On November 15, former President Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination in a speech at his resort in Mar-a-Lago.
Trending on Twitter, many college students announced they would vote for him in the next presidential election because of the number of aid funds and “bandemic” and stimulus checks he paid out during his time in the White House.
“I joked and tweeted when Trump votes again because we were in better financial times with Trump in office,” said Essence Ross. Ross is a sophomore psychology student at Florida A&M University. Ross has expressed concern about inflation and other events that have taken place since Biden’s presidency began in 2021, but said she would not vote for Trump again.
“Yes, Trump handed out check after check to people in need because of COVID, but it doesn’t change the person he is,” Ross said.
According to C-SPAN, Trump discussed his pre-election agenda, with a strong focus on border security and law enforcement. He explicitly called for the application of the death penalty to drug traffickers found guilty, as in several Asian countries, such as Singapore. “The Twitter jokes weren’t funny at all. I’m not a big fan of Trump, no matter how much money he tried to throw at Americans,” said Kalai Simmons, a senior student at FAMU.
NCLS stated that in order to provide vital pandemic relief to Americans and to continue government operations through September 2021, Congress approved a $900 billion COVID relief effort and a $1.4 trillion government funding plan. Households affected by the epidemic received more than 472 million payments, totaling $803 billion in financial assistance.
Simmons expressed concern about how easily students can be manipulated when money is involved. For example, Simmons questioned President Biden’s promise to forgive $10,000 in student loans to low-to-middle-income borrowers. “Money is something that traps a handful of people, especially broke college students when it comes to government aid, who are going to use that to their advantage,” Simmons said.
On social media, many people commented on voting for Trump because of the many benefits and assistance they received during his presidency. In an unscientific poll to see how many FAMU students planned to support Trump for those reasons alone, 85% of the 300 said they didn’t vote for Trump, while 15% voted yes. When asked why, they all said, “Because of the funds and benefits.”