Student meets President Trump, receives autographed poster

While watching the inauguration, one Central Michigan University student could probably recall a better story about the 45th U.S. president than you.

After waiting six hours at the Wexford Civic Center in Cadillac in March, Kevin Goodwin finally saw President Donald Trump in person during his campaign tour.

Goodwin is a CMU freshman planning to major in finance. A risk manager in his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, Goodwin uses his free time to go out with friends, play video games and toss around a baseball. More importantly, the Traverse City native may be the only student on CMU’s campus who has had face-to-face interaction with Trump.

“My friend and I got there early that morning to get in the front row,” Goodwin said. “Donald walked by us and said ‘You’re a couple of good looking guys. You’ll be looking for my position in a couple of years.’”

After a six-hour wait, Goodwin and his friends earned a spot in the front row of the Trump rally. Trump came up to them, signed their posters and gave them a compliment before speaking in front of thousands.

Central Michigan Life sat down with Goodwin to talk about his experience and views on President Trump.

CM Life: What sets other candidates apart from Trump?

GOODWIN: I think he represents the working class well, but at the same time he is a businessman. That is what he does and what he has been doing his whole life. He’s not political, and I think that’s going to be beneficial in this upcoming term.

Why do you think a lot of people aren’t fans of Trump?

I think people hear one thing and they want to agree with everyone else. When you ask people why they do not like Trump, they say, “Well, he’s Donald Trump.” I think if they took more time educate themselves of the candidates, they would find something different.

What do you think bothers people about Trump?

I don’t know what I can say about other people’s views, but what I have heard a lot is people calling him racist, misogynistic, homophobic — whatever they may say. At the end of the day, people think what they want and you can’t change that so if you don’t like him, it’s on you. There’s nothing you can do about it because he is our president.

What was the Trump rally like?

I woke up at 5 a.m. A few buddies and I took a car to Cadillac and got in line at 7 a.m. The doors didn’t open until 10 a.m., and we were still around 20th in line. I heard from somewhere the line was a mile long.

After we got checked in, we had to wait inside for another three hours. (Trump) didn’t come until (1 p.m.). Since I was up at (5 a.m.), it was an investment and I was ready to see the man.

As soon as he came out, everyone just lit up. But the atmosphere from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. was like everyone was kind of (mad) because they were playing the same eight songs over and over.

When he finally came on, it was something else.

When did you get interested in politics?

This being the first election that I could vote in, I did a lot more research. I have been a lot more involved in the presidential election process.

Do you ever see any negative reactions when you show your support for Trump?

There have been a few times that I have been wearing a Trump shirt probably at the wrong time. I wore it to high school a few times and it was mostly the “verbal minority,” which is all talk and (is just) for their people, but the people that confronted me couldn’t even vote in the election.

Do you think Trump will keep the promises that he made during his campaign?

I sure hope so. Trump has promised a wall, and I would love to see a wall. I think it would be very beneficial, contrary to what a lot of people had to say. In the rally, he talked about how many drugs were coming into the United States each day. The benefit of a wall would overcome a lot of the negativity that is coming through our borders.

My problem is with the illegal immigrants — not immigrants who came to America legally. I am a big fan of the American dream. You come over here legally, make your money and contribute to society, you are good on my watch.

What about Obamacare?

Having my father in the health care field, I think I have been exposed to more of the downfall that came with Obamacare — the negative impacts that it had on the medical field in general. My dad owns a private practice so he is another option for people who are looking for treatment.

How about Trump’s social media activity?

He has a short temper — I think people poke at him and he reacts to that. We saw that a lot in the debates with Hillary. She would just say something short and he would come back with a defensive strategy.

His social media is a little iffy for me. He runs his own accounts as you can tell. That is good to me because it says that he is a person too. While he is a politician, he is just like any of us — he has opinions and he is not afraid to defend himself.