Bay Area Trump supporters attempted to hold a “March for Trump” in the liberal-leaning city of Berkeley, CA on Saturday March 4, 2017. The Trump demonstrators congregated at the MLK Civic Center but quickly found themselves outnumbered by anti-Trump demonstrators who began a counter-protest of their own. Fist fights broke out between the two factions. Amidst the fray, I spoke to Pat. This is his interview.
Me: What is your name and ethnicity?
Pat: My name is Pat and I am Filipino.
Me: What brings you here[to the Berkeley March for trump] today?
Pat: I just came here to practice my freedom of speech.
Me: What is your response to the vast majority of people who came here today to demonstrate against Trump?
Pat: I think it’s sad. If you support Trump, you’re automatically labeled a racist, a homophobe, or a bigot. Personally, I have no issues with immigrants or women. I just think Trump has the best economic plan for this country.
Me: You said you were Filipino. A lot of people have drawn similarities between Trump and the current President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte, as I’m sure you know, has been under heavy global criticism for his violent means of ending the “war on drugs” in the Philippines, which had lead to hundreds of civilian casualties. Will Trump become the next Duterte?
Pat: Well the thing that unites Trump and Duterte is that they’re both nationalists. In the case of Duterte, he just wanted to make his country great but I’ll admit he’s going about it the wrong way. However, Trump isn’t going to turn us that way. I trust Trump to take a more libertarian approach to our country’s drug problem.
Me: What do you have to say to people who still oppose Trump, especially now with issues such as the Muslim travel ban and the debate over transgender-accommodating restrooms in the news?
Pat: First of all, that wasn’t a Muslim ban. When you look at the nations listed in that ban, those were countries we already have issues with. And honestly, I have no issue with transgender or gay people. They should get to use whatever restroom they want. People also like to say that he [Trump] is a racist, but he just had a meeting with the Black Caucus.
Me: Closing remarks?
Pat: I just want people to know that just because I support Trump, it doesn’t make me a racist or anti-LGBT. Democracy is all about hearing the other side is saying, and that is not happening here [in Berkeley] today. At all.