2020 race prompts range of opinions
Thursday, July 4, 2019
A range a people visiting the Greenville Town Common weighed in on presidential politics following the televised debates featuring 20 Democrats and heading into the July 4th holiday.
The Daily Reflector interviewed voters in town this week for the Sunday in the Park concert series and a visit to the Field of Honor next door to the amphitheater. Folks were not short on their opinions on President Donald Trump and the recent debates among Democrats seeking to run against Trump in 2020.
“They were very immature,” Fred Bentley of Goldsboro said of the debate participants. “It didn’t seem like it had a lot of substance. I just thought it would be more presidential than it was. They were at each other, making cuts at each other, bringing up the past. We want to go toward the future, not go back in the past. There’s a lot of bickering going on and I just don’t see the point of it,” Bentley said.
Bentley also expressed his disapproval of Trump.
“This man is causing the democracy of our country to fall apart, and if the Republican party doesn’t do anything about it, it could be too late down the road. He loves that dictatorship power and he’s definitely a threat, absolutely. And I don’t understand the Republican party standing behind him because it just shows how stupid they are,” Bentley said.
Bentley said that discerning why rich and powerful individuals want the presidency is not always clear, but one thing is clear about Trump.
“Trump’s in there and he’s power hungry. He loves power,” Bentley said. “He likes so much power, I don’t think you’re going to get him out.”
Bentley is ready for a change and he hopes a minority or a woman can become America’s next commander in chief.
“It’s time for the old white guys to leave,” Bentley said.
But not everyone was ready for Trump to go.
“I think he’s fantastic,” Becky Purvis of Grimesland said.
Purvis said she did not watch the debates.
“I don’t care for the Democrats and I hope (Trump) is re-elected,” she said.
Ronrico Joyner also did not tune in to the debates because he was working.
He said he isn’t into politics, he said, but like Purvis supports Trump.
“I like Trump. Go Trump,” Joyner said.
Regardless of who becomes the next president, Joyner wants to see a better health care system, lower taxes and a higher minimum wage.
Brandon Peters, a Greenville physician who is undecided, expressed frustration with the debates.
“I’m ready for people to come up with some positive ideas that are going to fix things and find how they’re going to pay for them,” Peters said.
Higher taxes will keep Peters from retirement and force him to continue working, he said.
“I’m paying in the upper range myself and I can’t stand it anymore,” Peters said. I’m looking at retiring and I’m thinking, I’m going to have to keep working”
Peters saw highlights from the debates. He thought former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris took unnecessary jabs at each other and that Harris and other candidates had to consider the context of Biden’s long-ago stances on busing and his work with segregationist senators.
“I thought it was such a misunderstanding of what he said and that it was all political theater,” Peters said.
When asked about health care, Peters said the system needs work, especially when it comes to primary care.
“The current system is very fragmented and the primary care is not organized appropriately,” he said. “If you’re talking universal health care for people, you should probably have universal primary care. That needs to be the first step. There are not enough primary cares out there to come anywhere close to providing the level of care when that happens.”
“I think economically the landscape is much better than when he took office. Some of his changes have helped the business environment,” Peters said. “I think it all starts with the economy, and if you can’t keep our economy going at a reasonable rate, I think everything else falls apart.”
His major criticism of Trump is that Trump is too outspoken.
“He just needs to learn to close his mouth every once in a while.”
For Erin Lombard, who just moved to Greenville, Trump simply isn’t the best choice for president.
“I think he’s kind of a lunatic, to be honest,” Lombard said. “I want someone who can better represent our nation, not just Caucasian upper class. I want someone who reflects more of our nation as a whole and someone with more respect for people in general and better with their words.”
For some voters the number of Democrats running for president makes it difficult to choose who’s best.
“There’s a lot of Democrats,” Andrew Granger of Texas said. “It seems some of them, their presence gets overshadowed by some of the other ones. Their voices seem to overpower everybody else. Seems like everybody else just lets them talk”
Granger, who was in Greenville for a visit, said he does not approve of Trump’s performance.
“He’s not my favorite. He could’ve done things a lot better if he chose to,” Granger said.
Granger said areas he’d like to see addressed are police brutality and foreign policy.
“The issue with policing in America needs to be taken more seriously, and it seems like we spend more money outside the United States with wars and foreign aid and things than we do fixing America. It’s kind of hypocritical to say Make America Great Again when there’s more money going out than staying here and fixing cities.”