We went around the country and spoke to voters. Here's what they said:
“I don’t like how the administration is running currently and I am up for change… I just don’t want politicians to sell us out because of money, greed. Even both sides, Republicans or Democrats… we’re being sold out especially to other countries. The middle class is going away. We’re just being sold out we’re not that dumb.
Let’s see, oil, we could go green by now, there’ s electric cars happening. There’s also big lobbyists and corporations doing things so that the top 1% can benefit…
Is your vote in November about the Trump administration?
Yes, definitely. There’s so many things. He’s a business man. He’s not for a person or for us. He was born rich. He’s really blind. He thinks Mexican food is Taco Bell?! He just reeks of corruption. I’m so sick of it. I am so angry…Trump? You liar! You golf way too much, you spend way too much money, you sold us out to the Russians; and you and your media and fake news? We see right through you.”
“I think the economy is in a really really great place right now… we’re a lot tougher when it comes to North Korea… this guy two years ago was ready to drop a nuke on America … people can say whatever they want about the current administration. That right there, is one of the biggest pluses to the Trump Administration. One of the biggest problems where I live is the MS13 gang violence… the current administration has been out here, they’ve got their hands dirty…they’ve made a really big change in the gang violence that’s been going on…so I think there’s been a lot of positive things, but of course with positive, there’s been a lot of negatives too.
There’s two things that have gone on that have really got me actually kind of emotional. The first one was when it came to talking about Russia meddling in our elections. Obviously, we know that it’s true…and to not be tough on that was really hard to see and the separation of families at the border was…ohhh..it broke my heart. I’m someone when I talk about immigration, I’m very much on the right. I think we need to be tougher on immigration, but pulling children from their parent’s arms is just inhumane.
Do you feel the Republican party represents you?
I kind of feel like I’m on my own, but because I voted for Trump, I’ve been very vocal that I did vote for him, but you kind of get pushed into a group of people that are the deplorable Trump supporters that support everything that he does and everything he has said and done and it couldn’t be further from the truth for me… I hope that it kinda stays Republican up to 2020 so we can see how Trump does with the taxes…and a few other things get done… I want to see the economy continue to grow I would love to see more job growth…
Is there any aspect of the election that you’re worried about?
If there’s a blue wave, I just hope Democrats will remember middle America, will remember Republicans, will remember that there are people out there that don’t always support what they think…I respect everyone’s views and I want people to respect my views and I wish people would just take the time…to pick up the phone go out for coffee with someone that has a different opinion than you and have a real conversation.”
“I feel like one of the things we should really focus on is actually taking the time to learn about our candidates... When I research a candidate one of the things I’m mainly looking for is what bills have they supported in the past, who was funding them... a lot of times we really don’t know where their money is coming from...
Why they keep bringing up this when this is going on, why they talking abut B when A is such a huge detail, because B is funding, them B is giving them the money to talk - so you have to find out who is making you talk? Who is making you talk and what do you believe in personally?
We can’t just Google everything anymore, we have to literally crack open that book and find out “what’s really going on here?’
I focus a lot on gentrification, segregation and integration...
I want to vote for someone who actually cares, someone who is actually embedded into the community, knows what’s going on and someone who actually can make a conscious decision on what to do for our country...
I did everything I could to be within my community, to actually study and understand what’s going on...I still take time to watch the news because I have to be consciously aware. I care about myself and I have to know what’s going on right now...yes, I do plan on voting in the midterms in November.”
“My personal best outcome would be for both the Senate and the House to flip control to Democratic majorities and also for Democrats to make good headway in terms of state level races... In 2012, I voted for Mitt Romney and did consider myself a Republican and looking back the main driver of that, was, I see the deficit as a huge issue especially in terms of the effect it will have on people of my generation… But the Republican party by 2012 and even before that to some extent had moved kind of far to the right, gotten a bit wackier and now at this point they’ve pretty much given up any pretense of caring about the deficit. So I’ve essentially given up my allegiance to the party, probably around 2014. I think the nail in the coffin was Trump. At this point I’ve lost a lot of faith in Republicans to hold this administration responsible.
Can you give me another example?
Family separation at the border. A lot of Republican legislators came on talk shows and the news and they kind of made statements about how this was wrong and this should stop but they weren’t willing to actually do anything legislatively to try to stop the practice… they haven’t followed up with investigations of why that’s allowed to happen, what went wrong and why there still are children that are separated… and I think there needs to be oversight not only so that things like that don’t happen in the future but so that the American people can hold those the people who were responsible, accountable.
I’d say that I don’t really identify well with either party… I’m definitely not in love with a lot of what’s coming from the left wing of the Democratic party but at least at the moment I feel like they’re definitely the much better choice.”
“I did vote the last election, and I do plan to vote this coming election. Last time I voted it was a mad dash to the last 2 days doing research to get informed.
Do you think you’ll get informed on the issues for this election?
I should do that, I should do that whether it happens is another story…
I think right now it’s just my work matters to me a lot and I spend a lot of time on my work. I’m a freelance filmmaker so when I’m not working I’m stressing about getting work and when I’m working its 10 - 12 hours day so when I get home I just want to go to sleep.
I really don’t know how the country’s doing, all I have to go off of is the news but … I’m not that informed so I am not worried.”
