An AMA like no other
On Thursday morning AEST, republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, took to Reddit to host an AMA (ask me anything). Within minutes, the AMA thread had 1.5k upvotes and over 2000 comments – before Trump had even begun answering questions. Hosted by the pro-Trump subreddit /r/The_Donald, the love for Trump was hardly surprising, albeit a little nauseating. It’s hard to imagine Australians getting worked up over Malcolm Turnbull.
Replying whilst on route to Toledo, Ohio, Trump answered questions submitted by his Reddit fanbase. Not one to usually frequent conservative, right-wing forums, I felt terrified that at any moment I would be discovered (because that’s totally how the internet works). Lurking on the forum, however, I was fascinated by the passion and priorities of Trump supporters. Here’s what I found out.
1. His supporters care about more than just tougher immigration and anti-Islam rhetoric.
Only one question Trump answered was about immigration, and he said nothing on Islam. This is despite Trump declaring several times that he would like to build a wall to keep illegal Mexican immigrants out, impose a total ban on Islamic immigration to America, and force all Muslim Americans to be registered on a database.
While many redditors posed questions about immigration, ISIS, and terrorism, Trump’s supporters also asked about a diverse range of issues such as youth unemployment, healthcare, media ownership, and NASA. Yes that NASA. Trump fans want to make the Moon great again.
Despite his willingness to answer a broad range of questions, it’s highly likely Trump deliberately ignored questions about Islam and his hard-line immigration policies in an attempt to show himself as a more rational candidate.
2. Trump (and his fans) hate Hillary Clinton
And I mean really hate her. This isn’t my first day on the internet, so I am aware that some people use online anonymity to be dicks. Even so, I was amazed at how Trump fans were calling for the a) imprisonment or b) deportation of Hillary Clinton.
To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Hillary Clinton either. But the feverish rage directed towards Clinton on Trump’s AMA was terrifying. I got the feeling that these people would indeed “lock her up” if they had the opportunity.
3. Trump attracts some infamous followers
Ever heard of Milo Yiannopoulos? If you’re a diehard Twitter fan, his name will probably make you seethe with anger. Yiannopoulos is the editor of Breitbart Tech. an online conservative publication. He was permanently banned from Twitter last week for racially abusing, and encouraging others to racially abuse Leslie Jones, an actress in the Ghostbusters reboot.
Yiannopoulos is also, unsurprisingly, a Trump supporter. He posed this question to Trump during his AMA.
The Trump AMA also featured Martin Shkreli. You know, the guy who bought the production rights to an anti-parasitic drug, then raised its price by over 5000 per cent.
He’s also being investigated by the FBI for fraud, so between him and Yiannopoulos, you know Trump is in good company.
4. Trump is great at not answering
You know when you wrote essays in high school and they sounded great, but you still failed because they didn’t actually say anything? Well let’s just say Trump hasn’t graduated high school.
Keeping in mind that an AMA allows the host to answer whatever questions they like (meaning they can choose to answer only questions that serve them), Trump gave the most bland, cookie-cutter answers imaginable. His answers boiled down to either:
-America will be great with me
-Hillary is bad
For example, when asked “What is your plan for reducing or removing the influence of money on politics?” Trump’s reply was,
“Keeping Crooked Hillary Clinton out of the White House!”
5. They really think Trump is going to be President
Already Trump supporters are calling him the 45th President of the United States. I know American politics is different to Australian politics, but you can’t deny the diversity of people who now support Trump. Students, astrophysicists, women, police and members of the LGBTQIA+ community all support a Trump presidency. Trump declared during his AMA that:
“I am never tired of winning, and as your president I will win for you, the American people. I’m with you!”
With recent polls indicating Trump leads Hillary Clinton 48% to 45%, there’s a real likelihood that Trump will scrape through with a win in the election on November 8th. While a Trump presidency is a terrifying possibility, it will at least vindicate Matt Groening.