Greed is one of America’s fundamental elements, and it still affects how we view politics today. Rather than voting based on policy or the greater good, voters have selected candidates who will serve their own best interests. So Donald Trump’s supporters ignore his bigotry and decide that he will be more beneficial to them than “Crooked Hillary.”
This mentality was shared by my grandparents, two Vietnamese immigrants who defied all discrimination and hardships against them to become successful in America. At home in Dallas a couple weeks ago, the conversation with my family naturally drifted to politics, and my Ba Ngoai (maternal grandmother) remarked she was voting for Trump because she was “only looking out for herself the candidate that would have her back the most.”
Oddly enough, Donald Trump retains a rather contradictory stance on immigration for my family. When my grandparents and mom immigrated to the U.S. during the Vietnam War, all three were almost deported due to a complication with their visas. My grandma was nine months pregnant with my uncle at the time, so he was born a citizen. This stroke of luck allowed my grandparents to develop a new life in America and me to attend Trinity today.
Trump blatantly refuses to recognize my family’s citizenship as legitimate, using the derogatory term “anchor babies” to describe children like my uncle who allow their families to live in the United States. Does it matter that my grandparents used their skills in English and Vietnamese to help translate for foreign diplomats during the war? Does it matter that my grandparents worked multiple jobs and lived in extreme poverty so that my grandpa could go to night school? Does it matter that the only Christmas present my mom and uncle received was a Christmas wreath with candy that their realtor bequeathed out of pity? No. Despite that this is an essential right granted by the 14th Amendment, Mr. Trump still asserts: “I don’t think they have American citizenship.”
On the surface, this situation is bizarre enough. The notion of a fear-mongering bigot acting in the best interests of any immigrant, nevertheless a person of color, is absurd. But the encounter also reveals a certain malevolence present throughout this election cycle: the candidate you feel is working in your best interests might not be. Due to the massive amounts of information publicized daily, sometimes the most relevant policy positions can get buried in the sledge.
It’s easy to throw your hands up and say “I’m done” in response to the nauseating influx of information related to this election. But it is more important to stay informed and intelligent when casting your vote because your future can be significantly impacted. One of the candidates threatens the very fabric of democracy itself by planning to imprison his political rival after a his victory. While Trump might not actively be taking away my grandparents’ citizenship, he could still try, and there’s a very real danger for huge part of our democratic government to be eradicated.
This Nov. 8, make sure to take part in one of our most essential democratic processes, and if you’re a Trump supporter, remember to go out to the polls on Nov. 28.
Alex Motter is a first-year Pulse reporter.