My friend Craig Pyes, a great investigative reporter, posted an interesting original interview with a Trump supporter on his Facebook page yesterday. Since Trump voters are still seen by most reporters as alien beings, I asked Craig if I could run the story here. He agreed so here’s the interview below, along with and Craig’s brief introduction.
Craig said the idea was that most left-liberal and academic types don’t actually have contact with Trump voters, and if they do, they probably talk at them, not to them. I personally don’t agree with everything said here — by Craig or his friend — but I thought it was an interesting conversation.
There are still a lot of simplistic notions going around that the reason Hillary lost was due to gender bias, and not her politics or perceptions of her character. None of the Trump supporters I’ve spoken to have ever mentioned gender as their reason for not supporting her.
So I decided to pick a woman I knew to be a conservative and an evangelical from my friends list, someone who does not have a college education, and ask her simple, non-leading questions on how she voted and why. The idea was to get a basic sense of what was in her head when she voted – not to do a research paper.
I chose this woman because of the heavy focus during the campaign on Trump as a sexual predator. She had spoken out publicly as a teenager on a 60 Minutes program I did on sexual predators in the modeling industry.
The woman is now 47, married with several grown children, and the executive pastor of a small Charismatic church in Miami. She had a long, successful career as a model. At the age of 19, when deciding whether to risk her career and go on camera to denounce one of the most powerful agents in the industry, she called me up at 5 a.m. and said in breathless excitement that she had just had a personal revelation of God. This would ultimately lead to her career in the ministry.
One of the agents targeted in the 60 Minutes program was Jean-Luc Brunel, who ran a Paris modeling agency associated with Eileen Ford, the most powerful person in that industry. The young woman was getting pressure from Ford through her local agent not to appear on camera, saying her promising career would be destroyed. As I told Michael Gross for his book Model: Brunel in the 1980s “ranks among the sleaziest people in the fashion industry. We’re talking about a conveyor belt, not a casting couch. Hundreds of girls were not only harassed but molested.”
So we begin this interview with a reminiscence of her modeling days in Paris in trying to understand her vote.
Me: Can I say you were on the 60 Min show?
Me: It’s what made you turn to God….I still remember your phone call like at 5 a.m. that you saw God. “I saw God, Craig. I saw God!
Her: Yes that’s true! Didn’t see God, Heard Him! Changed my life forever, for the better too….I also remember telling you God spoke to me, and you asking me who else had I shared this with, and I said just you, you were the first. You told me good, don’t tell anyone else this! Hahaha! So funny still to me. Always watching out for me you were, Craig
Me: I’ve always considered it a genuine religious experience caused by the pressure. You never waivered in your faith.
Her: Yes you pressuring me to go on camera made my mind split and I heard God
Me: It’s very important that you spoke out publicly. That was an important investigation. Probably saved hundreds of young girls from being molested.
Her: I’m glad I stood up with conviction against those wrongs. I truly believe those kind of stands define you internally. I hope girls were influenced
Me: Definitely…it helped. I think for you it turned you into a Jesus freak (or pastor), and it shined a light on this very bad thing, and at least temporarily slowed it down. So it was good all around.
Her:I’m glad I spoke for what was right for the greater whole than a silly modeling career. It taught me to not be afraid of those that say they can destroy me or my career. I had a great career, nice and long for model standards. The direction I went in was much better for me. No regrets at all. Wish I wasn’t afraid back then.
Me: Who’d you vote for?
Her: #Trump you Hillary lover, lol!
Her: Well, the Supreme Court was big. I want a conservative judge. I felt he (Trump) respects the conservative voice and I wanted that vote. I also believed he would do what he was promising, or at least do most of it. I didn’t believe a lot of the negative that was said about him, but I do think he has a big mouth and should be more temperate. All that said, I would have liked to vote for a woman. Hillary was too corrupt for me to consider it.
There are a lot of things I liked about Hillary, but I think she lost her way like many can in politics. It…. I liked her personality more than Trump. I get that she even had an open marriage so what Bill does is his biz, but I feel he is a predator, like Bill Cosby. I feel she turned a blind eye for her own political aspirations. So that bothered me, along with all the allegations of corruption, Benghazi, pay to play etc, etc.
Me: What about Trump’s sexual predation?
Her: Meh. I think they found those women as an attack against him. Some of the allegations could have had some weight though, but they should have brought it forward before, not at the election. To me that came across as purely political. Hillary bothered me though with her ignoring her husband’s advances and attacks on women over the years. To me that had more credit than those ladies who accuse Bill. I also don’t think he’s (Trump) the same man from those comments on Entertainment Tonight (Access Hollywood) recordings. Long time ago. People change or their hormones do. On the other side, Bill Clinton is just too much of a sleazy flozzy.
Me: Jean Luc didn’t change.
Her: Yeah Jean-Luc and his business partner for the Miami agency Jeff, the pig/pedi, Epstein. Billy (Clinton)was on his plane 20+ times. Too disgusting for me.
Me: Would you have voted for Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders?
Her: Too Leftist for me those peeps. I like Bernie better than Warren on some areas. Little socialist for me though.
Me: Do you want to see Roe v Wade repealed?
Her: Roe vs Wade… Hmmm maybe, with the Supreme Court. I’d like at least to see late term restricted. That bothered me that Hillary is so hardcore on that…. I get the back alley abortion issues, but I don’t want late term abortion, I also am against abortion as a 4th birth control. I feel that it is used that way now so I would like some kind of change with that.
Me: But you don’t have race issues, right? Your church is multi-racial?
Her: No. No race issues for me at all. My best friend is black. I’ve had lots of close black friends as well. My church is very multi- racial. Same demographic as Miami. Latinos, Haitian, black American, white. I have inner city people and wealthy, but my church is around 200 people on a Sunday, so not a giant church. Near the center of the city, considered a city centric church, not white suburbia. I have people at my church that are Dems, and voted independent or for Hillary, and felt very strongly.
Me: Why do you want to see a conservative Supreme Ct?
Her: Well Hillary spoke on the last debate about a more modern interpretation of the 2nd amendment, and the Constitution. I want a conservative one. So I want the 2nd amendment protected. I want conservative rulings on even some things you might find provoking lol! 🙂)
Me: Do you even have a gun?
Her: No I don’t, I’m not that into it owning the gun thing. I do believe in the right to have one though.
Me: Hillary was not trying to ban guns, just have more safety checks on who could own one, and what type of guns.
Her: Yes that’s what she said but I don’t believe that is her true position. I don’t know the statistics well enough to debate them but I don’t think that law-abiding citizens are the problem. The restrictions shouldn’t be against them but harsher sentencing towards criminals. (Trump) just better get things done in Washington. Jobs are big, the debt, lazy politician, campaign reform…
So as a Prize-winning journalist, did you think that the media was unbiased?
Me: The media was very biased…they knew the dangers of a Trump presidency, at least based on what he was saying. And he’s a pathological liar…so hard to report
Her: Well I agree on that, and Trump was a loose cannon. He probably wouldn’t have won had the American people not backlashed the media because of the reporting. I think he will do alright, I’m actually less scared by his speech since the election and his appointments.