For so long I thought Donald Trump could do no wrong – but he's lost my support after these Syrian air strikes

Max Benwell
Donald Trump's official presidential portrait: White House

I first began to support Donald Trump when he forced Barack Obama to release his birth certificate in 2011. It was groundbreaking – no other sitting president had ever been made to do it. But then again, Obama was like no other president.

But with the air strikes in Syria, everything has changed. Trump isn't the president I thought he was. I just wish I had the chance to realise my mistake sooner.

Before he entered the White House, Trump had been accused of ripping off business partners, discriminating against ethnic minorities, and defrauding students. He had also declared corporate bankruptcy several times, and oversaw the financial collapse of multiple casinos.

So you can imagine my excitement five years later when he launched his presidential campaign and, in his first mesmerising speech, called Mexican people rapists.

I thought I’d always support Trump. I was with him when he called Rosie O’Donnell a "fat pig" and said Heidi Klum was “no longer a 10”. I didn’t have a problem when he suggested a female interviewer was on her period because she asked him tough questions. I was fine when he told people to watch a woman’s sex tape, even though it didn’t exist.

I wasn't going to stop supporting Trump just because he mocked a disabled reporter on stage. What am I, a snowflake? And I was ok when he said Obama founded Isis, and suggested that someone should assassinate Hillary Clinton. This is politics, after all.

Trump has been a president of firsts. He was the first president to call for a foreign adversary to hack an opponent’s emails. The first to call for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the country. The first to compare America to Putin’s Russia, which murders journalists and opposition leaders. And the first to attack the grieving parents of a Muslim American soldier who died saving his unit.

The world needs someone who can get stuff done, and Trump has shown he can do anything, to anyone – whether it’s a female contestant on The Apprentice, a female contestant on Miss Universe, a female producer, or a female colleague – according to the women who have accused him.

That said, I didn’t like it when Trump was caught boasting about sexually assaulting women. His "grab them by the pussy" remarks concerned me, not just because I have a mother, but a sister too. I respect and love women. However, I still supported him because he wasn’t Hillary Clinton. When I heard she had used a private email server, I don't think I've ever been as shocked in my life. She is truly, a "nasty woman".

When Trump became president, my loyal support only grew. I didn’t mind when he lied about the size of the crowd at his inauguration. He had my full support when he falsely claimed Obama wiretapped him. And when he recently defended Bill O'Reilly, who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, I saw no wrong at all.

No matter what he did, I had the President's back. But last night’s air strike in Syria changed everything. For me, it was the first – and final – straw.

Everyone has their own personal principles. Your "red lines", so to speak. Mine are as follows: you can do whatever you want. You can ban all refugees coming to America. You can try to cut healthcare benefits that keep millions of Americans alive, and roll back the regulations designed to protect millions from climate change. You can be sexist, racist and brag about sexually assaulting women. But don't bomb an airfield used by a dictator for attacks on his own people. How can you support someone after that?

I thought he was going to be great. But in the end, he disappointed us all, and after showing so much promise. He crossed a line. And that’s why I can no longer support Donald Trump.

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