York Voter Hopes Donald Trump Will Run The Country Like A Business Steve Inskeep talks to Don Gettys, a constable in York, Pa., who spoke to NPR as part of a group discussing race during the 2008 campaign. Gettys, who voted for Trump, reflects on the past 8 years.
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York Voter Hopes Donald Trump Will Run The Country Like A Business

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York Voter Hopes Donald Trump Will Run The Country Like A Business

York Voter Hopes Donald Trump Will Run The Country Like A Business

York Voter Hopes Donald Trump Will Run The Country Like A Business

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/505658546/505658547" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Steve Inskeep talks to Don Gettys, a constable in York, Pa., who spoke to NPR as part of a group discussing race during the 2008 campaign. Gettys, who voted for Trump, reflects on the past 8 years.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are talking with voters this week in York, Pa. It's a city we first visited in 2008. A group of voters took a risk with us back then, opening up to talk about race. They did it during the election of the first black president. Now, after a very different election, we've tracked down some of them again, including Don Gettys, who's a local constable.

DON GETTYS: You're an elected official, and it's a fee-basis. You get paid for what you do. If you don't do any work, you don't make any money, so you're not a burden on the taxpayers that don't do anything. If you go out and hustle and serve warrants, subpoenas and transport prisoners or whatever for the judges, you get paid accordingly.

INSKEEP: Don Gettys is 74, a retired police officer. Back in 2008, he recounted his own modest upbringing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

GETTYS: I can't recall any privilege that I got because I was white. I mean, I went to city schools. But I don't know of anything that - that I got that the black kids couldn't have gotten the same thing.

INSKEEP: Don Gettys grew up in York, which is an old manufacturing town, far from the big, urban centers of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The city has been through some hard times over the years, but when we talked again in 2016, Gettys says...

GETTYS: All in all, York's a great place to live. There's new businesses downtown. They're trying to get more people downtown. And, you know, I think there's been a lot of improvements.

INSKEEP: Well, that's good to hear, considering that there's been some pretty hard times in the country the last eight years. The recession was just starting when we last spoke back in 2008.

GETTYS: Yeah.

INSKEEP: So I'm recalling that, eight years ago, you voted for John McCain for president.

GETTYS: I did.

INSKEEP: Obama was not your guy.

GETTYS: No.

INSKEEP: How do you think he's done?

GETTYS: There's things he's done that I think have helped, and there's things that I don't agree with.

INSKEEP: Really? What's something you'd put in each category - you agree with and disagree with?

GETTYS: Well, you know, one thing - a lot of people don't agree with it, but I think opening up relations with Cuba - I think that's one of the good things. I don't like some of the immigration that's going on. These people are coming into this country right and left. They give them a date to come back for immigration court, and they disappear. They never - you know...

INSKEEP: I guess we should note, for the record, net migration is actually down, for the most part, in recent years. But there are a lot of people who are here without documents. Does that affect you personally?

GETTYS: I can't say it does in York. I mean, there's a lot of Hispanics in the York area, but, you know, a lot of them are here working. They're - they're here legally.

INSKEEP: It's interesting listening to you. It sounds like illegal immigration is a thing that doesn't really affect you, but it just - there's something about it that just bugs you.

GETTYS: Well, I had a personal experience years ago. My son was in the Marine Corps, and he was out in California. He was driving down I-5, and an illegal Mexican ran into him, demolished his car. He ended up in the hospital and, you know, he lost everything. This guy shouldn't even have been in the country, but he was there and was drunk and hit him.

INSKEEP: Oh, the guy didn't have insurance?

GETTYS: No (laughter). He didn't have a driver's license, insurance, didn't have anything.

INSKEEP: And your son didn't have insurance that would cover that situation either?

GETTYS: He did, but why should his insurance company take a beating for an illegal? I mean, that - that doesn't make sense.

INSKEEP: That's Don Gettys of York, Pa., one of the voters we gathered eight years ago and again this week to talk about race. Getty's voted for Donald Trump this fall. And since he's in Pennsylvania, it's one of the votes that decided the election.

Are you excited about a President Trump?

GETTYS: Yeah. Yeah, I think he's got a good business sense, and you've sort of got to run this country like a business. And I just hope he gets the country back together and gets rid of the divisiveness and get everybody on the same page.

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