Humans of 2020
Manchester New Hampshire, a state where people come from all over the world to witness, study, and participate in the first Presidential primary of 2020. Through creating an Instagram page called Humans of 2020 it was a look into the people following and voting in this election. Over twenty people were interviewed and profiled with all different backgrounds, ideologies, and beliefs. Some individuals were extremely passionate about the candidate they supported. Others were just beginning their education journey on the United States primary.
The interviews were kicked off at the watch parties for the Democratic debate. The first few interviews were at Pete Buttigieg’s and Elizabeth Warren’s watch parties. Political science professor, Richard Benedetto from American University focused primarily on the fact that the public does not buy that these candidates can get the funds from big money to support things such as free health care for all. “Younger citizens are being naïve because they haven’t been through the experiences yet,” Benedetto said. There were also a group of individuals from Copenhagen, Denmark. One of the individuals, Lea Wohlet said, “From a country that is a big welfare state, I’m not sure free education, or free health care would work here in the United States.” Over at the Warren watch party, the views of the people interviewed were focused more towards the support of Warren specifically. Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern mentioned how he fully endorses Elizabeth Warren. “I want some decency back in our politics, and she has great integrity,” said McGovern. He also stated how he has seen Warren unite both parties.
The passionate members of the “Yang Gang” were interviewed the next day at the Andrew Yang town hall. The supporters of Yang saw great positivity in his Asian American identity. These individuals showed great support for his idea of a universal basic income. Sophia Zhang, a middle school student emphasized the importance of getting involved at a young age. She connected to Yang’s Asian American identity and his enthusiasm. Yang’s senior advisor on his campaign, Steve Marchard said, “one of the most powerful statements we can make against the anti-immigration redirect of Donald Trump is electing a first generation American as president.”
That night, supporters gathered in the McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner to see the democratic candidates speak. Outside the dinner, hundreds gathered in support of their democratic candidate or to protest by showing their support for Donald Trump. Pete Buttigieg supporter Kelly Abrams made the statement, “I have a favorite word, it’s not the word hate it is hope. We cannot win an election on hate alone we should win on hope.” She made this point to show that all the candidates should run on this platform, because America needs positivity in oval office, such as Pete Buttigieg.
However, the Sanders supporters seemed to have the most energy. They led the crowd in dances and chants. Bernie supporter, Oscar Salazar, dressed in a onesie with his face all over it. He mentioned how, “the Bernie 2020 days are ahead. He has a new energy and he is in his prime. As you know, 79 is a prime number.” College student, Danielle Rubin mention how America needs a progressive candidate such as Sanders.
The following two Sanders rallies the great energy and passion of his supporters continued. The founders of the famous ice cream brand, Ben and Jerry’s even spoke at his event to show their support. Founder Jerry Greenfield said, “He is not for sale. Bernie is going to represent the people that support him. The other candidates are supported by big money corporations and that’s who they are going to end up supporting.” Greenfield also emphasized how Bernie has supported people of color, women, and people of different sexualities in an unwavering fashion for years. Dartmouth College student, Nicholas Woo said “Bernie gives off queer energy, you don’t make that being normative.” Woo also made the point that Bernie has a humane immigration policy, along with being on the front lines of Native American’s rights. Another individual, Jacob Robinson mentioned “I have been an environmentalist my whole live and we need to revolutionize our economy by giving people more green jobs and addressing climate change.” Bernie supporter, Desmond Cadogan was showing his full support for Bernie’s policies on free college education. Cadogan admitted that he is 57 years old and still paying off student loans. “There’s all these brilliant people out there that can’t afford college access,” he said.
Individuals interviewed at the Elizabeth Warren town hall were passionate about electing the first female president into office. Emilie Vansant said, “this is my first time seeing Warren in person and you get rejuvenated when hearing her speak.” Another individual Jerold Paulson represented her famous line “she persisted” on his shirt. He came to New Hampshire to show his support for Warren. “She has the IQ to come up with ways of resolving the problems this country faces. Warren has shown an ability to work with people in ways that Sanders has demonstrated a unique inability.” Other Warren supporters emphasized their support for her education plans, along with her environmental plans.
However, things shifted over at the President Trump rally. Thousands of supports gathered to show their support of re-electing Trump. These supporters chanted “four more years” and “booed” the names and policies of democratic candidates with pride. Chris Morin-Dayton explained “I support Trump because he honors the tradition of American values that people have fought for and died for.” Another supporter, Debbie Herook mentioned that “He is keeping the country great. He is putting people to work; the jobs are booming. Trump is bringing enthusiasm and pride.”
Although not all candidate’s supporters were interviewed, Humans of 2020 has been successful in capturing all different types of voters and individuals. It was interesting to see and interview a wide range of views. There was a true passion towards the candidate’s people support. Having the opportunity to be at nation’s first primary election and interview all types of people in New Hampshire has genuinely been an eye-opening experience.