Obama Supporters Surprise Van Jones By Explaining Why They Voted For Trump

A family of Trump-supporting Ohio Democrats hosted Van Jones for dinner and showed how Americans can come together.

A family of Ohio Democrats were thrust into the national spotlight after they hosted CNN's Van Jones for a dinner to discuss politics.

The Seitz family was recently featured in CNN special because they were two-time Obama voters who jumped across party lines and punched ballots for Donald Trump this year. Their unique history garnered attention from CNN talking head Van Jones, who came to their home in Ohio and talked politics with the family over a home cooked meal.

While the three sons and their father voted for Trump, the wife and mother Derinda voted straight democrat and abstained from voting for president. In their chat with Jones, the family surprised the CNN host with some of their reasoning. Jones, who is African-American, was in some post-election headlines after describing Trump's election victory as "white lash."

"That was a life-changing thing for me and I just learned so much from you," Jones told the family in a town hall-style CNN special after their dinner. "It was a — it was a — a total stereotype shatterer."

During their dinner conversation, Jones gave the men in the family a chance to describe why they chose Donald Trump.

Their dad spoke about how the mills in town look like "ghost towns" and the neglect he felt from Hillary Clinton. In the same breath, he was willing to compliment President Barack Obama who he called a "good man" and said, "he did all he could and we supported him for two elections."

Derinda said that while Clinton made clear the case not to vote for Trump, she didn't quite win her over on why she should for Clinton. That, ultimately, is what led her to vote democratic but abstain from voting for president.

While Jones wasn't shy about taking issue with this strategy, he respectfully expressed shock at Derinda's decision.

"That's a heartbreaker, I think, for a lot of Democrats to hear," Jones said.

Their exchange speaks to a larger narrative of political nuance in the United States. It's a reminder that not all Trump supporters are voting on single issues, and even families have complex political beliefs. One of Scott Seitz's son, Cameron, even addressed the stereotype that all Trump supporters are racist.

"One of my jobs is helping counseling individuals recovering from drug and alcohol addictions," he said. "And I'm just going by the statistics: at my location, most of them are minorities. I would probably go as far as to say 80 to 85 percent. So, you know, if that were the case and if I was racist, then I just don't believe that I'd be very good at my job."

Jones even conceded that the conversation he had with the family about gun rights "blew his mind," noting that when there is an economic downturn the family relies on hunting to feed themselves for months at a time. 

The exchange, which you can watch below, comes on the heels of conservative talking head Tomi Lahren and The Daily Show Host Trevor Noah having a very public, respectful argument on Comedy Central last week. At the moment, it seems political pundits and American families at large are doing their best to engage the "other side," a kind of political discourse many believe was totally absent during the 2016 election.

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