The Epoch Times talked to five Ohioans to find out how their values align with President Trump’s and the issues that are close to their hearts. The interviews occurred from to July 28 to Aug. 5. Read the whole series HERE
Kris Thomas, 30, wanted to see economic change in America.
“We are still in a lot of debt, and we are just spending, spending, and spending. And this is why I voted for Trump, his new economic policies.”
Thomas grew up in North Carolina, attended high school in Florida, and enlisted in the Army in Louisiana. He served in tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he sustained a traumatic brain injury in an explosion. In 2012, Thomas was honorably discharged and has since completed a marketing degree at Ohio State University.
He said he was “100 percent” behind Trump’s travel ban.
“Not because I don’t want anyone to immigrate to our country, that has nothing to do with that. But in terms of the hostile nature of that area, I feel that there needs to be a ban until we can further screen or at least have a better border security process. How can we bring in legal immigrants without the risk of terrorism?”
“When I was stationed in Iraq … there wasn’t so much hostility, they were mostly friendly. Yes, there were people who didn’t like us, but for the most part, a lot of the locals would wave at us.
“Afghanistan was a whole other ball game, completely different. I feel like some of them would be friendly, but for the most part, a lot of them didn’t like us.”
Thomas said he noticed changes in the military after President Barack Obama took office; it became “soft,” and disciplining soldiers became more difficult.
“I remember when I served under [President George W.] Bush for just a year. When I first came in the army, it was pretty much beat you down, find your weakest link, exploit it, and then build you up. That’s the way it was.
“When Obama came into office, it was completely different. It was more relaxed than it used to be, and I started to notice that transition.
“I have been out of the military five or six years. I’m not sure how bad it is now. A lot of guys tell me they are getting out because it has gotten soft.
“You want to be the biggest fighting force, and yet I think these are important issues that need to be addressed in the military. I think this new change of command—I really like Gen. [James] Mattis, and I think he’s going to do great things for the military.”
Miller has also noticed improvements to his medical care through Veterans Affairs since Trump took office. He was told recently that he would no longer have to get a referral to see some specialists.
“You can just call and set up an appointment. There was a good five- to six-year period when I was going to the VA, when I would be waiting months before I could even get an appointment.”
Future of America
Thomas has just gained a whole new perspective on life—he is a new father, and his weeks-old daughter is a big factor when he thinks of the future.
When asked what he sees as the biggest threat to America, Thomas identified the media as being a divisive force, saying it is “poisoning our minds.”
“They take one narrative and construe it to fit their political agenda. The impact is, firstly, it causes chaos.”
He said he thinks media has been influencing elections for years, but it has gotten worse.
“It’s like the media went out of their way to almost discredit themselves to influence this election. Not just that, it is still happening. Ever since Trump has been in office, I feel like the liberal networks are trying everything they can to get him out of office, and you can see that.”
Thomas said he bounces around to different news sources to try to get a fair picture.
“I don’t have one particular station that I watch because I get completely different political agendas from each network. So I just watch CNN one day, Fox, and I’ll watch ABC news, whatever. I just formulate my own hypothesis through all the different agendas.”
“I fear the divide. I think that is going to be our biggest downfall. I don’t think it’s another country taking over, I think it is going to be us not coming together—that’s my biggest fear.”
“People just don’t handle a difference of opinion like they used to. People don’t respect each other anymore. If you don’t agree with me, then you are a bigot, or whatever the case. I feel like that is the problem.
“People are going to have a difference of opinion, that’s just the way it is. Let’s try not to tear each other’s heads off about it. When people start to accept other people’s differences, then that is going to be the change.”
“Today’s American dream, from my perspective, is basically being patriotic in terms of loving everybody, respecting everybody—recognizing that freedom isn’t free and we need to come together and do what we can to better society, and that’s the dream.”