What the president of Y Combinator learned from interviewing 100 Trump supporters

Sam Altman, the president of the Silicon Valley seed accelerator Y Combinator, went on the road to listen to 100 Trump voters from around the country. He says the TL;DR quote is this: "You all can defeat Trump next time, but not if you keep mocking us, refusing to listen to us, and cutting us out. It's Republicans, not Democrats, who will take Trump down."

Here are a few things that Trump supporters told Altman that they liked about Trump:

"He is anti-abortion." Note: This sentiment came up a lot. A number of people I spoke to said they didn't care about anything else he did and would always vote for whichever candidate was more anti-abortion.

"I like that he puts the interests of Americans first. American policy needs to be made from a position of how Americans benefit from it, as that is the role of government."

"He is anti-immigration." Note: This sentiment came up a lot. The most surprising takeaway for me how little it seemed to be driven by economic concerns, and how much it was driven by fears about "losing our culture", "safety", "community", and a general Us-vs.-Them mentality.

"He will preserve our culture. Preservation of culture is considered good in most cases. What's wrong with preserving the good parts of American culture?"

"He's not Hillary Clinton."

Altman also asked supporters what they didn't like about Trump ("I hate that he discredits the press all the time. That seems to forebode great evil."), what makee them nervous about Trump ("The thing I'm most worried about is war, and that he could destroy the whole world.), what they think of the Left's response to Trump so far ("You need to give us an opportunity to admit we may have been wrong without saying we're bad people. I am already thinking I made a mistake, but I feel ostracized from my community."), and what would convince them to note vote for Trump again ("If the Russia thing were true, I'd turn against him. Why don't y'all focus on that instead of his tweets?"). This is essential reading.

Image: Flickr / Gage Skidmore