Trish Hartwig, on Trump: “I think when Hillary used the word ‘deplorable’ that clinched it because even people who toed the line and weren’t sure of him could see more of themselves in him than in her.”
Trish Hartwig has identified as a Republican for most of her life. Hartwig, 47 of Weston, works for United Airlines at Central Wisconsin Airport, and as a bartender at Cruisin 1724, along with running Toxic Pipes with her finance. She has been fairly vocal on social media about Donald Trump but says neither he nor Hillary Clinton were her first choices on either side. This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity:
Are you politically engaged?
Yes, I would say on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m a 6. I don’t get too crazy about it. I’m a bartender, so you know, you stay away from politics and religion.
Would you have voted for anyone else, even Bernie Sanders?
I thought Bernie Sanders was a much better choice than Hillary Clinton. Trump vs. Clinton was not how I anticipated the final choice would be. I liked Ben Carson, that was my first choice. I was very shocked by, and I’m not sure, how Trump got there, but by the same token, I’m not sure how Hillary got there. Like so many people I saw it as the lesser of two evils. I stuck with the candidate that reflected the majority of my beliefs.
I have toes in both worlds, I have a son who’s gay. I come from both sides. But I looked at the majority of things that matter to me and voted respectively. And I’m not going to write in some no name, that’s not smart in my opinion.
I’m really disappointed in this race, this is a bigger reflection of who we are. In this day and age of reality TV, we crave excitement. Instead of getting two people who are just smart and deal with the issues, we have this craziness. This is who we chose. But with the third parties right now, it’s throwing away a vote.
There are certain things that are important to me and I hope Trump represents me the best that he can.
What about Trump inspires you?
A lot of things. Obviously there are things on the other side that don’t, but what inspired me was his work ethic. We have a small business in Weston called Toxic Pipes. We have five employees, and so much red tape and so many hoops to jump through, it makes it almost impossible to do business and make any money. Trump understands those issues. I admire that he has a lot of employees, and I know the problems that come with that.
There’s also his family, his kids—they are well-adjusted. They’re married and have families. I guess if there was one thing that gave me hope, because I’m a mom, it’s looking at his children. They said great things about his parenting, even though he was a busy guy, going to the work site, he would take them into the break room.
Did you watch his TV shows?
Yes, we were fans. “You’re fired!” was a favorite line I did like. The TV shows were entertaining, from an entrepreneurial standpoint. Those were fun to watch.
He’s been rich his whole life. Do you feel nonetheless that he has a pulse on the regular guy?
I do, because he interacts with the regular person so much, he had a better understanding of me, of all of us. I think when Hillary used the word “deplorable” that sinked it, because even people who toed the line and weren’t sure of him could see more of themselves in him than in her.
We’re not perfect. A lot of us have been through divorces. I know people who cheated on their spouses, drink too much, have multiple sexual partners. People are imperfect, but that doesn’t make them bad.
You can’t relate to Hillary. I don’t think Hillary is a bad person, her daughter is great, she has a family. I don’t think either one of these candidates wants to see us go to war or something, but I could not relate to her at all.
What about his treatment of women? Anything there give you pause?
No, not really. Maybe that’s just a reflection of me and my many years in bartending. [Referring to when Trump talked on tape about grabbing a woman in the you-know-what] That caught me a little—that wasn’t good. I thought that wouldn’t bode well for him.
It’s a reflection on us. Change needs to happen, and it needs to start within each one of us.
Some people worry that Trump’s win vindicates the racist/hateful feelings some of his supporters express.
I take issue with some of those things. I also take issue with Beyonce and Jay Z singing for Clinton. Chance the Rapper, he performed and look at his songs, one called “No Problem” talking about nigga this, and baby mamas. This is our world. Miley Cyrus going around encouraging people to vote, and that’s great, but Miley Cyrus? These are not examples for our kids. Neither candidate was an example.
My mom was a staunch Republican. She wasn’t exactly thrilled by this choice. She did say, this is my party, this is my candidate. I don’t know a single person who would say they were fine with everything. Most were like ‘why did he say that?’
What do you see happening under Trump that wouldn’t have happened under Clinton?
I want to see the insurance act repealed. I want to see something else, because we still need affordable insurance, to lower the cost of medications.
I would like to see more job creation. Here is someone who knows how to do that. I work for United Airlines and I work as a bartender on the side. I’ve never taken handout. We need programs to help people out, but we also need ways to help get them off of those programs.
But I’m not sold on him. He’s got a lot to prove. I just felt as far as who could do the job better, it was him.