I was deeply disappointed by the front page article of the April 9 edition of the Minnesota Daily. The article, entitled “U researchers aim to learn how voters view rights,” seemed to imply that all Donald Trump supporters “have strong values that are nationalistic and at odds with the universal values traditionally tied to human rights.” The assumption is a generalization and, I believe, an unfair one.
Many Trump supporters are obnoxious, immigrant-hating white nationalists. I won’t deny that. However, the real situation is a lot more nuanced than that. Labeling everyone who voted for Trump as “against or indifferent to human rights” ignores the huge number of people who voted for Trump not because they approved of everything he stands for, but because they saw it as the only way to stop the alternative, Hillary Clinton, from winning. I should know. I am one of them.
The 2016 election was the first one I could vote in, and deciding whom to vote for was possibly the most difficult choice I have ever made. Let me be clear: I don’t like Donald Trump. I have never liked him, and I disagree with a lot of his past and present choices. However, I was more afraid of Hillary Clinton. As a young Catholic and as someone who cares deeply about human rights, I could not in good conscience vote for someone who supports abortion. The Human Rights Watch claims that abortion is a human right, but whose human right? The human rights of the baby are completely ignored. I hate to go into the gory details, but sometimes the truth must be told: abortion is barbaric. The common dilation and evacuation procedure is described by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino:
“After the amniotic fluid is removed, the abortionist uses a sopher clamp — a grasping instrument with rows of sharp “teeth” — to grasp and pull the baby’s arms and legs, tearing the limbs from the child’s body. The abortionist continues to grasp intestines, spine, heart, lungs and any other limbs or body parts. The most difficult part of the procedure is usually finding, grasping and crushing the baby’s head.”
No matter what language it is cloaked in, abortion is ugly. How could I support a candidate who wants unrestricted access to such a gruesome procedure? I knew I could rule out voting for Clinton.
I considered voting for a third party candidate, but no third party candidate has ever won a modern American presidential election. I felt like I would be throwing my vote away. That is why I voted for Trump. I don’t know if I made the right choice. However, it is deeply offensive when people like me are singled out as being against human rights. In the future, please be careful what judgments you make.
This letter has been lightly edited for clarity and style.
Abigail Franz is a senior at the University of Minnesota studying computer science.