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For supporters, Trump offers hope

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For supporters, Trump offers hope

Theo Schwarz | Senior Staff Photographer

Theo Schwarz | Senior Staff Photographer

Theo Schwarz | Senior Staff Photographer

Theo Schwarz | Senior Staff Photographer

By Emily Brindley / Staff Writer

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Through all of the vitriol and protests Wednesday, Donald Trump’s supporters said they saw something else: an open, honest candidate who is focused on changing the United States.

Mount Washington native Mary Diantonio, 56, said Trump speaks openly about his beliefs.

“I believe that he’s honest, and his values are my values,” Diantonio said. “You need somebody to actually speak the truth.”

Though Trump’s stances on the economy, foreign policy and establishment politics draw people for different reasons, the idea that Trump can bring the country together and generally improve it binds them together.

While violence and portraits of bigots at Trump’s rallies in other cities have dominated coverage of the events, many who attended the two events in Pittsburgh Wednesday discussed Trump with sincerity.

While hundreds protested and marched against the Republican presidential candidate Wednesday, Trump’s supporters said they came out because they wanted to see for themselves a candidate they said they can believe in.

Though some of his opponents find fault with Trump’s wealth and history as a businessperson, his supporters, like Diantonio, said his past puts him out of reach of bribery, unlike other politicians. Diantonio said Trump’s wealth makes his opposers uncomfortable.

“He is not in everyone’s pocket,” Diantonio said. “He has his own money, no one can buy him. He is his own man, and that’s what they’re afraid of.”

Thomas Sailor, of Washington, Pennsylvania, agreed with Diantonio that Trump won’t crumble under establishment pressures.

“He won’t play ball with the establishment,” Sailor, 58, said. “Of all the candidates running, he’s going to be the least of the problems, he’s going to correct all the corruption, and maybe we can finally get this country straightened out.”

Trump’s status as a free-speaking outsider makes him appealing to his supporters, such as Marie Potter from Bellwood, Pennsylvania.

“I like him because he’s a political outsider. He’s not the GOP elite,” Potter, 48, said. “I like that he’s not [politically correct], I like that he speaks his mind, I think we’re a little oversensitized with that.”

Trump’s stance on economic issues and his pledge to make changes to America’s economy also drive some of the enthusiasm behind his support.

“He would bust open the economy like you couldn’t believe,” Sailor said. “If he lowers taxes and lowers the corporate rate, for everyone that’s in business, it would be a boom like you couldn’t believe.”

For Ryan Adzima, an undecided Pitt first year, the benefits of an improved economy would directly affect his future as a small business owner.

“We’ll be able to spend more money, and then more smaller business will be able to start up, and that’s what I’m gonna do when I’m older, own a small business,” Adzima said. “It’ll be able to stimulate the economy, just by putting more money into it and by people spending more money, it’s going to flow around to everyone.”

One Trump supporter has even more personal reasons to back Trump’s plan for economic change.

Vinny McGovern, a Duquesne senior majoring in law, said a presidential term with either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, who he said don’t support the coal industry, would be detrimental to his father’s career in the field.

“Having a guy like Trump in [office], that’s gonna stop that, and my dad’s gonna be able to work again,” McGovern said. “I support him because I know that he’s going to make America a greater place again, and I’m not just saying that because that’s what he has on his hat.”

Nick Eichenlaub, a 23-year-old from Brookline, said he likes that Trump’s goals focus on America instead of on other countries.

“I like that he puts America first,” Eichenlaub said. “We should put America first more often.”

As for Trump’s “inflammatory comments,” Eichenlaub said the comments reflect Trump’s personal opinion, not his political stance.

“He can have his own opinions as far as abortion, gay marriage, whatever,” Eichenlaub said. “But does he endorse that for the law? Probably not.”

Nearly all of Trump’s supporters referred to the true change the candidate advocates, as seen his slogan of “Make America Great Again.”

“He literally wants to fix America, and the problems that we have, and I think that’s why he’s gonna stand out,” McGovern said.

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For supporters, Trump offers hope