By Ken Stone
Sean Colgan of Oceanside has a sense of humor. When contacted for an interview on why he backs Donald Trump, he rejected being chosen to represent the “angry old white man” stereotype.
“At best, I am an ‘angry middle-aged white man,’” said Colgan, 60.
On the eve of Trump’s first visit to San Diego as a presidential candidate Friday, Colgan agreed to an email Q&A. We first met him May 4 in a Balboa Park parking lot. He had bolted a “TRUMP” sign to the rear of his Honda Twinstar 185cc motorcycle — for Bill Clinton to view on his way out of a rally.Among other things, Colgan pushes back against accusations of Trump racism and expectations of a major electoral loss. But the county resident since 1960 says the New York billionaire should release his tax returns.
Colgan, a Ramona High graduate who attended MiraCosta College, is a former nurse who now considers himself retired on a medical disability after being rear-ended while driving a wheelchair transport van.
Never married, he lives in the Temple Heights area near the Vista border. He dotes on his nieces and nephews and owns “a cat who is absolutely mad about me.”
A history buff (“It being the centennial of WWI, reading a lot about that”), Colgan says he goes shooting whenever he can. He’s active on Facebook.
“I lean Libertarian, but am a registered Republican,” he says. “I believe that the government has no business interfering with me (or any other citizen) unless my activities interfere with somebody else.”
Colgan won’t attend Trump’s rally at the San Diego Convention Center (citing a previous commitment), but he’ll be there in spirit — which shows in our email conversation this week.
Times of San Diego: Why do you support Donald Trump?
Sean Colgan: Trump is honest. I would love to see a return to honesty and the rule of law in the Oval [Office]. Also, he’s the only candidate with a desire to expel the 11 million illegal aliens in this country.
When did you decide Trump was your candidate? Any specific trigger?
No specific trigger. Just gradually heard things I liked.
Do you agree with Trump’s stand on deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants — even if it entails diverting police resources to a huge and legally doubtful task?
Deporting the 11 million wouldn’t take all that much in the way of resources. The laws that Arizona passed resulted in many illegal aliens self-deporting. The effort is worthwhile in any event given the cost, both financial and in blood, that illegal aliens bring us.
Do you agree with Trump’s stand on building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border — even if it costs more than $25 billion and involves revoking international agreements?
I don’t think it would cost that much. Also, The Wall isn’t the only way to remove the 11 million (see, above). I know of nothing in international law that prohibits a nation from defending its own borders.
Do you agree with Trump’s belief that news media are generally dishonest?
Yes. People tend to “shade” things according to their own beliefs. The members of the media are overwhelmingly liberal. Also, there is a lot of deceit regarding what Mr. Trump says.
Do you agree with Trump’s “suggestion” that Muslims be prohibited from entering the United States?
This is one example of the “shading” from the media. Trump didn’t suggest that Muslims be *prohibited* from entering this country. He said that their entry should be *deferred* until they can be vetted. He also raised the question of why are we taking in refugees when none of the Islamic countries are doing so. I wonder about that a lot also.
Do you share concerns by some Republicans that Trump will lead the GOP to massive November defeats and the possible loss of the House and Senate?
I don’t believe that. Trump is not only winning, he’s winning with BIG turnouts. We The People like his message. I believe this will carry over in the House and Senate elections.
Do you have any concerns about Trump’s “high negatives” — implying poor odds for November victory under the Electoral College map?
No. See above.
Do you think Donald Trump should reveal his tax returns — which would confirm (or not) his net worth claims?
What does the phrase “Make America great again” mean to you?
A return of manufacturing and production here. A return to the rule of law. A return to the Constitution.
Who would you like Trump to pick as his vice-presidential running mate?
I confess I haven’t given that much thought.
Trump has a well-documented history of changing positions on major issues — such as gun control, universal health care and abortion. Do you trust Trump to maintain his current positions?
Anyone running for public office has to adapt to circumstances. That said, I think he is less than happy with the idea of abortion on demand, so he will do what he can to end this barbarity. Trump is licensed to carry a gun. So he has personal knowledge of the value of the 2nd Amendment. For that reason, and his desire to return to the rule of law and the Constitution, [he] will keep his support for the 2nd strong. I have missed his comments on universal health care.
