Q: Were you surprised by the election result?
A: I definitely thought that Clinton had a better chance of winning, but I have always thought that it would be a lot closer than what everybody was predicting. I’d be lying if I said that going into Election Day I was confident, because I wasn’t. I didn’t really care about the White House — I was more concerned that we would keep control over the House and the Senate.
Q: What was your experience election night?
A: I was at the YCR watching party, and the feeling in the room was, is this happening? Is this for real? Oh my god, we’re going to do it. This is crazy.
Q: Did you support Trump in the primaries?
A: No, not at all. I’m a huge Ted Cruz fan. I would definitely identify with the more conservative wing of the Republican Party. I also recognize that with a strong conservative like [Cruz], it might be harder to win a general election. There were a handful of candidates that I would have chosen over Trump.
Q: What led to the YCR’s decision to endorse Trump over the summer?
A: There was no decision to endorse Trump. I mean, in any other election, when have you seen college Republicans endorse a presidential candidate? You don’t because it’s assumed that you’re endorsing them. The only reason was that somebody was pretending to speak for us in an official manner and they were not. As an organization, we support Republicans up and down the ballot. This was put into the constitution that our board ratified in the spring, so we will be a resource for any Yale student that wants to connect to any Republican candidate.
Q: What other activities does the YCR have planned for the semester?
A: The rest of the semester will be pretty low-key — it’s been a long year and a half. We’ll be looking to bring speakers in the spring since it’s not as campaign-heavy.
Q: The Yale Daily News released a survey showing that 60% of Trump supporters feel “uncomfortable” discussing their views. Do you agree with the results?
A: I don’t feel uncomfortable, but obviously I’m a vocal conservative who’s always stepped up. I’ve had people tell me they’re a closet Republican, which is laughable to me. I feel it’s sad that anybody on campus needs to hide their political views. I’ve been called a racist, I’ve been called a homophobe, I’ve been called whatever other slurs people have thrown at Trump supporters and, let’s be honest, have thrown at Republicans for decades. I think it’s important for Republican students on campus to speak up and talk about why they voted this way and why they support these policies. I remember sitting down with Maxwell Ulin ’18, president of the Yale College Democrats, at lunch, and we ended up having a conversation that was 2 hours long. It’s really important to hear what he has to say.
Q: What do you think is the impact of a Trump presidency compared to a Hillary one on the Yale campus?
A: To be honest, I don’t think that either way it would have made a difference on campus. I think Yale will continue to be Yale. It would have been the same regardless who the Republican nominee was. You’re still going to see people protest and you’re still going to see people get involved even if Hillary [Clinton] was president.