Students hold signs by the South Oval during an Ohio State Students for Trump debate watch party. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State Students for Trump

It’s been one year since the 2016 presidential election and Parker McDonald doesn’t like to tell people who he voted for — though the candidate he chose won.

The third-year in media and communication technology voted for President Donald Trump.

“I don’t stand by any of the decisions he’s made as president,” McDonald said. “I’m very reluctant to say, ‘Yeah, I voted for that person.’”

McDonald, who identifies as socially liberal but fiscally conservative, said he would have voted for Bernie Sanders if Sanders had won the Democratic nomination. Instead, McDonald chose Trump rather than Hillary Clinton because of Trump’s background in business.

“I wanted economic reform,” McDonald said, adding he didn’t like the career politician Clinton was built up to be.

He said voting for president in 2016 was similar to being “caught between a rock and a hard place.”

“It was not an easy decision,” McDonald said. “I don’t think it was an easy pill to swallow for anybody who voted for Trump.”

And, one year later, McDonald has “pretty heavy buyer’s remorse.”

Along with economic reform, McDonald hoped to see a change in the way Trump carried himself, but has not seen the previously expected presidential shift.

“We’re still experiencing the same behavior we saw during the campaign during the first year of his presidency,” McDonald said. “It’s bad. It’s really bad.

“Seeing the things he posts on Twitter, it’s crazy to almost talk about because it’s unreal. He’s publicly slandered women, minorities, all kinds of people.”

Trump’s lewd comments are nothing new; a now-infamous tape of Trump talking of sexually assaulting women surfaced during the campaign, but McDonald said he chose to ignore the comments then, adding that it is impossible to ignore what Trump now says in office.

Nick Bellopatrick, a second-year in political science, also voted for Trump and agrees that the way the president carries himself is distasteful. However, he said the president has done well conducting himself in regard to international relations.

“There’s things I’ve liked and been disappointed with, but as a whole there’s nothing that’s made me regret voting for him,” he said, adding that he didn’t vote for Clinton because he didn’t believe she was qualified, specifically saying it wasn’t because she’s a woman.

Bellopatrick, a member of the conservative student group Young Americans for Freedom at Ohio State, said the strong international presence Trump has created and leadership he’s demonstrated confirm he made the right decision.

McDonald said he chooses to avoid conversations about the 2016 election, but Bellopatrick said political discussion is necessary for all parties and ideologies to better understand each other.

“Everyone has to be open and understand that the person next to you disagrees with you,” he said.

Bellopatrick said he does not regret voting for Trump — for now.

“Things can always change. We’re in a volatile environment,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re all American.”