Should Trump refuse super-PAC money and self-fund his campaign?
Yes. He can afford to stay independent.
Do you think Trump can succeed with Congress where others have not?
The Old Boy Network is strong in Congress. I believe that Trump’s refusal to be part of that “Network” is the source of the opposition by top-level Republicans. But if Trump’s “coattails” are strong enough in November, we might be blessed with enough new members to restore the republic. Also, a big win by Trump would send a pretty strong message to Congress as to what We The People desire. That *should* push Congress in the right direction. Hopefully.
Do you trust Trump as commander-in-chief of the U.S. military?
Trump has shown a willingness to listen to experts in fields where his knowledge is limited. So details on this weapon system or that weapon system are things he’ll leave to the experts in those fields. But the primary value of a president is to know The Big Picture of when and where U.S. military power should, and should NOT, be employed. I think he’s good on that.
Do you think Trump is a proper role model for how to treat women?
Trump’s marital record is less than stellar. But his ex-wives aren’t exactly begging in the streets either, are they? And there’s no record of an endless stream of interns and starlets going in and out of his office (unlike, say, “Slick Willy” and a few others who have occupied the Oval).
And, unlike Hillary, he hasn’t supported those men who do have that endless stream of interns and starlets going in and out. And, also unlike Hillary, he hasn’t tried to trash the reputations of those interns and starlets.
But he has women in positions of REAL power in his companies, and in his campaign. Since my sister won’t be marrying him, I don’t care a lot about his marital record. Since he would be exercising great power as Leader of the Free World, I do care that he has willingness and the ability to put the best person in the proper job slot, regardless of gender.
So in spite of his flaws, I’d stack Trump’s treatment of women against any other candidate, but ESPECIALLY against Hillary’s.
What do you think Trump’s top priorities should be if elected?
Revoking the executive orders of Obama post-haste (especially the ones infringing on the 2nd Amendment, the granting of effective immunity of immigration law to illegal aliens). Rooting out those guilty of corruption. Then work with Congress to repeal any and all laws that conflict with the Constitution and the vision that The Founders had for this republic. There’s more that could be said, but these would rate as the “top” priorities.
What’s your religious affiliation? (Or what was your upbringing?) Do you attend church regularly?
My parents were both Catholic. My mother a convert. But I left the Church as a teen, and attended the First Christian Church. I even have a plaque around here somewhere for being “Outstanding Youth” in my church. But later, I decided that the Catholic Church was THE Church, and I returned. Now I am a fourth-degree in the Knights of Columbus. I go to Mass every Holy Day at St Francis Church in Vista.
Some on the left depict Trump and his followers as racists. How do you respond to that?
The claim of racism appears to be entirely based on Trump’s desire to build that wall and expel illegal aliens. Which is based on a need to enforce the rule of law, to prevent criminals and terrorists from entering, and to prevent the economic harm caused by those 11 million illegal aliens.
Along with his desire that we hold off on importing any more refugees from Syria until we can make sure that they are, in fact, refugees. Which I regard as completely sensible.
As for me, being Catholic in Southern California means going to Mass with Hispanics. My local church has many Hispanics attending Mass there. I think half my KofC Council is Hispanic. Some of whom don’t really speak English. Doesn’t bother me a bit.
Our current Grand Knight is of Mexican descent (named Benito Juarez, humorously enough) — a position he was voted into unanimously. We are all brothers and Catholic gentlemen together. Heritage and such means nothing to us. Fealty to The Church and willingness to uphold the ideals of The Church and The Knights is all that matters to us.
Anything else readers should know about your support of Trump?
There’s a belief that America should be more like Europe and the rest of the world. Clinton believes that we should move more toward the European model. Sanders believes we should move toward the Socialist model.
Trump believes that Europe and the rest of the world should move toward U.S. That is — the U.S. that conforms to the vision of The Founders. That a return to the rule of law (that is, a return to obeying the Constitution) will once again make this republic the Shining Beacon on the Hill that we *used* to be.
He believes in the concept of American Exceptionalism. NONE of the other candidates (on either side) believe in this. Trump stands alone. Even with his flaws, it is his belief in American Exceptionalism that has me absolutely in his camp.
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