During the presidential election, tallies in Madera County showed 54.2% voted for Donald Trump and 39.5% voted for Hilary Clinton, as opposed to Fresno County, where Clinton received 50.1% and Trump received 43.9% of the votes.
The numbers flip-flopped from region to region nationwide, and when all was said and done, in a surprising upset, the country saw a political outsider take the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20.
Although President Trump has been in the Oval Office just six weeks, it’s been less than smooth sailing for the Commander in Chief and his staff. A number of heated issues continue to plague the new administration including immigration reform, Trump’s ties to Russia, and the repeal of Obamacare.
With that in mind, random Mountain Area residents were recently asked how they thought Trump was doing during his first days in office. While a few had no comment, others were happy to share their thoughts.
“He’s killer,” one Coarsegold woman said giving an emphatic fist pump. “I love him. I voted for him, and think he’s great. And his speech to Congress was fantastic.” A 58-year-old retired county worker.
“I’m somewhere in the middle about Trump. I don’t mind some of the things he’s doing, but I don’t like his demeanor, how he responds to things. I also don’t know why everyone is up in arms about Obamacare. I have it and like it. It’s affordable health insurance coverage based on income.” Michaela Robertson, 64, retired clerical staff.
“Personally I think he’s doing an outstanding job. We finally have a politician who’s doing what he campaigned on.” Tony Ward, Ahwahnee, retired engineer.
“I think it’s commendable that he’s doing what he said he would. My issue is what he’s doing. Blanket rules on immigration, corporate billionaires filling the ‘swamp,’ the Dakota pipeline, making decisions and proposing cuts detrimental to the environment, and tweets that sound like a narcissistic teen. Trump is all smoke and mirrors. Anyone taking a hard look at his past business practices would come to the conclusion that he’s morally corrupt and that the middle class is being duped.” A 60-year-old business owner.
“While I agree with his basic ideas, I don’t care for the implementation so far ... but I do remain hopeful. I also don’t like Trump’s erratic nature on how he’s going about things ... it’s like throwing a dart at a dartboard. I just don’t see any organized plan.” A 76-year-old Oakhurst resident.
“Like it or not, he’s our president so give the guy a chance.” A 46-year old healthcare worker.
“I think he’s doing great, bringing real change, and trying to move this country forward. His speech last night (Feb. 28) was really good.” A 41-year-old North Fork construction worker.
“I just don’t like Trump. He’s pompous and it’s hard for me to imagine how anyone can think he’s great. I won’t even watch him or listen to him. I’m just not interested in anything he has to say. My husband watched his speech last night, but because of our political differences, we don’t discuss politics in our home. If the media doesn’t agree with Trump, or doesn’t make him look good, as far as he’s concerned, it’s fake news. And his plan to cut domestic programs for the military ... ” she stopped short, simply turning away while shaking her head. A semi-retired 51-year-old Oakhurst resident.
“I think he’s wonderful. Thank God he’s president. He’s creating jobs, lowering taxes, he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing, and he’s a president for all people.” LaDonna Douglas, 61, retired chef.
“I think he’s doing a good job, and is trying to make this country better. I have no fears so far. He didn’t say bad things about immigrants, just about illegal immigrants. My nana was jailed in England because of an expired VISA, so Trump is only trying to do what other countries already do. I also think a lot of what the media puts out there is propaganda. I was watching one program where the president told a CNN media person to be quiet and sit down, but he did that because CNN was interrupting a woman who was talking. Later, the media was all over Trump about what he said, without adding that CNN was interrupting a woman, which is why the president said what he did in the first place.” A 26-year-old Oakhurst customer service rep.
With pro and anti-Trump rallies popping up across the nation, the country appears to be more polarized than ever.
Recognizing this division, in his Feb. 28 address to the joint session of Congress, one that some called “Reaganesque despite his giving few specifics,” Trump called for unification of the parties, saying, “If we are guided by the well-being of American citizens, then I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades.”
For his millions of steadfast supporters, the speech held reassurances that Trump plans to make good on fulfilling his campaign promises including hope for inner-cities, creating tens of thousands of jobs within corporate America, border security, reducing taxes for companies and citizens, defending the country against terrorism, improving education, health care reform, and building infrastructure programs.