Hunkered behind a MacBook decorated with stickers that read “This laptop was brought to you by capitalism” and “TRUMP 2016,” Jake Lopez bounces T-shirt slogans off his friend Ian McIlvoy.
“Trumplicans,” he says, nodding with satisfaction. “I think it’ll take off.”
Lopez is the California director of Students for Trump. Working from his dorm at Westmont College, he helps marshal the thousands of students who are pounding out phone calls, taping up fliers and blanketing Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat in an effort to persuade their peers that Donald Trump is the man.
Although vastly outnumbered nationwide by left-leaning classmates chanting “Feel the Bern,” the youngest supporters of the GOP front-runner say they are similarly inspired by the hope of a radically different future and eager to support a leader who strikes them as anti-establishment and willing to speak his mind.
The verbiage that erupts from Trump’s stream-of-consciousness is not universally appreciated by students. Many say the very mention of his name can be hurtful, threatening or cause for intervention.
A Mexican American student at Scripps College in Claremont woke up to “#trump2016” scrawled on the whiteboard outside her dorm room. The student body president called it a “racist act.”[