While some students mourned Tuesday's election results, others celebrated Republican Donald Trump's victory. First-year Nikhil Sridhar, executive vice president of Duke Young Americans for Liberty and a vocal Trump supporter, spoke with The Chronicle about what he expects in a Trump presidency.
The Chronicle: Were you surprised at the results last night?
Nikhil Sridhar: I was surprised with the way we won—I didn't think we'd take Michigan—but I wasn't really surprised. I kind of knew we would win. I was pleasantly surprised we kept the Senate. I thought we would lose the Senate, and I think I knew we'd keep the House because we have a mass of incumbents there. When Pennsylvania was about 92 percent in, that's when I kind of knew because both Michigan and Pennsylvania were doing really well, and we had Wisconsin by then. Everyone knew, and everyone was celebrating by then.
TC: What did you think about the atmosphere on campus at that time?
NS: Well, a lot of people—liberals—were really upset. I was with the Republicans, so we were having a lot of fun. We went crazy. There were a lot of people disappointed today and last night. I mean, their candidate lost, so I can understand that.
TC: How many Trump supporters do you think are on campus?
NS: It's obviously really low, partially because millennials tend to vote less Republican usually. I think it's more because people have the idea that capitalism in itself is bad. I read a study that many millennials call themselves socialists but prefer a free market economy because to them, capitalism is just associated with greed. I think that phony capitalism, represented by Hillary Clinton, was defeated yesterday. I think people are going to start getting on the Trump train once they realize what's going on. But as of now, there are really low numbers of Trump supporters, even amongst Republicans, in fact.
TC: To what do you attribute his win?
NS: I think what pulled in the win is that polls look at the most likely voters, and the most unlikely voters showed up to vote. I think that's the only reason he won Pennsylvania and Michigan—Pennsylvania because of the miners, Michigan because of the factory workers who have been laid off, because Hillary Clinton was quite firm about closing down the coal mines. I think that was a major factor. Also the threat of terror. A lot of people think Trump can handle it better, me too. People are tired of having politically correct culture that [President Barack Obama] and particularly the left have been breeding, and Donald Trump seems like the antidote to that.
TC: Several students have responded to the election saying they are in fear for their safety with this new administration, given things Trump has said during his campaign. How do you respond to their concerns?
NS: I don't think you should be in fear. There's so much misinformation. There are people who are saying, 'I'm an immigrant, and Donald Trump is going to deport me.' Donald Trump is not going to deport you if you're an immigrant. I don't even know where they get this wild information from. They've been misinformed by the liberal media. The real scary thing here is how misinformed people are and how they've given in to propaganda. I think a Donald Trump presidency would fix that. But asking people to reschedule their midterms is pushing it a bit far.
TC: What are you most looking forward to in a Trump presidency?
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NS: I'm looking forward to economic growth, secure borders, reorganization of trade deals, putting America first, not just energy independence but really profiting from the energy industry, better relations with Russia. Vladimir Putin said in a statement this morning that he's ready to work with Donald Trump to reset United States-Russia relations. So there's nothing to not look forward to in my opinion.
TC: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
NS: Make America Great Again.