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2020 Vision: A New Teenage Voter Looks Ahead

Devin Gum
Basim Blunt
Devin Gum

This week on Dayton Youth Radio we feature 18 year old Devin Gum, a high school senior from Centerville, who will be voting for the first time in next year's presidential election. Devin spoke to his father Kevin about the upcoming election.

I asked my dad if he thought that Trump made America great again.

"I think America's stronger now," he said. "He's made  great strides in our deals we have with Asia, Mexico and Canada."

"How do you rate Trump's overall performance?" I asked.

My dad said he'd rate it pretty high.  Then I asked him about what Trump has done that he admires.

"Like all the jobs that he's created and brought back to the United States," he said. "And just making a stronger economy. And I've I liked that he's added conservative judges to the Supreme Court that's going to go for decades saying."

"Is he one of your favorite presidents?" I asked.

"Definitely," my dad replied. "He's probably done more than any other president or I've seen."

I remember waking up in the morning and getting on Facebook to see my father going crazy in celebration of Trump being voted into office. If you didn't know any better, you would have thought that he won the lottery. Me and my dad's disagreement about Trump has caused a lot of heated dinner table debate. Sometimes we will get straight into arguing before we even think about eating.

Since the time I was a boy, I can remember my dad going off on political rants supporting the Republicans and his reasoning why everything the Democrats do is wrong. Naturally, me growing up hearing these things, I now have Republican views that reflect my father's.

But there's one thing that we've never agreed on: Donald Trump.

Trump is the ultimate drama queen and bully all in one. I've never supported Trump, and I've only further disagreed with his decisions the longer he's been in office. The main reason many that do not support Trump is because he rants on Twitter about his issues and conflicts in the office.

For example, Trump tweeted, "Truly weird Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain." I thought that we were supposed to hire a focused politician to represent America.

I asked my dad if he thinks it's childish of Trump to get on Twitter to bring on political drama and issues.

"He's just been attacked on all fronts and it's a way for him to get out there and say what they're saying about him isn't true, what's false and get his opinions out there," my dad said. "I think that most news organizations are bought and paid for.  I'm at the point where I do not watch any news or read any news except for Fox. They write things that are more truthful."

When it comes time for me to pull the lever in the voting booth in 2020, I'm not sure who I'm going to vote for, staying loyal to the Republicans and voting for Trump or taking a chance against my previous political views and beliefs and voting for the winner of the Democratic primary. Trying to find the right candidate for me has been a struggle because I just turned 18 and the realization that I'm going to have the right to vote hit me all at once.

This is why it's so important for me and my dad to debate at home and to always listen to both sides of the story. The political divide might be strong enough to separate this country, but it will never be strong enough to separate my family. 

Devin Gum is a student at Centerville High School. Special Thanks to Tricia Rapoch, teacher for the Communication Arts Program at Centerville High School. Learn more at the school's website:  http://www.centerville.k12.oh.us/CHS.  Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council and the Vectren Foundation.

This story was created at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.