One Penn graduate not only supported President-elect Donald Trump in the months leading up to the election, but was also a vocal advocate online.
David Wang, 2015 Wharton and Engineering graduate, said he worked as a key Trump “constituent” prior to the election on Nov. 8. After interviewing Trump supporters as part of market research for a merchandizing venture, he soon realized that he sympathized with the problems many Trump supporters were facing in their lives. He said he continued to talk to voters and began to realize that his views — some of which he described as progressive — could map onto Trump’s candidacy.
Wang found himself especially sympathetic to voters’ frustration with stagnant wages, which he characterizes as one of the major drivers of support for Trump.
“People are really angry at the government. Really angry,” he said.
According to the , real wages are approximately the same today as in 1964. Wang compared Trump supporters’ anger over this issue to the French Revolution.
“They’re talking about the French Revolution,” he said, “cutting off heads if they don’t see any improvement, because it’s been like this for the past thirty years from their perspective.”
To generate support and awareness for Trump, Wang claims he was one of the moderators on the subreddit of the Reddit discussion forum, r/The_Donald.
“I helped establish the online support base at Reddit ... I’m part of the core constituents, of supporters, when Trump wasn’t even known.”
The subreddit, which had 292,333 subscribers as of Nov. 14, appears to contain a mixture of political discussions, as well as some “trolling” content, including explicit content and references to hate symbols. The rules of the subreddit page claim to prohibit this kind of behavior. The Daily Pennsylvanian cannot independently verify that Wang is a moderator of the discussion page because of the use of usernames.
Hate symbols have surfaced on social media in the past in connection to Trump supporters. The New York Times that some Trump-supporting Twitter users have tweeted hate symbols and anti-Semitic content.
Wang claims that through his work on Reddit he could have “laid the foundation” for Trump gaining 23 million votes, but he did not describe how he reached that figure.
He emphasized that his goal is to help heal the divide in the country by rectifying misconceptions. He said he believes there is a bias against Trump supporters.
“This movement is not about white nationalism, or has anything to do with racism,” he said.
Wang added that he wants to help bring together the divisive nation going forward.
“I really want to heal this country and ensure a peaceful transition.”
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