The Close-Mindedness of Bernald Trumpers

Graphic by FaceFusion
Graphic by FaceFusion

Through this election cycle, the press has brimmed with articles and segments maintaining that Donald J. Trump has been waging a campaign sewn with xenophobia and jingoism. My social media feeds have amplified such a view, that Trump and his followers are ignorant, if not hateful, racists.

I am proud of my peers here at Emory and at other universities for their expressing censure of Trump’s positions, for he has intentionally slandered the nearly 12 million Mexican immigrants residing in the United States. And in doing so, he has recklessly deceived his hoards of followers, many of whom are amongst the least educated in the electorate, with his assertion that Mexican immigrants are to blame for much of the nation’s socioeconomic problems, such as rising crime and stagnating wages.

Trump’s claims are no doubt egregious falsehoods. But I cannot help but see a double standard. Senator Bernie Sanders, similar to his right-wing opponent, has relentlessly pilloried a large group of millions of hard working Americans — the affluent — as a cabal pilfering the incomes of the working and middle-classes. Sanders in particular seemingly targets individuals and families who have climbed their way up by working in finance. To Sanders, all bankers, traders and investment managers are anathema. The roughly one million Americans working in the securities industry are somehow all perpetuating massive fraud and are all no different than “gangsters and loan sharks.” In Sanders’ mind, it seems that Goldman Sachs employees and Gambino family mobsters are one and the same.

Inevitably, the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist senator wants to thwart the “thievery” of all these evil millionaires and billionaires, on and off Wall Street, insofar as he expresses a desire to “wage a political and moral war against” the affluent. So dedicated is he to this cause that he farcically chooses not to have any “millionaire or billionaire friends.” As such, he does not only fail to see the approximately 10 million American households with net assets in excess of one million as a pivotal part of our nation’s fabric, but he in fact dehumanizes this sizable swath of families as incapable of moral virtue and unworthy of friendship.

With blatant disregard for the processes of wealth and job creation, Sanders heaps contempt on, and promulgates false stereotypes of, a significant number of productive and law-abiding Americans: financially successful families. This in no substantive way differs from Trump’s mischaracterization of a similarly significant part of the country’s populace: Mexican immigrants. As a community, we have rightfully rejected Trump’s outrageous lies. Many of us may have done so because we felt that the object of Trump’s fury, Mexican immigrants, was marginalized and needed our collective support.

Yet why, we wonder, do the affluent require our defense? We need only take notice of China under Mao, or to cite examples closer to us temporally, Zimbabwe or Venezuela during the past two decades. Thus, even as we may acknowledge that there exist bad actors amongst our economic elites, even as some of us may support several other tenets of the senator’s platform, we as concerned observers of our political arena must voice opposition to Sander’s unfair vilification of millions of Americans.

Pranav Venkatraman is a College junior from Princeton, New Jersey.

7 comments

  1. Georgi Hrißtozov 3 years ago

    This is literally the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. Knowing that the author of this piece was somehow accepted to Emory makes me retroactively regret applying to Emory.

    1. YellowYam 3 years ago

      can’t comment. getting “censured”
      Oh, excellent. Yeah, I went there. It’s terrible. Go. Literally. Anywhere. Else.
      (Wait, are you Jewish?)

  2. Ami Fields-Meyer 3 years ago

    Pranav, I believe your argument that the wealthiest people in the United States are, in any arena, subject to the same “dehumanization” as Mexican immigrants is misinformed and dangerously off-base.

    On millionaires in the United States, you say that Sanders “dehumanizes this sizable swath of families as incapable of moral virtue and unworthy of friendship.”

    You add: “This in no substantive way differs from Trump’s mischaracterization of a similarly significant part of the country’s populace,” referring to Mexican immigrants.

    Let’s talk about “dehumanizing,” by which I assume you mean depriving of positive human qualities or treating as something other than human.

    You’re right that Donald Trump has “dehumanized” Mexican immigrants. He has called them “rapists” and “killers.” When Jorge Ramos asked Trump about his position on immigration at a news conference in Iowa, Trump had Ramos ejected, telling him to “go back to Univison.”

    But Trump’s rhetoric has also “dehumanized” 1.6 billion Muslims, relegating them all—or nearly all—to the ranks of terrorists.

    His rhetoric has “dehumanized” minorities in this country, too. Trump stood by as a Black Lives Matter protestor was beaten and choked at his rally. When two men assaulted and urinated on a 58-year-old Hispanic man last August, saying “Donald Trump was right,” Trump applauded them for their “passionate” act.

    His words have also “dehumanized” women. Trump has publicly ranked famous women on appearance and sex appeal, spoken about women as sex objects, and called military sexual assault inevitable.

    You are fundamentally wrong in comparing this intolerant rhetoric to “Sanders’ unfair vilification of millions of (wealthy) Americans.” Sanders’ policies—if, perhaps, farfetched and impractical—are written with the intention of providing equal opportunity to the least among us. His comments address greed, corruption, and trenchant income inequality. It is about systems, processes, and an unjust history.

    It feels, in this article, like Bernie Sanders has hurt your feelings. I’m sorry about that. But the Trump-Sanders comparison is illegitimate. Sanders is talking about reforming inequitable systems. Donald Trump not only ignores the age-old racial and gender inequity in American systems, but has given them a roaring voice on the international stage. Please don’t confuse criticism with bigotry.

  3. Jason Zhou 3 years ago

    Bernie is calling for higher tax rates, and suddenly you’re comparing him to Mao? I’m sorry you couldn’t get into Princeton.

  4. Teddy Edwards 3 years ago

    Trump said that the rapists among Mexican immigrants should not be allowed to enter the US. He never said all Mexicans are rapists. And it makes no sense to believe he did.

    But Trump has been right on more issues than we admit. He predicted Brussels in January, 2016 and everyone laughed at him at the time. Particularly Hillary and Bernie.

  5. Jack Jones 3 years ago

    Vote
    Trump 2016!

  6. YellowYam 3 years ago

    Typical Emory Brahmin. You don’t know how racist these people are until you actually go there. It’s even worse than it sounds.

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