What I’ve learned talking with Trump voters

Most Trump voters are not racist, misogynist, or stupid. Many I spoke with were critical of Trump’s more divisive statements. One voter creatively said he wished Trump didn’t have thumbs — a reference to the former President’s propensity to binge-tweet late-night crazy talk. …

When I asked if there were any Democrats running for president in 2020 they liked, nearly every Trump voter said they would have considered supporting Tulsi Gabbard. That says volumes: a progressive-populist Democrat who supported Bernie Sanders for president in 2016 appeals to nearly all thirteen Trump voters I spoke with. Continue Reading →

Pat Bertroche: Retired Psychiatrist, Trump voter

I appreciate Pat’s expertise on mental health. He also speaks from his professional perspective about the importance of taking COVID-19 seriously — a position that puts him at odds with many Trump voters I’ve interviewed.

So, when our conversation rolls around to the climate emergency, I’m mystified at Pat’s rejection of the consensus supported by 97 percent of all climate scientists. Continue Reading →

Justin Brady: Communications Professional, Non-Biden vote

Most of my Trump voter conversations cover a lot of ground. With fellow podcaster and radio dude, Justin Brady, we focus on partisan politics. And I promise, Justin’s not at all as angry as he looks in that photo. (Really, Justin, you couldn’t have sent me a pic of you smiling while playing with a cute kitten?) Continue Reading →

Dave Murillo: Retired Police Sergeant, Trump voter

But first, to kick things off, my “Trump Voter” interview this week is with Dave Murillo, a first-generation Mexican-American and retired Sergeant with the Des Moines Police Department.

I learn that (1) Dave’s grandmother made the best tortillas, which Kathy and I will one day get to sample (slathered with butter, Dave promised) and, (2) “Congress is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.” That’s now one of my new favorite insane metaphors, which I may use if I can verify that a dog’s hind leg is indeed crooked. Continue Reading →

Dave Funk: Retired Northwest Airlines Captain, Trump voter

By several metrics, my interviews with Iowa Trump voters have gone well. The dialogue is good. We’re finding common ground. We’re dispelling the false notion that Trump voters are stupid. And on some fronts, I’m having my own views challenged.

What’s not coming together is clarity on the climate emergency. Take my conversation with Dave Funk. What to me are solid, irrefutable facts are, to Dave, either up for discussion or simply false. While I respect that, I also find it frustrating. Continue Reading →

Nancy Suby-Bohn: Des Moines resident, Trump voter

Beyond our presidential candidate preference, Nancy and I don’t see eye-to-eye on a bunch of things, especially climate change. But when I ask if she agrees or disagrees with 11 of my priorities, we’re on the same page with 10 of them!

Says Nancy to Ed, “You sound like a Republican!”

Says Ed to Nancy, “You sound like a Democrat!” Continue Reading →

Joel Kurtinitis: Columnist, Trump voter

Iowans heard the lies over and over again during the DAPL fight. Once again, Big Oil can’t seem to tell the truth. The polar vortex had barely wrapped up its historic disruption of Texas’ power grid when fossil fuel’s spin room revealed the culprit: Windmills! Continue Reading →

Steve Sukup: Businessman, former Republican lawmaker, Trump voter

ED: What’s your take on the climate crisis?
STEVE: I think it’s real. I’m not necessarily convinced it’s all human-made at this point, but we definitely play a major part in it. We need to minimize our carbon footprint, that’s the first thing.
ED: Is your business, Sukup Manufacturing, taking any action in light of climate change?
STEVE: Yes. Last year we put in a solar field that now generates ten percent of our energy. We actually made the racking system for it. Whether it’s solar, wind, or ethanol, everything needs to be part of the equation to stop the increase of greenhouse gas emissions. Right now, we have to flatten the carbon curve. Continue Reading →

Weslie Phipps: Farmer, Trump voter

Weslie is the kind of guy you want on your side in a fight against a big, bullying corporation. He and I have found other areas of agreement, though choice of presidential candidates wasn’t one of them. Surprisingly, unlike many Trump supporters I talk with, Weslie was less enthusiastic about voting for Trump in 2020. Continue Reading →

Nik Refsland: National Guard Recruiter, Trump voter

ED: What’s your take on the riot at the US Capitol on January 6?
NIK: I do not think that Trump incited the violence, but I do think he turned up the heat.
ED: What about the guy carrying the Confederate flag into the US Capitol?
NIK: I would have punched him in the face. Continue Reading →