The unaffiliated

Driven by independent streak

Mr Randy Hauser, 62, truck driver, is an independent who does not know what he is going to do on election day because he hates both candidates
Mr Hauser, who has his own trucking company, wants the government to stop hassling small business owners with regulations. He's also concerned about jobs but sees no hope with Mr Trump or Mrs Clinton.
Mr Hauser, who has his own trucking company, wants the government to stop hassling small business owners with regulations. He's also concerned about jobs but sees no hope with Mr Trump or Mrs Clinton. ST PHOTO: JEREMY AU YONG

To hear his friends tell it, Mr Randy Hauser once killed a man - with his political views.

As the story goes, a man got so agitated during a discussion about politics with Mr Hauser that he suffered a heart attack a few days later. When asked about the story, the genial 62-year-old truck driver smiles and says in a thick southern accent: "Well, I don't know about that but he was really worked up."

But Mr Hauser says he is not about to stop speaking his mind. "If someone says something I know to be false, I'm going to tell them about it. There are all these myths and propaganda and people will almost believe anything," says the outspoken North Carolina native.

And that no-nonsense approach and independent streak is the reason Mr Hauser says he intends to sit out the coming election.

He finds both Mrs Hillary Clinton and Mr Donald Trump unpalatable.

Like many other residents in the rural Davie County in North Carolina, Mr Hauser says he wants the government to stop hassling small business owners with regulations.

"I have my own trucking company. It's just one truck but we have to abide by all these rules and regulations. They say it's because of public safety but it's really for revenue. They will get you for the slightest thing."

He also says he's seen his neighbours lose their jobs as manufacturing plants started being shipped overseas.

"When I got out of high school, there used to be about a dozen companies you could go and work for and make a decent living. Now you can't. You're working for McDonald's or Walmart for minimum wage. "

And while those positions seem to make him a likely Trump voter, he says he does not believe the businessman can make any change.

"Donald Trump has gone bankrupt a bunch of times and he has cheated people to build his business.

"If he's a good businessman then I don't want a businessman running the country. Donald Trump started a college, nobody got educated and everybody spent a lot of money. Do you want that person in charge of our education?" he says.

"I mean, I hate Hillary just as much. She is one of the most corrupt persons out there. I totally oppose the way she got where she is. She is a politician. She tells you what you want to hear, she makes promises but you know she is going to do what she wants when she gets in there."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2016, with the headline 'Driven by independent streak'. Print Edition | Subscribe