Meet Michigan's divided: Cynthia Shafer

Cynthia Shafer

Cynthia Shafer (Photo by John Russell)

Vital stats

Name: Cynthia Shafer
Age: 57
Place: Harbor Springs
Job: self-employed, home care manager
Income: struggling financially the past 7 years
Voted for: Trump
Hopes for 2017: “(Trump) is coachable. I don’t think the guy’s an idiot, though he may be a little foolish.”

HARBOR SPRINGS — Cynthia Shafer scoffs when people ask why she supported Donald Trump. “Just because I’m a woman, people can’t believe that I voted for Trump,” she said. “But I don’t give a rat’s ass about (his rhetoric) or that tape with Billy Bush. I got hit on all the time in my job in the corporate world. I’ve never seen evidence that he treats women differently than men.”

Shafer made good money as a commercial insurance broker in Chicago before the economy tanked in 2009. She was let go in 2010 and moved to northern Michigan to lead a simpler life. To make ends meet she manages the homes of wealthy Harbor Springs summer residents.

Shafer says she is not a fan of the federal government and hopes that Trump fulfills his pledge to “drain the swamp.” She votes Republican in presidential elections, but was moved by Obama’s historic victory in 2008. Looking down on the celebration in Grant Park, Shafer remembers “crying to myself, proud in my lifetime we would see an African-American president.”

She’s not particularly dogmatic, especially on social issues, offering that she “doesn’t give a damn what you do in your bedroom.” She’s a recovering alcoholic, but says her biggest worry these days is economic security.

“I don’t know if it’s because I’m sober or since Obama became president,” Shafer said, “but I’ve been strapped financially the past 8 years.”

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