“The midterms are extremely important… I’m a Republican, I did vote for Trump… My ideal would be obviously that we would take both the House and the Senate, that’s my hope… they could continue the trade deals ... I’d like to keep the tax cuts … we’re more powerful on the world stage… and the economy, I’d like to keep the way the country’s going economically, I’m getting more money in my pocket and the country’s doing good economically.
The Democratic party has gone very far left, probably farther left than many people want it to be and the fact that even those ideas, the ideas of socialism is gaining popularity really frightens me … If Democrats take the House we’ll have articles of impeachment drawn up everything will be investigated. I’m all for investigation, I don’t want Russia meddling in my election… but having said that, we’ve been in this investigation for 2 years on Russia and technically we haven’t found anything tying them to it. So, I think that if the Dems take the House we’ll continue on this path of good vs. evil, he said she said, left and right, they’re the bad guys we’re the good guys…I just think its bad for the country. Everyone is so entrenched…
If the Republicans keep control, it’ll still be bad, it’ll still be bad… Honestly, its going to take a deep change in how we talk to each other to get rid of that…there are a lot of people who are actually worried about like a civil war now. I don’t think we’ll ever get back to that point of north vs. south or whatever but the fact we’re even talking about it says a lot about where we are right now. It’s scary, it’s just scary.
Does the Republican party represent you?
Yes and no…I’m with their fiscal policies, I do think they’re a little bit behind in the social area. And that’s why they get dinged for it.”
“I’ve noticed I guess more angst probably than prior to three years ago ... just kind of a general maybe uneasiness with politics ...
Do you feel more uneasy?
Definitely. I didn’t come back to the US because of the presidential candidate yeah it was a big part of it... I continued to work abroad because I was so against who we voted in, our president. You know. I don’t even like to say his name. So yeah I’m angsty, I’m very upset. I thought he would be impeached by now to be honest. I’m very surprised that he’s not.
I mean, you know, a bigot just someone that’s not really in tune with people actual people that are in the US. A lot of us knew he was full of lies and it’s just been such black and white lies, you know, since he’s been in office. So I think that’s why the angst is growing. Because we’re just now getting more hard evidence of what really makes him so ill equipped to run the country. ...
Does it affect you?
It does affect me. It affects me a lot, actually. I used to talk about politics a lot. I can’t talk about them now. I have to be very upfront with people that I can’t talk about it because I get so upset...
Do you feel like your vote can make a difference?
Yeah, I do. I definitely do...(but) the Democratic Party needs to be more radical for me, for sure.”
Jeremy & Elly
Jeremy: “Voting’s incredibly important to me even if I don’t like the candidate I’m voting for, I still do it, because I feel like it’s something I have to do…I would love to see less war…I’d like to see the prison industrial complex get less power… do something about erasing poverty, that would be a big thing to me.
Elly: I think they all put a platform out there and then under-deliver on it, so it’s hard to feel like you’re voting on an actual issue…
Jeremy: It’s literally not even worth getting off your couch and doing, if you’re going to put another person in who doesn’t follow through on what they said they would do. It just gets so hard to believe in the process.
Do you feel like your vote doesn’t matter?
Jeremy: I know my vote doesn’t matter. I didn’t vote for Bush and Al Gore won the election and lost the Electoral College. I voted for Hillary, she won the elections and lost the Electoral College. I voted for Obama, he promised things that he didn’t do… but I’ll still vote and I’ll continue to because I think you have to, I’ll suck it up and vote but I’ll bitch the whole time.”
“I can’t really do much with the Supreme Court thing, can’t do much there but I can vote in the midterms and who gets to decide in the future who gets to be on the Supreme Court. That’s like something at least I know I can do that.
My top three issues… education, prison reform, shockingly, environment. Because education it’s not awful but it’s not great either, and school costs too much money and prison reform the amount of prisons we do have here, I think they outnumber schools, which doesn’t make sense, and the whole justice system seems to be tainted. People go to prison for like 10 years because they had a little bit of weed in their pocket…and then the environment, I want to keep living on this planet, I want it to still be here, I don’t want to go colonize Mars, I’d rather stay here.
We could do a lot better. We could do a lot, lot, lot maybe like a 1000% better - because it’s not going great here. … the whole Kavanaugh case right now, I don’t want someone to be on the Supreme Court that’s assaulted someone multiple times…or doing away with health care, it doesn’t feel right, it seems like they’re stripping away the most marginalized groups as much as they can, and they’re like ‘no, were doing great, make America great.’ Make America great for the 1% white man that’s heterosexual? That’s all America could be? That’s not what America ever was. But we could do a lot better. 1000%.”
“I identify to be honest, Republican because…I’ll give you a history thing…back in the 1800’s when the slaves weren’t allowed to vote, Republicans catered or were more favorable to slaves…
(But) I’m very worried. I’m worried because I feel like our current president, (I’d rather not say his name), but 45…he’s biased…listen to his slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Why hasn’t American been great for black people? In my 26 years, I’ve never seen America be great for black people.
The party favors the individuals that have more income, the wealthy. What they are doing wrong is they’re not providing programs, institutions, I would say jobs, I would say resources that would aid the low income society to be able to eventually gain or obtain stability. No one wants to stay poor forever.
I went to school, I educated myself, I got a job I’m going to provide that lifestyle for me and my new family…unfortunately it doesn’t have anything to do with who is running for a political party because essentially its all the same thing. When people start to do better for the country as far as there’s not a cultural bias, society will be able to be successful.”