MORAN: I'd say we're rather divided given all the events at the Capitol. We're in an interesting time, to say the least; more divided than I've ever seen us in my 32 years on Earth. I just think that's really the main thing right now. Everybody's in two factions, basically.  

TASCA: As a conservative, how do you think the Biden administration, and Democrats in general, can help bridge this political divide? What can be done to help bring people together?

MORAN: I think stopping pointing fingers would be a big thing, and stopping the thought process of coming from the moral high ground, basically, when somebody disagrees with you. You know, thinking "Well, because that person disagrees with me, they're a lesser person."

The majority of people that I have interacted with that are yelling about being tolerant - and I mean yelling, for some reason, about being tolerant - are the least tolerant people I've ever met.   

You could get rid of the moral high ground. Instead of just thinking "Because I think this way, I'm better than you," just respect each other's opinions and believe that there are people that are good people that believe differently than you.

TASCA: So you didn't vote for Donald Trump in 2016, but you did vote for him in 2020. What convinced you to make that decision?

MORAN: He was a great president. I mean, yeah, he's a jerk. I'm sorry. That's what he is. I get that. I respect people for saying that, admitting that, not liking that, and that's fine. But as far as being a president, our economy was absolutely booming and slamming and going awesome. 

I felt more secure. North Korea kind of knew not to mess with us. And taking out Soleimani, he sent a message to the world that, "Yeah, okay, we're here. We're not going to start any wars but just so you know, we're here." Speak softly and carry a big stick, you might say.  

He was a phenomenal president. Everybody was doing great. You know, money in our pockets, jobs, working. How could I not vote for him?

TASCA: You alluded to things that many conservatives will probably cite when thinking about Donald Trump's legacy. Do you think that legacy will be tainted by the violence at the Capitol earlier this month?

MORAN: I think it'll be reported that way. I don't agree with the violence end of things that happened. I think they should have been there protesting, by all means. Go right ahead because there's a group of people out there who think the election was rigged and that Trump should have won.  

I mean, I walked into a privately-owned gas station not too long ago. The owner is an Armenian woman. She was sitting there watching the news and she was crying after the election. I was like, "What's the matter?" She said, "This is incredibly sad because in my country, where I come from, all the elections are rigged and that shouldn't happen here."  

She's a conservative and she completely thinks that the election was rigged. She should know because she comes from a country that that happens a lot in. So just because those people feel a certain way, I don't think it should mar his legacy.

TASCA: Are you optimistic going into the next four years? Obviously the election did not turn out the way you wanted it to, but does your heart sink when you ponder the next four years or is there some cause for optimism?

MORAN: I don't think there's much cause for optimism unless I'm going to be very wrong. I was wrong about Trump. I'll give you that.  

When I see things about Joe Biden already making an executive order cancelling the (Keystone XL) pipeline, and there goes 10,000 jobs immediately, okay, I get there's an environmental aspect of it and that's what you're thinking about and everything like that.  

But you know what? The people with those 10,000 jobs have now come out of the economy and now have families that they need to feed and now can't do that. Those people really don't care much about that.    

Part of me has the mentality of "You think the oil pipeline's bad, but I bet you're wearing rubber-soled shoes and you're driving a car and flying a plane to go to your protests and all that kind of stuff." So when I see stuff like that, I don't have much hope.

Joe Tasca can be reached at jtasca@ripr.org