By Mark FelsenthalSeptember 10, 2018I am a regular reader of The American Conservatives and one of its editors, but this week I am writing to share my own personal story.
For most Americans, the term “trump effect” conjures images of the last election: a wave of fear and panic in which a small group of wealthy and powerful people, often those who have benefited from decades of American exceptionalism, took power.
I remember vividly when that wave swept through the U.S. as a teenager.
I was living in Los Angeles and attending a private school in the Hollywood Hills.
I was attending one of the country’s most exclusive prep schools, a prestigious institution where the top students could afford to live, eat and travel on their own dime.
In the summer of my junior year, I was in the midst of a class project.
The teacher was telling the class about a group of students who were studying to become professional actors.
These were students who had attended a private prep school in Japan for years and had received prestigious degrees from top Japanese universities.
They had gone to a prestigious Japanese school of playwriting, theater and drama, and had been given a scholarship to study abroad.
The students were excited.
They were making plans to become actors.
I didn’t understand what was happening.
I had read in The Atlantic that “Trump supporters and Trump opponents share a similar worldview: they believe America is a meritocracy and the country is rigged against them.”
I was stunned.
I could not understand how anyone could think that.
In reality, American society was rigged against the working class, the poor and minorities.
In my family, we didn’t know anyone who had gotten into or stayed in elite schools.
My father was a skilled carpenter who worked at a factory in California.
My mother was a secretary in the postal service, where she did some of the sorting for the mail.
My siblings, who were in kindergarten, had all gone to private schools, some of them attending private universities, such as Princeton, Yale, Stanford and Dartmouth.
But my family didn’t have any friends who had gone through these schools.
We were told that American elites had rigged the system and that America was in trouble.
I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in San Diego, a city with a median household income of $125,000.
We were told the country was in bad shape, and we had to work harder.
I felt like my world was falling apart.
My classmates were told to take more and more tests, more and less, as if to convince us that America is in decline.
My parents, who raised me with my mother in a conservative, blue-collar household, felt like the country had turned upside down.
We believed our country was failing, that we needed to do something about it.
In those years, we never voted for Donald Trump.
We didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton either.
I became a Democrat in high school, but then switched to the Republicans when my friends started going to college and I was still in high-school.
We voted for Obama, but that didn’t stop Trump from winning.
I am now a Democrat, but I am a Republican, and I have stayed a Republican.
I voted for Clinton, but it didn’t make a difference to me.
It hurt my feelings, I think.
I couldn’t believe how easily she won the election.
I thought she was unbeatable.
My feelings toward her are not based on facts or logic.
They are based on my gut feeling.
When the election came down to her favorability rating, I voted for Trump.
But I didn and still don’t think she is unbeatable, because she had to be.
I grew up thinking that the country would be better off if I stayed home and did nothing, and if I supported Democrats who opposed Trump, I would be able to keep my family out of the political process.
That was not true.
I have never voted or voted for a Democrat.
I supported the Democrats.
I’m a Republican now.
I don’t believe that.
The fact that I voted against Trump has not affected my political beliefs.
I’ve never been a Trump supporter, but after the election, I decided that I will never vote for someone who opposes free trade and immigration.
I believe that our government should work to keep American manufacturing and our economy thriving, not to undermine that.
When I read Trump’s economic policies, which I consider disastrous, I am disappointed that he has taken away the benefits that I believe are a vital part of the American dream: the opportunity to start a family, to have a home and a decent job, to start investing in education, to get a good education.
I do not agree with every word Trump has said, but he’s not wrong when he says that the American Dream is at stake.
I know that.
My husband is a successful businessman.
I had a job in the entertainment industry, and he helped me and my husband raise our