Attendees interviewed by Truman State University students at the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses had similar sentiments about President Donald Trump regardless of their preferred candidate.
While each Democratic candidate has different strengths and weaknesses, caucus goers who Truman students interviewed wanted a moral shift away from Trump’s policies and rhetoric.
“My party left me,” Ron Hankins, a retired local energy company worker from Polk County, Iowa, said.
Hankins, a former Republican of 30 years who recently switched parties to support former Vice President Joe Biden, said that respectfulness and truthfulness were sorely missing from the current administration.
“Sure [Barack] Obama may have told some lies, whether he knew at the time or not, but it’s not like the floodgate of lies that we have now,” Hankins said.
Leah, a precinct captain for Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also wanted a president with changed values.
“I think that [Buttigieg] is such a kind-hearted person and he bases all of his policies and all of his talks and everything off of his morals,” Leah said.
Sophia Douglas, another caucus attendee and a previous worker for the Obama campaign, wanted a president with value-driven policies that unify voters, rather than divide them.
Douglas said that pragmatic values could bring together the moderate and progressive sides of the Democratic Party.
“Now, being pragmatic may not be a strength in the age of Trump,” Douglas said, “but I think for Democrats or Progressives, or whatever you call yourself, I think it still has to mean something.”
Nevertheless, despite the breadth of potential candidates for the Democratic nomination, nervous anticipation remains for the future of America.
“Obama was such a magical candidate,” Douglas said. “He had the looks, the charisma, the intellect. It was just different. He was making history and he knew that. Donald Trump is shaking people up, but we aren’t making the same kind of history. It’s just, we woke up to Donald Trump as President and we don’t like that.”