‘You get sent death and rape threats, and they tell you to kill yourself’: A day in the life of a vocal female Trump supporter
Samantha Hagmayer has been sent violent abuse online from anti-Trump voters
Since she started supporting Donald Trump, student activist Samantha Hagmayer has been shocked at the sexist insults that have come her way.
People who disagree with Trump have sent her death threats, rape threats, and told her to kill herself. Today for the first time, she speaks out against the abuse she says she faces for her political beliefs – and what she calls the “hypocrisy of the left” for preaching a message of tolerance, but telling her to jump off a bridge.
What kind of response do you get for supporting Trump?
I think that campaigning for Trump as a woman, the left has used me as a target. A lot of these people who say negative things don’t really debate me, they just insult me. If you’re for empowering women and supporting them, then regardless of my opinion, you shouldn’t be trying to degrade me. That’s all backwards.
What kind of stuff happens?
Last semester, I was very outspoken about the election and people were taken aback. I’m a blonde girl, so it’s not the stereotype I guess. It caught people off guard. Students are openly negative about the whole idea of conversation. While some people might be ballsy and say it to your face, most of it is behind the screen. I actually did a presentation on this in one of my classes. I chose to do mine on cyberbullying in the election because of my own personal experience. It began with my bikini photos going viral and being associated to the campaign. The media created an image of me which defined who I was. And then it turned serious with cyberbullying. It is the true reality of a Trump supporter.
What kind of things do they say?
Three weeks ago, someone told me to kill myself. I get told that I’m going to get shot, that I’m a dumb bitch. A lot of “fuck yous”. You can’t make this stuff up. There are so many mean messages. The one that really stuck with me was a message with a picture of a girl with a gun pointed in her mouth. There were a few comments where I was really concerned. There were a few times when I hoped nobody would come to my house.
Besides the trolls, there was a lot of positive feedback. People that didn’t even support Trump still supported us. But I did have a sense of guilt for my younger sister who’s in high school. I didn’t want to make her year a living hell. People did talk shit and I didn’t want her to get backlash just because I’m related to her.
But the intolerance from the left is unbelievable. We made a compilation of the insults we received in a video called “When they go low, we go high,” because of the hypocrisy of the left. I’m disappointed. You should be accepting of us without necessarily agreeing with us. But that’s the reality. That’s what you get for supporting Trump.
Is there a sexist aspect to the cyberbullying?
Yes, in a way. It’s hypocritical that the left wants to insult people like Ivanka Trump when they put Beyonce on a pedestal. Ivanka Trump has been treated horribly by the media. The left wants to say Beyonce is a role model for empowering women, and Ivanka is being treated so unfairly for the opinions of her father. The left is very hypocritical. And it doesn’t stop. It’s horrible that this is what it has come to.
Has the cyberbullying changed following the inauguration?
It’s still hard. People are still not accepting the results, and it’s frustrating. We live in a democracy but I feel like it’s the worst it’s ever been. You still run into those people who are just salty about the election result. I just brush it off, I don’t let it get to me. Because there’s nothing they can do – they can bitch and say what they want but he’s our president. Tough luck.
How are you feeling about the next four years?
I’ve felt so happy. I feel the administration is being so productive in getting things done. I see a lot of action taken place. I love it. We haven’t really seen anything like this in the last eight years. We just keep winning! I love it. We’re winning so much. It hasn’t stopped. I love his cabinet pics. Mad Dog Mattis. General Flynn*. I love how his daughter Ivanka is getting involved, advocating for issues she’s concerned about. It’s nice to see. You see a lot of passion and I appreciate that as a citizen. It’s a lot better being a Trump supporter because we did win.
*An hour after the conclusion of our interview, General Flynn resigned from his cabinet position.