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We Revisit North Carolina Trump Supporter, As First-Term Hopes Turn Into Expectations


Over the last year, we've made several trips to Charlotte, N.C, to talk with voters there about the election. One of the Trump supporters we met early on in the primaries was a guy named Don Reid, a former Charlotte city council member who is semi-retired but owns a small marketing firm. This past week, we called him up to ask him about what Tuesday night was like for him.

DON REID: Other than the birth of my children and a few other things, it's one of the happier moments of my life.

MARTIN: Say more.

REID: Simply because I see it as a - the possibility of a turnaround for a country that's been going downhill for a long time, and I'm deeply concerned about our country - the debt. And I think that although Trump is not my ideal, I feel that he speaks to the issues that really concern me. And when somebody does that, there's always the possibility that they will try to correct them.

MARTIN: You mentioned the debt. What are two more issues that you want him to tackle in his first hundred days?

REID: Well, Rachel, the biggest issue, I think, that's facing our country is illegal immigration. If you don't have a protected country from hordes of invaders, you don't have a country eventually. And I think the illegals and all the diversity that we've been promoting in this country without any demands from them so far as their loyalty to our country or vetting to see who they were, I think that's brought us to the point of division today. We're about to lose our country...

MARTIN: We should point out that - Barack Obama - President Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any other American president.

REID: Well, that's like saying it's - you know, of course he - maybe he did, and maybe he didn't. But we know that Hillary and her crowd was projecting bringing in Syrians without knowing particularly who they are. No other country in the world allows that. And the ones who have are regretting it right now. Look at...

MARTIN: Do you...

REID: ...Look at Belgium and France and Germany. They all are having mammoth problems because they forgot who they were.

MARTIN: Do you think Donald Trump will build a wall?

REID: Absolutely. Absolutely, he'll build - if he doesn't build a wall, he has no credibility left. That's been his big issue.

MARTIN: You don't think that was just campaign rhetoric or symbolic.

REID: Better not be, or he'll only be around four years.

MARTIN: I want to ask you about the fact that America is so deeply divided, as you point out.

REID: Yes.

MARTIN: And this election really did break, in large part, along racial lines.

REID: Yes.

MARTIN: And there was some pretty inflammatory rhetoric that was put out during the campaign, and a lot of minority groups, in the past few days, are feeling very unsettled. People who live here legally, people who are Americans, are feeling like America might not be such a safe place under a Trump administration. Do you think those fears are unfounded? Do you think Donald Trump needs to say something conclusively to assuage those fears?

REID: Well, the first thing he said was that he would be the president of all the people. That was, I think, some assurance. But I think the accusation that Trump is going to do something that will be - that he will divide the country rather than bring it together, I think that's been exaggerated. He did not say that all people were bad. That was the German - or that was the Democrat rhetoric that accused him of that.

In fact, the whole campaign by Hillary Clinton was nothing but - she never had a program of her own. I cannot name one thing that she would do except give more money to people - college students and that sort of thing. I can't name a thing that she promised the people of America except they tried to paint Trump as incompetent and unfit to be the president. That's why she lost. Trump is not that kind of person at all. He did say - and I hope he will get rid of all the illegal criminals in this country. The real, real problem is today, the rule of law is - that's my fear. I'm afraid that no one obeys the law anymore.

MARTIN: Can I ask you, Don, what might be an uncomfortable question, but...

REID: Yes.

MARTIN: ...It's in the spirit of trying to have honest conversations as we move forward?

REID: Yes.

MARTIN: Are you comfortable with the idea of America being a multicultural, multi-ethnic, pluralistic country?

REID: No, I'm not comfortable with that at all, and it won't work unless a couple things are present. First of all, this kind of country that you describe has never been successful. I can't name one on Earth that's been successful, so I'm scared to death of that. Absolutely scared to death.

However, I'm perfectly OK with it if we restore the faith in our Constitution and get back to constitutional government, and the people who are here believe that. You can't bring people in from another country that don't even adhere to your constitution and have this kind of diversity without destroying your country.

MARTIN: You know some would say that the thing that does hold America together that is the defining feature is that it is a country of immigrants.

REID: Yes, but it's no the kind of immigrants we've been getting the last 50 years. They were mostly European immigrants. And so therefore...

MARTIN: So white immigrants.

REID: They were white. And most - and actually, there's nothing wrong with the other immigrants so long as they understand that we have a constitution that must be adhered to and they support that.

MARTIN: Don Reid talking to us from Montreat, N.C. Don, thank you so much.

REID: Hey, good luck to you. I hope I'll talk to you again, Rachel.

MARTIN: I think we will.

REID: Bye-bye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.