Jackie (my grandmother) is seventy-two years old and has a twelfth grade education and took some college level classes. She is from Belmar New Jersey. She is the oldest of eight children, four girls and four boys. She went on to have five children of her own and then have eleven grandchildren. She is a medical secretary at a substance abuse treatment facility. In the past she typically leaned left politically, but now she leans towards the policies of the person she believes is best. For her that is the current president and some other Republicans. She grew up attending Catholic school for her elementary and high school education. Jackie is the mother to Theresa and Patty, and grandmother to Chuck who I have also interviewed for this project.
Jackie does not remember her parents talking a lot of politics in the home growing up. What she does remember is her father becoming mayor of her hometown later on in his life. “Growing up as a kid I had really Republican friends and I mentioned something to my dad about liking their candidate. He was a democrat and I don’t think he really liked that, but I have a feeling now he would have been more open to voting for other parties.” Jackie is Irish and Italian and she feels that her family being Irish had a lot to do with them being Democrats. “The Irish are always Democrats, the most I know. They don’t think any other way.”
“I am not comfortable having political conversations at work. There has been a lack of tolerance for my newfound views. I have been put down at work and yelled at. I manage to have a secret group at work and we meet on the sly to talk.” For the people Jackie doesn’t agree with, she doesn’t speak with them. “I only speak to a select few that I can trust, we aren’t supposed to be political at work. My supervisor said so, but we still do.”
TV, iPad, articles on Facebook, links, lots of independent readings from various sources, YouTube, radio and podcasts. Specific persons and stations would be Fox, One America News, Mark Levin, Blaze TV, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Steyn, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson. On average Jackie consumes about eighteen hours of news a week.
Jackie does not identify as a Republican, but she does support the current President who is a Republican. She feels as though people who don’t believe him need to understand that he really is sincere about helping the American people. “He is making America great again. So many people are screeching about how he is taking away their rights, he taken away nothing. I believe everything he does is for the good of this country. I love his tweets. I think his twitter is very important and business school is nothing to sneeze at.”
Late Term Abortion “I don’t see a reason for it. I mean, I understand the reasoning for some abortion but I believe life begins immediately. I wish there was no abortion sometimes. I hate hearing and seeing those horrible stories about botched bodies of aborted babies.” Bans on the Second Amendment “It is a constitutional right. It protects us against tyranny and we need to vote against socialist agendas.”
More Help with College Financial Aid “I don’t think its a totally socialist agenda. I have grandchildren in college and I don’t want to see them with so much debt. Stricter Immigration Laws “I’m totally against open borders. I don’t believe anyone can just prance on in. My grandparents didn’t do it when they came to America. That doesn’t mean just anyone can walk in. Look whats happening in Europe, it has gotten too dangerous.” Getting Rid of Obamacare “I would vote to see more free market healthcare. Capitalism is the best way to go, doesn’t mean everything is fair.” Education in Prison “There are a lot of people in prisons and jails who aren’t offered any types of services and when they are let back out on the street they commit the same crimes. I think providing education in the prison system would help lower recidivism rates. Drug Rehabilitation Programs in Prison “Not having proper access to treatment such as drug counseling and therapy while they are in jail and prison are reasons why people go back.
General Government and Policies
Jackie believes there should be as many political parties as people want to create. She also feels that a woman should be able to run for president or be president one day. “I’ve felt once or twice like I’ve needed to fix my opinions to fit in, but I didn’t do it. Its like that every day at work. I would like one or two people to talk to that share my values but I certainly don’t need the whole world.” Jackie doesn’t see a reason to not be friends with someone if they have different political beliefs, but for dating that ship has sailed. Jackie feels that at times family dinners and holidays have gotten political, but its not an issue for her. “I will avoid certain topics to not cause tension.”
Jackie believes if the government were to propose a new budget plan, taxes spent on illegal immigrants should get cut first. Her reasoning is that we as Americans should not pay taxes that benefit illegal immigrants. “People who are here illegally should not be entitled to tax benefit. They deserve food and shelter, but they don’t deserve to be here, its a crime. Illegals are sometimes entitled to more than poor Americans I see at my work everyday.” Jackie does not feel threatened by the current administration or that any of her rights could be jeopardized or taken away. She is mildly concerned about her social security being played around with. “I have invested so much into it, leave it alone. We all put into it as citizens whether we agree in it or not. I think its a good plan, and I believe in a country taking care of its elders.” Jackie plans to be armed with a gun and armed with information in the case she has to defend her rights. She also plans on protesting if it gets to that point. Jackie votes most of the time in federal, state and local elections.
To a certain degree Jackie believes in paying taxes. “There are programs that need tax money in order to help people in need, I understand and agree with that. There should not be an intense tax on bonuses from your work place, I work for that money. I do believe we are overtaxed, but we do need taxes in a way to keep the government running.” In the 2016 presidential election Jackie voted for Jill Stein. She at one point in her life has relied on government assistance.
In terms of looking for a presidential candidate, Jackie wants someone who is sincere about helping Americans. “Donald Trump has more than just one face, he is a people person. No one is perfect but he is a family man who loves his children and family. He cares so much about our veterans, people all over the country and law enforcement. I saw all of that destroyed when I was a Sanders fanatic. Now I see how much BLM and ANTIFA type groups have been destroying this country’s police force. It was starting to happen under Obama but I didn’t realize until Trump came along.”
A time where Jackie felt certain policies could effect her are anytime Democrats discuss trying to impose stricter gun control laws. “It’s scary because we are supposed to be allowed to have a well armed militia, and look at Venezuela and Cuba taking away their peoples guns.” Jackie also feels that campaign financing can effect her because she could be voting for a corporation instead of a person. “Things like quid pro quo. Big corporations should not be financing campaigns. They end up being in the politicians pockets and owing them.” Jackie’s first husband (my grandfather) and her brother (my great uncle) both worked in the police force. “Brutality against police officers is so upsetting to me. I have seen videos where people go up to officers in New York City and just throw buckets of water on them. The police can’t do anything to help themselves because they are serving and protecting the people. I don’t know much about the group “The Thin Blue Line,” but sure I support the police.” It only feels natural for Jackie to want to defend those in her family and keep them safe. That’s why she is also a big proponent of stronger National Security. “We need to have a ban again on international travel from Middle Eastern countries. It goes back to who comes in. Everyone needs to be vetted. Some people will come from Iran, those are the ones who are the terrorists that want to come to America to blow something up. First they go somewhere in South America and eventually make it to Mexico cross in through the Mexican border. There are also gangs and drug cartels coming in from Mexico. It is important we have that Wall.”