US Elections 2016: Meet the American voter - The religious conservative

Not most religious but still symbol of change

Mr Lenny Melton, 39, a bike shop owner is a religious conservative supporting Mr Donald Trump because the Republican is more aligned with his social values.
Mr Melton, who owns a bicycle shop, believes Mr Trump will be able to fix the country's trade deficit by bringing companies back to the US. Although he agrees that Mr Trump can rub people up the wrong way, he boils it down to him being a "loud-mouthe
Mr Melton, who owns a bicycle shop, believes Mr Trump will be able to fix the country's trade deficit by bringing companies back to the US. Although he agrees that Mr Trump can rub people up the wrong way, he boils it down to him being a "loud-mouthed Yankee".ST PHOTO: MELISSA SIM

Religion accounts for a significant part of Mr Lenny Melton's choice in who he will vote for as the next president of the United States.

Mr Melton, 39, a regular churchgoer, said he is against gay marriage and for the North Carolina Bathroom Bill, which among other things restricts transgender individuals to bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificate.

When it comes to abortion, he admitted it is not as clear-cut, believing there are situations where it is better not to have a baby than to rely on government support.

While Republican nominee Donald Trump may not be the most religious person, he said: "He's the best choice we have." Mr Trump is pro-life and against gay marriage.

The father of four, who owns a bicycle shop in a small town called Faith in North Carolina, said his first choice for president would have been retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who was popular among evangelical voters and even suggested that someone of Muslim faith could not be president of the US during his campaign. "His religious views were in line with my views, he was well spoken and not a politician," said Mr Melton, who believed Mr Trump would be doing better in the polls had he picked Mr Carson as running mate.

 

Even though Mr Trump may not be as religious, he does symbolise change and that is enough for Mr Melton to vote for him this month.

HOPING FOR A MR FIX -IT

He's the best choice we have... he will fix the country.

MR LENNY MELTON, for whom religion plays a significant part when he votes. Mr Trump is pro-life and against gay marriage. 

As a business owner himself, Mr Melton believes Mr Trump will be able to fix the country's trade deficit by bringing companies back to the US. "See the Walmarts in the country, we can't keep buying things from overseas," he said.

Although Mr Melton agreed that Mr Trump can rub people up the wrong way, he boiled it down to him being a "loud-mouthed Yankee".

"Ignorant stuff just spews out."

But at the end of the day, Mr Melton believes Mr Trump will do what is right for America.

"He will fix the country," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2016, with the headline 'Not most religious but still symbol of change'. Print Edition | Subscribe