My American friend wants to help Trump build the wall. Here's why

Genevieve volunteering for Trump in Pennsylvania (Supplied)
Genevieve volunteering for Trump in Pennsylvania (Supplied)

Amid the racist, sexist and downright insulting comments of this US election, I've really struggled to see any appeal in Donald Trump.

Now that he's been voted the President-elect, the world has been forced to confront reality.  Close to 60 million people like him enough to vote and make him president so he must have something going for him.

So I spent 30 minutes on the phone to passionate Trump volunteer Genevieve Peters.

I know Genevieve from a visit to the US when I was 18 years old. Genevieve is quite a bit older than me, but when we met at dinner, we just hit it off.  

I've been following her unwavering support for Donald Trump throughout the election and figured she'd be the perfect person to give me that insight. So I called her up today and asked her to convince me why Donald Trump is the right man for the job.

"[Donald Trump] is our voice and he gave a voice to all of the forgotten people, all the folks that were in pain, that had not been listened too, who hadn't been heard by elected officials for a very long time," she said.

"American interests had no longer been put first by our elected officials, how we were basically being taken advantage of by other countries because our leaders were no longer putting the American workers first," she said.

Genevieve is well educated and a business owner. She is a far cry from the stereotypical image of a loony Trump supporter that has been a common sight in the NZ media, including on Newshub. She is also a registered undecided voter, which means her alliance isn't necessarily with the Republicans.

I understand that people want change. I understand people want to "drain the swamp", but have we forgotten that Trump said he wanted to grab women by the p***y?

"Unfortunately men, when they are together, are crude. I believe that he was a private citizen with a constitutional right to privacy and the fact that we found out about it is really unfortunate," Genevieve explains.

"I wish that I hadn't [found out about it]. It was not a nice thing to say but it's not my business, he is a private citizen."

How about the Mexicans, though, and that stupid, stupid wall.

"I'll help build it," she says. "I'm absolutely for the wall and I'll help build it and there are many citizens that will help build it."

"When you've got people dying on the streets, in our inner-cities and you've got homeless on the streets… yet you are allowing people from other countries to come in here illegally… we've got a problem."

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with us showing that we want an actual country that is safe and protected from criminals, from drugs and from people who want to disrespect our laws."

The word xenophobia might have popped into your head and, to be honest, I don't blame you. Trump has sworn to send millions of immigrants back to their country within the first 100 days of his presidency.

"When you take an action that is illegal, there are consequences," Genevieve says. "If you have chosen to take your family across the border illegally and set up camp in someone else's home….now you have to go back? Isn't that the risk and the choice you took originally?"

Sure, I think, the immigrants knew the risk they were taking when they entered the US seeking a better life. But uprooting these people from their new lives many years after they have settled is a pretty harsh penalty.

Genevieve is a former history teacher who taught many Latino students she "loved dearly". She says she has nothing against immigrants - she just wants her country back.

"I told my students this, and I told them I want you to have a prosperous country, I want Mexico and El Salvador and Honduras and of these other countries to prosper," she says.

Ms Peters believes Donald Trump will be the most inclusive president she has voted for in her life time.

"He doesn't need the money, he doesn't need the job and he doesn't need the fame. He owes nobody anything which means he is actually able to go in there and work for the American worker, the America taxpayer and the people that have put him in office, not for the people that have bought and paid for him."

I will never jump on the Trump train. The things he has said about women are unforgivable.

But to understand this election, we need to understand that America is more than the big-city lights. People like Genevieve in real America are ready for change and it's coming - whether we in New Zealand like it or not.