A St. Louis-area teacher challenged a teenager to defend his support for President Donald Trump — and he ends up finding more to criticize than to praise.
Two women and the Trump supporter amicably debated the president during his visit Thursday to Granite City, Illinois, in a video recorded by a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter.
Neither woman or the boy, who is holding a hand-lettered “we love Trump/Pence” sign and says he’s 17 years old, are identified by the reporter, who describes one woman as a teacher.
“Use your right to vote, vote in every election, and be involved and be concerned, and pay attention,” the teacher says. “Learn something … take that opportunity.”
The teen insists that he has been, and he admits there are things about Trump that he does not like.
“I do not like Trump as a person,” he says. “He says things about women that I do not appreciate. I personally do not think that Trump is a racist person — do you think he’s racist?”
An onlooker says she does think the president is racist, and the teacher asks him to defend Trump on moral grounds.
“Can you put things of conscience aside?” she says. “When a lie is proven — any candidate — and there have been felons that have been running for office. We are in a climate where lying is becoming the norm, and it’s terrifying.”
The teen agrees “it’s really bad,” and the teacher explains that democratic institutions have already been weakened under Trump.
“Institutions that people have relied on and had faith in for many, many years — the Justice Department, the FBI — those are all being marginalized and compromised,” the teacher says.
She complains that Twitter is not even enforcing its own rules by allowing Trump’s attacks on institutions and individuals, and the teen agrees he doesn’t like the president’s tweets.
“If I posted the things he posts, they would ban me, because I’m not famous and I’m not a world leader,” she says. “They say it’s okay because he’s a world leader.
The encounter opens with the teen attempting to explain socialism, and the effort embarrasses an onlooker.
“Socialism is where — it’s stuff like government-controlled,” the teen says, as the onlooker shakes her head in dismay.
“Bless his heart,” she says. “He just does not know, does he? Bless his heart.”