US election: “New York hates you”: Trump is no longer welcome in his hometown
“New York hates you,” yelled protesters to the newly elected President Trump in 2016 in front of his skyscraper on Fifth Avenue. But the relationship between him and his hometown is more complex – and it didn’t get any easier before the November election.
Officially, Donald Trump is no longer a New Yorker. Last September, the US President, who was born in Queens in New York in 1946 and has spent a large part of his life in the metropolis, applied to move his residence to the southern US state of Florida. Since then, he and First Lady Melania have officially lived, apart from the White House in Washington, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Golf Club in Palm Beach.
“I was very reluctant to make this decision,” Trump wrote on Twitter at the time. “I will always be there when New York and its great people need my help. It will always have a very special place in my heart. ”The political leadership of the city and the state of the same name, however, treated him“ very badly ”and left him no other choice. And they ruled just as badly, Trump stepped in a few months later: “New York is going to hell right now.”
Trump’s birthplace at Airbnb
The relationship between the Republican US president and his liberal hometown is complicated. On the one hand, the metropolis has made Trump what he is – on the other hand, the affection has never really been mutual. Since his election as president, the feelings of a large part of the population have turned into open rejection and even hatred. But the US president still has ardent supporters in his hometown.
Trump’s grandparents had emigrated from Germany. His grandmother founded the real estate company Elizabeth Trump & Son in 1925, a forerunner of today’s Trump Organization. Trump’s father got rich in the metropolis with huge apartment buildings and old people’s homes. Donald grew up in the rather humble and very international district of Queens. The house of his childhood has been offered for sale several times since he took office and in between was also bookable via the rental company Airbnb.
View over Central Park
Trump was drawn to the glittering real estate world of Manhattan early on, where he built a tower right in the middle of posh Fifth Avenue in the early 1980s. The inclusion in the elite of New York’s high society, which always smiled at him a little, has long been a driving motivation for Trump, my observer. Until he moved to the White House, he lived in Trump Tower in a luxury apartment overlooking Central Park.
After winning the election in 2016, which the newly elected president celebrated in a luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan, crowds of people gathered in front of that building for weeks and yelled upwards: “New York hates you” (New York hates you). Many New Yorkers booed Trump when he cast his vote in a school in Midtown – but others also cheered him on.
Trump was ahead in only one district
The vast majority of New Yorkers voted for Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election – but far from all. Clinton won four of the five boroughs of New York City by 50 to 80 percentage points: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Trump only won in the suburb-like and above-average white district of Staten Island.
Four years later, for the next presidential election, signs and stickers for the democratic candidate, this time ex-Vice-President Joe Biden, predominate in most streets of the metropolis. The views of many New Yorkers – for climate protection and for the protection of immigrants, for example – seem to be diametrically opposed to Trump’s.
“Then he turned out to be a real monster”
The relationship between New York and Trump has worsened in the past four years, says bank employee Hanna, who is out with her dog in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. “In the beginning we were all shocked that he was really elected, but we thought maybe things won’t be that bad. Deep down, maybe he’s a New Yorker after all. But then he turned out to be a real monster. We have to vote him out. “
Biden supporters are often offensive on the streets of New York, for example with a corresponding label on the mask. For Gavin Wax, on the other hand, it often seems as if he has to keep a secret – because the 26-year-old native of New York is a conservative Trump supporter. “Here there is a monopoly on political discourse, and if you hold other views that are right of the center, you are basically called a fascist,” says the president of the New York Young Republican Club – the Republican youth organization, so to speak in the east coast metropolis.
Anti-Trump votes from above
In New York it is not always easy to go against the tide politically, says Wax. “When Trump came and I started to support him, I definitely lost a lot of friends and connections, became alienated from many people I had known for a long time.” It was a shame for the political landscape that the country was so divided says Wax. In the past you could have different opinions, but that didn’t mean you had to end friendships or see families break up. This is different today.
As a Trump supporter, Wax doesn’t feel like a completely outcast, but: “I definitely have to be quiet and I can’t be as public as I want. You don’t want to talk too loudly about it when you’re in a café, restaurant or bar. ”However, Trump is not a normal president either – especially for a diverse metropolis like New York, his racist statements, his contempt for democratic rules and his are Approach in the fight against the coronavirus is difficult to digest.
The anti-Trump voices in the metropolis, on the other hand, are usually much louder and even come from the top. “Donald Trump must be stopped”, demands the democratic mayor of the city, Bill de Blasio, whom Trump in turn likes to refer to as the “worst mayor in the USA”. “Because he doesn’t understand New York City, and if his presidency is over very soon, then he won’t be welcome in New York City either,” said de Blasio.
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flr / dpa