Ruth Kantrowitz (42), a Republican from Mequon, WI, immigrated to the U.S. from Israel in 1989 at age 13 when her family won the green card lottery. She calls herself a “very liberal conservative” who supports both abortion and gun rights. Kantrowitz carried twins for a New York gay couple. She voted twice for President Barack Obama, but says his presidency pushed her to become a Republican because of “handouts” and “immigrants living off tax dollars.”
We are providing the unfiltered opinions of voters interviewed for this project. Those views are based on their understanding and perception of facts and information from a range of sources. In some cases, that information may be misleading or incorrect.
What traits matter most to you in a candidate?
I prefer candidates who are frank. I have no problem with them being offensive. What’s unacceptable to me is saying one thing and doing another.
How does Israel affect your political views?
Trump’s support for Israel is a determining factor for me, probably above all other things. I automatically rule out anyone with anti-Israel sentiments.
Aside from Israel, what other issues do you care about?
Welfare: I want to see more welfare reform and fewer handouts; forcing people to recognize their own independence, their own strength and to know that they can earn for themselves rather than being dependent on the government. Military: A strong military force and worldwide security. Abortion: I’m not just pro-choice, I’m very much pro-abortion. I feel tax dollars should go to abortion as much as needed, because that’s better than putting it into prisons and foster care and whatnot.
As an immigrant yourself, what’s your view of the current immigration debate?
I was a legal immigrant. We didn’t sneak in relatives whose applications to come here were denied. They stayed living in fairly poor conditions in Israel. There is a law and there needs to be respect for the law.
Do you have political conflicts with family or friends?
I have lost plenty of friends over my political views. Most people I know seem to be more Democratic-leaning. My friends who are conservative feel the need to have secret Facebook pages where they can speak their minds freely.
Why do you support Trump?
The main reason is he says what he’s going to do and he does it. I like his tough policies. His rudeness in many ways is so Israeli. He tells it like it is. You don’t have to like it, and he’s not going to care that you don’t like it. But he’ll just keep doing what he thinks is right. And I appreciate that in any person, especially a president. I think he’s tough as nails.
Is there anything you wish Trump would do differently?
I do wish he would do a lot more expelling of people who are harmful to this country than he has. And I wish he would handle the border crisis differently. I’m not exactly sure why those people are in cages. Send them back.
What do you think about the impeachment inquiry?
I feel they are on a witch hunt. I think the “evidence” is no different from what any other politician has done and will do. I believe Trump hides less of what he does versus other politicians. His crude and unpolished manners make him at least honest. I also think the good he’s done for this country outweighs anything he’s told another country to look into.
Do you expect any surprises in the election?
I’ll be surprised if Trump doesn’t win a second term. I think his supporters are just quieter because they don’t want to be harassed, but I think he has an incredibly strong support base.