Donald Trump is one of two things, depending on who you ask. For some, he’s an independent inspiration, a man who made it in Washington without the political machine and wants to “Make America Great Again.” For others, he’s a racist bully who’s done nothing but spread fear and hatred toward women, minorities, and the LBGTQ community.
People living in North Bergen expressed strong opinions last weekend, right after the presidential inauguration.
“We’re going to have more jobs,” said one North Bergen resident using the computer at the North Bergen library last week. The resident, a Dominican immigrant, added, “A lot of people who don’t have legal documents, they’re not going to have any jobs. So it’ll be more jobs for people who have legal documents.”
“There are many millennials and progressives who don’t agree with that.” — Brian Garcia
However, he said he doesn’t support Trump’s plan to build a Mexican border wall, and didn’t vote for Trump.
Another resident, Brian Garcia, 19, had a stern message for Trump.
“We’re still one America, and just because he tapped into the fear of globalization and white nationalism, there are many millennials and progressives who don’t agree with that,” he said. “[He needs to] unify the nation, because he has divided it.”
Trump’s Tweets even after winning office have referred to his “enemies.”
Garcia is not optimistic about Trump’s presidency. He respected Trump’s “business savvy” but acknowledged his numerous failed endeavors as well.
“He made a fortune off his name,” he said. “A small loan of a million dollars isn’t small, but it is something to turn a million into a billion. But I just wish he wasn’t so ignorant.”
Mayor Nicholas Sacco offered a written statement. “Whether we may like it or not, Donald Trump is our president and we have to hope that many of the more inflammatory statements he made and positions he took during the campaign will not be pursued now that he is in office,” Sacco said.
In the week since he’s taken office, Trump has signed 12 executive orders – including one that starts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), one that steps up deportation of those in the country illegally, and one that says federal dollars may not go to any organizations that provide abortion services. He has said he will build a taxpayer-funded wall between the U.S. and Mexico (for which he hopes Mexico reimburses the country).
Sacco added, “At the same time, elected leaders have to be ready to stand up for our residents and our Democratic values and fight back when we need to. Our federal representatives like Senator Menendez, Senator Booker and [Rep] Sires are working to hold President Trump accountable, and I will be ready to support their efforts and protect our residents whenever it is needed.”
Another resident urged others to give Trump a chance.
“His rhetoric doesn’t sound good, but you have to see what’s happening,” said the man, who wanted to remain anonymous. “See what he does. People have been too critical and impatient, even though his rhetoric warrants it…maybe he’ll surprise everybody.”
The man added that if he “does something stupid, and it’ll be like the Celebrity Apprentice, but with more ratings.”