Craig Ziemke has voted for Democrats all his life, including twice for President Barack Obama. Not this year.
“The whole country is going to hell,” the 66-year-old retired factory worker said, standing against the bleachers at a high school gymnasium while waiting for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to arrive. Ziemke’s fury is deep: Roads and bridges in the U.S. are falling apart, jobs are scarce and the U.S. border is wide open, he says.
“We’re letting all these people into the country. No one even knows who the hell they are,” he said. “We don’t need any more Arabs. The United States, anymore, is just a dumping ground for everyone.”
Ziemke plans to caucus for a Republican on Monday – and likely for Trump, “the only one with brains,” he said.
If Obama’s 2008 campaign in Iowa and beyond defined the election as one of “hope and change,” this year may well be described as the politics of rage.
In interviews with dozens of voters in both parties, the driving motivation across the state is anger and uprising. They’re fed up with lawmakers in Washington, who seem to work two or three days a week and get little done aside from raising money to stay in office. They’re mad about stagnant wages, companies sending jobs overseas and terrorists sneaking in across the border.