MANCHESTER, NH — When the leader of the free world comes to town asking for your vote ahead of the NH Primary, and you’re a first-time voter who supports him, there’s only one thing to do:
Skip class and cheer your leader on in person.
That was the consensus among six Keene State College freshmen who took a road trip to the Queen City on Monday. They parked their car on Elm Street hours before President Trump was set to take the stage at the SNHU Arena for a NH Primary eve “Keep America Great” rally.
“We might have skipped a class or two,” admitted Jackson Ramalhinho, 18, of Hudson. But there was no remorse. This is a historic moment — seeing and hearing Trump in person before casting their first votes in a presidential primary election.
They were also highly motivated by the fact that thousands of fellow Republicans would be gathered together in one place, since the only political campaign appearances on campus have been made by Democrats.
You do what you have to do to find your people.
“Bernie was there yesterday,” one of them said, evoking groans all around. They don’t like socialists, they say, and one of them further explained that Sanders is “trying to tax the fuck out of the rich.”
The group bonded over their mutual conservative views on what is largely a “liberal campus.”
Several of them plan to room together next year.
“There’s a strong army of young conservatives out here, in hiding. Most of our friends have the same beliefs we do, but they’re quiet about it,” says Jordan Scott, 18, from Rhode Island.
While they are diverse in their future goals — their majors range from business management and music composition to elementary education, earth and space science, and occupational safety — the friends say they are unified around Trump for a list of reasons:
He points out the elephant in the room.
He’s not a politician.
He gets stuff done.
And while they also agree that the No. 1 mission for the next four years should be to bring this divided country together, they also have no tolerance for liberal politics.
“When Pelosi ripped up Trump’s speech, it just made things worse,” said Blake Woekel, 19, of Pelham. She didn’t rip up his speech. She ripped up the names on that speech, of veterans who fought for our country and others. No one applauded her,” Woekel said. “Our country needs to stick together, and once reelected, Trump can unite the country.”
Jordan Scott said he started paying attention to politics when he was about 13 — around the time NFL football player Colin Kaepernick took a knee on the field during the National Anthem as a form of protest against discrimination of minorities.
“It made me see how stupid people on the left sound,” he said.
Jackson Ramalhinho says he knows he has a lot to learn about politics, but so far, he appreciates what Trump’s done for the country, including job creation.
“I don’t know a whole lot about how things work, but I’m learning,” he said.