00:44 GMT09 May 2021
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    Although Trump is yet to announce whether he will run for president in 2024, some former members of his administration have pledged not to run against the 45th president. It has been more than three months since Trump left the Oval Office, but he is still perceived as the right man to lead America. What makes the Trump phenomenon so resilient?

    Lavern Spicer, a candidate for the US House of Representatives shared her thoughts on the reasons behind Donald Trump’s success and explained his popularity among African-Americans.

    Sputnik: How successful was Donald Trump in creating a new promising movement within the Republican Party? 

    I think President Trump was very successful because what we saw in him and what I saw was a president that was pro-American, pro-United States. He put his country first and has a very patriotic spirit. He shined a light in the Democratic places, the blue districts, he shined a light and what he said to us was: "the people that you are voting for are not helping and have not helped you, you guys in 30 and 40 years". So fight for your district, stand up and fight against the crime that's taking place. Stand up and fight against the poverty that's taking place. Stand up and fight for your community. And when he spoke that, we saw the effects of it, because last year for the first time you saw we had so many black candidates that ran for Congress as Republicans basically because of him. And he inspired me to run as well. 

    Sputnik: And how exactly did he inspire the black candidates?

    Lavern Spicer: He inspired us to stand up and fight for our community. Like I just said, our communities, many of them have been under the Democratic leadership for many years. They have done absolutely nothing but lie to us. They use us to get the votes. We've been hoodwinked, bamboozled, fooled and going for the okey-doke for too many years. Many of the black Democratic districts basically look like crap. Like Baltimore, how Kim Klacik shined the light when she did that video - it was horrible. And many other states look just like that, including parts of Chicago where any given weekend you'll see 30, 40 people get killed. He brought about a lot of awareness to the point where we said: "you're right, we want to see a change". We know these people have been in our politics for 30 and 40 years and have been doing absolutely nothing but helping themselves, their friends, their cliques and that's basically it. And doing nothing but making promises to the community. And in the process of doing that, what you see is that they are growing, but the whole community is suffering from no progress being made. No progress in 30 years. Everything basically looks the same.

    President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.
    © AP Photo / Evan Vucci
    President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

    Sputnik: Absolutely. And many mainstream media outlets divide Trump's politics from classical Republican Party policies. What is the difference between Trumpism as a movement in comparison with classical conservatism? What do you think? 

    Lavern Spicer: Well, I'm not really sure about classic conservatism, but I know Trumpism or what they would call Trump mania, that type of thing. Trump still does have a large following, and we follow him. What he's saying. It just makes so much sense to the point that it's is just so, exciting to the point that, yeah, he's right. 

    Sputnik: OK, and let's speak a little bit about the young conservative movement, how strong is the young movement within the Republican Party? 

    Lavern Spicer: Well, once again, you know, the young people doing whatever they need to do to fight for this country, because right now what's taking place is so dangerous. You know, what we see happening at the border is very dangerous. So you have a lot of young people, older people and people of my age group as well, that we are fighting for this country and we are fighting for what we believe in. 

    Sputnik: And do you think the young movement, the young Republican movement, could somehow change the course of the Republican Party? What new elements could they suggest to the Republican Party? 

    Lavern Spicer: What new elements they could really suggest to the Republican Party is to really try to be more inviting, in a sense. Because I know with myself a lot of times when I show up to a lot of these meetings, I may be like one of three blacks that are in the room. And so I think they need to really open up to reach out to the black community and become more inclusive of that community by whether you've got to knock on doors to share your point of view, your conservative values or what we stand for and what we believe in. We must wake up more people and get more people involved in what we're doing. So that's what we got to do. We've got to get more people involved and get more people aware of the things that President Trump really did for this country, including last year in August when he presented the platinum plan. The platinum plan has so many benefits for the black community in general. And everything that he had in that plan basically was dissolved or is in the process of being dissolved by President Biden.

    Sputnik: And in what way has Donald Trump transformed the party for both the Republican members and ordinary Americans? 

    Lavern Spicer: Once again, you see it for the first time, probably now you’re seeing more black people getting involved with the Republican Party, with the conservative party. And not just getting involved, we’re on social media. We are talking about what we believe in. We are fighting for this country. We're addressing racism, we're addressing poverty. We are addressing climate change. We are addressing the border crisis. We are addressing everything that we believe in. And we are really vocal about it, because as a black candidate, as a black conservative, when you step up to say: "hey, this is what I believe in”, then of course you're going to get called the names, the Uncle Toms, the coons, whatever the house name is, and all of that. All of that comes along with the territory. So when you're willing to step up to the plate, you got a lot of negative baggage that comes along with it. But on the same token, if I was a Democrat saying the same thing I'm saying as a conservative, I believe I wouldn't even receive that backlash that I'm receiving. It comes along with the conservative team and the patriotic views, 

    Sputnik: You have mentioned that you were one of the few black members of the Republican Party initially when you came to their meetings. And you also said that Donald Trump attracts more and more black people. What is your perspective on the future of the Republican Party? Do you think more and more black people will join the Republican Party? How do you see the race issue?

