On Thursday, Nov. 10, The Catalyst sat down with Junior Robbie Twells from Cleveland, Ohio, who is the president of Colorado College Conservatives (formally Republican Club). Twells has been involved with the club since his freshman year and started to chair the club earlier this year.
Twells was really “shocked” at the election results. He thought that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency.
The day after the election, CC students gathered and protested across campus. Twells said, “It was interesting to see CC’s responses to [the election]. A lot of people are upset. It is completely understandable.” He is also happy that CC students are exercising their First Amendment right to protest.
Twells added, “The scariest thing is not necessarily what he said, but it is the unknown. He has not been a politician. So, nobody knows how he is going to be as a politician.”
“I am not in any way justifying what Trump has said… Some of them are awful, misogynist, racially insensitive,” said Twells. But he also addressed the differences between campaign and severing as the president: “I don’t think that judgments can be made on Trump as a politician until he has been in the office for a little bit.”
Being raised his entire life as a Republican, Twells still “struggled a lot during this election.” It was the first time for Twells to get the chance to vote, and therefore, felt obligated to be informed on all of the candidates platforms.
In the end, Twells chose not to vote for any presidential candidate: “I just could not vote for anyone during this election. I wasn’t going to vote for Hillary. I couldn’t. I couldn’t vote for Trump. I wanted to, but I just could not. There are so many things [that made me feel that] I just couldn’t do that. Gary Johnson is no.”
Also, Twells pointed out the widespread stereotype of the Donald Trump supporters, who are “uneducated, white, gun-loving, hell-bullying Americans.” However, Twells said firmly, “there are not 59 millions of these people.” Twells said that many of his family friends, who voted for Trump, are well educated and even have careers in politics.
Twells feels that people just wanted to see change. “Most of them are just tired of the last eight years.” He believes that it is a “fact that Trump is very different than any other people who have ever run for the president.”
“It is really annoying that people assume that I am a huge Trump supporter because I am the president of the Republican club,” said Twells. “There are many many Republicans who don’t like Trump.”
Just like the rest of the country, Colorado College also has students that have a hidden conservative leaning. “CC is so liberal. It is. But there are a lot of conservatives here, whether they voted for Hillary or not. They just don’t speak up that much.”
Twells added, “I keep my mouth shut a lot in class because being teamed up 24 to 1, and then 25 including the professor is not fun.” Twells emphasized that there is a larger conservative voice on campus than many students realize.
Twells said, “It is tiring to defend myself all the time” when running into a disagreement with someone else. In addition, he pointed out that if a CC student walked into a building with a “Making American Great Again” shirt, he or she would be judged.
As a result, many conservative students attempt to hide their political beliefs on campus. “The Trump supporters I knew, other than their close friends, there are not many people who knew about it,” said Twells.
Twells continued, “I will sit down with any person, who is willing to listen to me and have an educated conversation. No screaming and just talk about it. I have a different belief as you. We can talk about it.”
When the Catalyst asked Twells to say something to his CC peers, he responded, “Now, Donald Trump is our president. I support him now. If you are an American citizen, he is your president. You might not agree with him. You might like him. You might think that he is a racist, misogynist, jerk. Regardless of how you think about him, he will be your President for the next four years barring either assassination or impeachment.”
Twells continued, “Everyone should respect the election result. [Donald Trump] did not cheat, at least, as for now. Hillary won by the popular vote, but it does not matter. America, we decided that we use electoral college. The Electoral College has elected both Democrats and Republicans. Donald Trump won the election fair and square. No one should want Donald Trump to not do well because it means that our country will not do well.”