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The New Hampshire

Trump supporter speaks out about campus experiences

Kelsea Campbell, Contributing Writer

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Colin Raffio, a UNH junior finance major with a political science minor, had just finished his lunch at Holloway Commons on an early fall day when he started making his way toward the exit. Upon reaching the stairs, he noticed two girls staring at him. When he passed by them, the girls cursed at him, saying, “f–k you and your shirt.” “I said ‘ok’ and just walked away. I just kind of laughed,” Raffio said.

Raffio was wearing his Donald Trump T-shirt that day, something he isn’t reluctant of doing, despite the common dirty looks and muffled comments he receives. The long sleeve, navy blue shirt, with the word Trump written in bold letters above his campaign slogan, “Make America great again!” is a small representation of Raffio’s support. In regard to the public’s reaction he gets from wearing the shirt, he described the responses as, “…the worst looks ever.”

 Raffio, a 20-year-old from Pelham, New York,  grew up with a liberal mother and conservative father, though it’s been his father’s political stance that’s had more influence on him—Raffio defines himself as a Republican.

 “I just don’t understand though…isn’t there a whole thing about how everyone is equal? Why would someone look at me differently just because I’m voting for somebody else?” Raffio said in regard to his treatment as a Trump supporter by those who oppose him. “I feel like they’re contradicting themselves.”

Given the fact that in Durham last November, almost three times the amount of people voted for Clinton over Trump, the notion of the UNH campus being liberal has some truth to it.

The backlash continues into the classroom for Raffio. Specifically in his political science classes, Raffio noted that he’s “got some really strong left-wing liberals…And [his] teachers, most of them are liberal democratic.”

As a result, Raffio said, he not only avoids wearing his Trump shirt to these classes out of fear that “people would just rip me apart,” but he also refrains from contributing his views and opinions for the same reason. He said some of his professors make subtle anti-Trump jokes that make him feel uncomfortable and unwelcomed when he provides his perspectives.

Regardless of his liberal surroundings, Raffio is comfortable publicizing his support on social media, and said he feels there is a need for Trump supporters to explain the reasoning behind their support.

 “I have a lot of liberal friends and friends that don’t like Trump and they show me news that I know is not the truth. I feel like me retweeting and showing what Trump is doing and all his policies will help bring awareness to him and who he is,” Raffio said.

Raffio discredits media outlets when it comes to not reporting the truth.

“I like to retweet stuff or share stuff on Facebook that represents the truth of action and the facts of what [Trump is] doing,” Raffio explained. “Kind of sheds light to him and what he’s about.”

Raffio feels that the backlash for being vocal about his support is most prevalent online. After Trump’s victory, Raffio excitedly shared articles and posted statuses about his success. He also claimed a $500 cash prize after betting against Democratic friends that Hillary Clinton would lose the election.

As a result, people, mostly liberals, ranging from UNH and all the way to his hometown “went after me on my Facebook comments,” he said.

He noted that comments included phrases such as “he doesn’t support the LGBTQ+ community…he’s a racist…he’s a bigot.”

Raffio concluded that they were just upset that their candidate had lost.

Raffio said that since the election, he’s noticed that anti-Trump activism has settled down and silent supporters around campus are beginning to speak up.

Unlike the anti-Trump incident in the dining hall, Raffio explained, “there have been multiple instances where the dining hall workers would come up to me…one guy grabbed me and said ‘Honestly, I love your shirt. I really do. It’s great to see the support. I’m a silent supporter, and I love to see your shirt. Good job.’ I get those all the time.”

In response to the repercussions he receives from liberals on campus and online, Raffio retorted, “You might not like the person I support, but that doesn’t have anything to do with me.”

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7 Comments

7 Responses to “Trump supporter speaks out about campus experiences”

  1. harman droge on April 27th, 2017 8:34 pm

    He doesn’t seem to take into account the nuances of what supporting someone means.

