taken. This I can agree with.
“Trump is Trump” by itself is not a sufficient reply in general to Trump’s actions, but it is always my starting point. If you look at Trump’s past, you will see that he has changed little over time.
I will say that in his time thus far in office I have seen that over time the decisions he has made and the actions he has taken have been the best choice given the circumstances.
He is a rough, crude New Yorker, and his manners leave much to be desired, but that is Trump. No one will ever change this.
Sometimes he throws out personal opinions in a manner that is offensive to some. The fact is, if you stop and think about what he really is trying to say, it usually makes sense. Sometimes he speaks too quickly, and doesn’t think about using the correct words.
None of his faults are an issue with those who support him. It is the final outcome that matters. And for the most part, his supporters are happy with what he has accomplished thus far.
TMS: Has the president done anything over the past four years that you disagree with? If he does get reelected, what does he need to do better?
So far I have been pretty positive about Donald Trump, but there are some issues I have.
Personally, I think Trump needs to keep his personal opinion[s] out of medicine and science and other areas he is not an expert in. If he wants to make a point of something he is not familiar with, he should have it presented by a professional in that area. He should not be promoting medicines or medical practice, but rather should be quoting from professionals or having them speak out for his cause.
He also needs to go easy on his social media interactions. He gets himself in trouble by posting information too quickly, or by making promises that can’t be kept.
TMS: At the end of the day, who do you believe will win in November and why?
I personally believe Donald Trump will win because he has a vast core base committed to him and working for him, but also because the Democrats and left leaning [voters] have gone so wildly insane in their attempts to derail Trump that even many long time hard core Democrats are even leaving the fold. While Trump is losing some ground on the right, he is gaining even more from the left. The Black Lives Matter debacle and all the terrorist activities associated with it is also causing a great number of African Americans to leave the Democrats and the BLM movement. Finally, even if Biden finds a reasonable running mate, just the fact that the Democrats chose him considering his involvement in the Ukraine issues, including those involving his Son, Hunter, is causing many Democrats to wonder about the sensibilities of their party. Then again, the question of Trump’s mental stability when their own candidate’s mental stability is far more questionable.
Editor’s note: Although it has been reported that some voters who supported Democrats in the past feel alienated from the party, there is no evidence that there are widespread defections. Likewise, while some polls show there is an enthusiasm gap among Democratic voters supporting Biden and Republican voters supporting Trump, a Pew Research survey conducted from June 16-22 found that only 6% of Democratic voters approve of the way President Trump is handling his job as president.
In a recent Washington Post/Ipsos poll in late June, 92% of registered African American voters were found to support Biden in the upcoming election, while only 5% supported Trump. As for Hunter Biden’s alleged corruption in Ukraine, although he may have benefited from family connections to garner wealth through a position of power, according to an audit of thousands of case files by Ukrainian prosecutors as reported by Reuters, there was no evidence to implicate Hunter Biden in any formal wrongdoing.
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