I was born into a family of poor Ukrainian immigrants. My mother works full time. I am a religious Jew in a rural community. My sister identifies as lesbian. I empathize with the plights of minorities because I’ve seen my loved ones live through them. But according to the liberal intelligentsia, I am not a progressive.
My parents were refused admission to medical school as Jews. They were taunted, bullied and obstructed at every step. When they hear Donald Trump’s statements, they are painfully reminded of the xenophobia they overcame. When Trump promises to leave NATO, we worry for our relatives in Ukraine who could lose their lives.
And yet we understand Trump, because we are among the large swath of Americans who are shunned from the “progressive” movement because we use the “wrong pronouns,” labeled racist based on our skin color, and placed in the same category as Klan members and neo-Nazis.
In a polarized political environment following Barack Obama’s coronation as a “champion of the masses,” the left responded to the Tea Party by ridiculing millions of Americans. These dejected masses went underground, replacing mainstream media with the internet. They felt left out of the left wing’s version of reality, so they created their own.
Today, the liberal intelligentsia stands firm in its belief: You’re either with us or against us. They cannot continue to preach unity while perpetuating divisive rhetoric. If my immigrant family does not conform to your intolerant “progressive” standards, don’t act surprised when you don’t receive our votes.
Adam Barsouk, State College