    Regardless of his own views on marriage equality, if climate change is real or if I should be denied health insurance just because I have cancer, he enables people to come into power who are diametrically opposed to these views when he voted for Trump.

    I can only imagine there were reasons he also did vote for Trump but at the end of the day he doesn’t seem to fully comprehend what it means to wear his shirt to a lot of students since from talking to students, that’s what they see.
    For example, when Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women in Oct I imagine a lot of students saw Colin and other Trump voters as people who enable someone who sexually assaults others.

    Inversely the students judging him may not understand the nuances of his support but at the end of the day from his final comment I can only say it’s clear he doesn’t get that votes matter and so does enabling candidates who’s platform states marriage equality shouldn’t be allowed. Essentially to a lot of students that glaring that shirt says you support a candidate that thinks they are less than those who are straight. I’d glare too if I saw someone proclaiming a candidate who’s platform declared that…

    And if Colin is reading this and dismissing what I said as not true, check out page 11 of Trump’s platform
    https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/static/home/data/platform.pdf

    [Reply]

  2. harman droge on April 27th, 2017 8:36 pm

    Essentially to a lot of students that are glaring*

    [Reply]

  3. John King on May 2nd, 2017 7:43 pm

    Mothers are always right. This young man needs to spend more time with his mother who is liberal democrat. If he can’t take the heat for supporting a confirmed racist, bigot, liar…. and women degrader… maybe he should not wear the shirt. How’s trump gonna help you when AI and robotics take 38% of all positions by 2031?

    [Reply]

  4. Mike Houst on May 3rd, 2017 8:16 am

    Colin Raffio just needs to keep a thick skin, and stay alert. Communists, Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, and Socialists are naturally, and by definition, more rude and vocal than Conservatives. And as we’ve seen in news reports since before the election, they are far more prone to violence than Conservatives and Republicans.

    If Raffio’s opponents are willing to engage in meaningful debate, then by all means have those conversations and provide your proofs and supporting data. If they’re not willing to do so, just tell them when they’re ready to stop reacting to everything emotionally and start acting rationally, he’ll be glad to talk to them; then turn and walk away.

    Just be careful that when you walk away they don’t decide to play the knockout game with you. If they do try it, do whatever is necessary to take them down until it’s safe for you to walk away without them continuing to attack you.

    I voted for Donald Trump. I wear a Make America Great Again hat. 40% of the people who react to it give me the thumbs up, the others either glare, or give me the middle finger instead.

    [Reply]

  5. Ernie Bridge on May 3rd, 2017 12:43 pm

    I was a student at UNH during the Cold War era when students demonstrated at Ba The Bomb rallies. Once we did block Main Street in Durham for a couple hours and some us spent a few days in jail, but no shots, tear gas or beatings. Now students demonstrate about trivial issues and seem to enjoy committing random acts of violence and vandalism.
    I remember my Humanities professor pointing out that a healthy society tolerates extreme views on social issues and ought to work to change laws they disagree with but, if they choose to break an existing law ought to be prepared to accept the punishment.
    If Raffio Chooses to display his politics on his chest he ought to be prepared to shrug off obscene comments but if it effects his academic life his instructors have lost their objectivity and need to be encouraged to find a different line of work.

    [Reply]

  6. Jason on May 3rd, 2017 2:42 pm

    Good For Raffio—Trump is far better than Hillary Clinton ever could be or want to be—Clinton had so much baggage–I mean–who in their right mind would vote for Hillary Clinton just knowing about the Benghazi scandal–they could have saved those people in Benghazi and she said “What difference does it make?” also she got off a rapist who mutiliated a woman so badly that she can’t have kids at all—Hillary Clinton is not for women…

    [Reply]

  7. Jerry Stubak on May 17th, 2017 12:44 pm

    If nothing else the large amount of money Mr. Raffio is undoubtedly wasting at UNH will teach him one very importnant lesson; progressives are the scum of the earth.

    [Reply]

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Trump supporter speaks out about campus experiences