    Lavern Spicer: Well, what I see, with social media, whether it's Facebook or Twitter, you have so many black conservative candidates. We are speaking our mind. We are articulating our thoughts and we have an audience. We have an audience. I mean, you have like Angela Staton-King, Kim Klacik, Brian Donaldson and so many other black conservatives. Burgess Owens, Candace Owens - you have so many black conservatives and we are sharing our views. So once again, this gives you something to think about. Think about why is there no change taking place in my community? Think about why does my community still look the same while other communities are rapidly growing? When you go on one side of the track, it looks like, you see progress, you see businesses, you see infrastructure, everything is in place. Then you go across the other side of the track- everything is in ruins, no restaurants, no businesses, no nothing. So it's time for a change. 

    Sputnik: OK, and how important do you think Donald Trump's figure within the Republican Party right now after almost one hundred days of Joe Biden's presidency? 

    Lavern Spicer: Oh, my God. Well, one thing about it, you’re really seeing a big difference with Biden in office, because I know when Trump was in office, even with the gas prices, - I went to the event that was in Georgia with the platinum plan, I think the gas was like a dollar or something a gallon. But look at what the gas cost is right now. It's like three, four dollars here in Miami and rising. Look at the cost of oil, oil was like twenty-five dollars a barrel, now it’s over fifty-six dollars a barrel. So we're seeing the things that we have talked about. We are seeing the things come to pass that Biden is putting in place with his policies. 

    Sputnik: And how important do you think Trump's figure within the among the Republicans right now? 

    Lavern Spicer: Well, I think it's very important. You have Republicans within the party that are supporting President Trump and still always have and still support him. And then on the other hand, you have Republicans that don't support him, Republicans that have voted against him. So, you know, it is it may be like a little division in the camp, but hopefully we can find a place somewhere where we all can meet together, and make amends and continue fighting for this country. Because if not, from what I'm seeing taking place it’s not looking too good for us. 

    Sputnik: President Trump has done something that nobody before him had done. He built an entire movement around his ideas, a Republican coalition. Why him? What's the key to his success? Why is he so popular? 

    Lavern Spicer: I think one of the keys to his success is the fact that he's a people person. Last year, he invited me, a candidate. I got an invite to come to Georgia to participate on stage. I was on stage. I sat in a VIP section with other congressional candidates. That was huge. What type of president does that? He's so all-inclusive. And when you show up to his rallies, the people that are there, even though it’s mostly Caucasian, but yet everybody is so friendly. It's like a family gathering. I think part of it also was the fact that he said what people wanted to hear a lot of times, maybe he didn't say it the way they liked it, you know, because, I mean, he just spoke his mind. He didn't hold back. It didn't matter. Some people, of course, don't like it when you speak your mind and, you say what you want to say. Maybe he didn't say it in the nicest manner, in a nice way. So maybe a lot of people were offended. But when you reach a certain age, you should be able to say what you want to say.

    Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S. February 28, 2021. REUTERS/Octavio Jones/File Photo
    Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S. February 28, 2021. REUTERS/Octavio Jones/File Photo

    I mean, that man is like 70 years old, let it rip! And that was part of his popularity. That's the part that drew my attention because I was not always a Trump supporter. I was not always a conservative. I, like most black people, was born into the Democratic process, the Democratic way of thinking. And as a black person, that was just the thing to be. I didn't really know we had no other choice than to be Democratic. So once again, listening to President Trump, the things that he was saying caught my attention. Some of the things that he said answered questions that I always wondered, like why are we got to go and do so much for China and all of these other countries? Why we can't take care of the United States, why we got to take in all of these illegal immigrants when you got veterans that are here that have fought in wars and now they're here staying in the streets, homeless. Why we can't take care of home first, why we can't help people become self-sufficient, help them become business owners, help people get off of depending on the system to take care of them. Let's get around some of these programs and help people to become more aware of the power they have to create their own business or whatever it is that they would like to do.

    This is the United States. We are living in the 21st century, it is not like back in slavery days, back in time when you couldn't do this or you couldn't do that. Nobody's holding you back. Everything starts with the man in the mirror. We have to be willing to step up to the plate and take responsibility for our own lives and stop blaming, making everything else somebody else's fault. No, I need to be responsible for me and for the actions and things that I'm doing, you know. But getting back to what I was saying, we need to take care of our people here. What about the elderly population that has worked all of their life? And for many of these people that were born like in the 30s, the 20s, back then they were making like a dollar a week, five dollars a month or whatever it was? So now that they're at the age that they can retire, a lot of their pension checks are so small, their assets and security is so small, some people would see two hundred to five hundred dollars a month in income and some of them get only like five dollars in food stamps. So what about this particular group that is now suffering but have worked all of their life to make sure that their kids were raised, sent their kids to college? Either technical school or whatever to make sure that they would be able to function in today's society. What about them? So the point is, we have so many people that are falling through the gaps of society. It's time for us to start rebuilding. Let's put structure back in place. Let's put legislation in place to help people and not just destroy people. We have a large mental health population here in the United States. Let's find a way to help these people.

    So I believe that President Trump supported a lot of that, he supported helping people to rebuild and also keeping this country safe. But now with what's taking place at that border, how can we feel safe in this country when you are allowing all these illegals to come in? Some may have ties to gangs. So when you see the Mexicans, that have ties to gangs - they are totally different than the people here to have ties to the gangs because those people are ruthless. So is this who we are allowing to come into this country now? Is this the people that we're going to be taking care of now? When we have, once again, these people that have worked all of their life to pay into this system of democracy, that’s now fallen through the cracks. 

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    presidential election, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, US
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