As the general election nears, and it increasingly looks like a Clinton/Trump face-off, Kiryas Joel – a fast-growing Orange County community comprised of more than 20,000 Hasidic Jews – offers a microcosmic view into feelings voters from every culture and neighborhood around the country are experiencing.
“They’re all stupid, that’s why I’m voting for Hillary,” said one smiling young man about to vote in his first presidential primary and echoing the sentiments of village leaders, who endorsed the democratic front runner.
“When Trump said the system is rigged, I do agree with him,” said another area resident, reluctant to speak on camera.
“To begin with, I wasn’t a Trump supporter,” said Chiam, who arrived to vote with his young son in tow. “I did vote for Trump. The [Republican] system is a disaster.”
“They need some change,” said KJ resident Aaron Spielman, co-founder of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council which does not necessarily concur with his political affiliation and owner of the twitter account @JewsForTrump, who believes in the auburn-haired businessman. “He said he’s going to surround himself with many experienced people, and he’s ready to listen to them. So, it’s not going to be only Donald Trump making decisions, actually, there’s going to be a lot of people with experience, with the background, [for him] to take the advice [from].”
“Trump hasn’t really spoken about the Constitution in a clear and present way that [Ted] Cruz did,” said Rabbi Joseph Kolokowski. “There’s talk of Cruz coming back, and I can only hope.”
“If I’m an independent, I can’t vote,” said KJ resident Yitz Farkas, who recently switched from the Republican party and could not participate in the primary; he must wait for the dust to settle, and the frontrunners to take control before palpably expressing his political opinion.