US never has been immigration-friendly

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Krista Zwart is an American student studying at the University College Roosevelt. From a distance, she tries to explain how Trump has been able to become so successful.

The polls clearly show that Americans living domestically don’t like either candidate. However, living abroad, I sometimes feel rather isolated about having a bit more sympathy for Trump. Do I like him? No. Did I vote for him? No. Did I vote for Clinton? No. I’ll leave my voting habits up to your imagination.

As a political science and anthropology major, I’m asking you to set aside your personal opinions about how Trump portrays himself to the public—we all know it’s horrendous. Rather than focus on his behavior, I’d like to focus on his strategy, and the truths about American society behind it. How has he been able to be this successful? Because he knows how to entertain, keep public attention on him, and bring to light the political frustration within the average American.

As much as it pains me to say this, the US is not, and never has been, immigration-friendly. Though we promote the American dream as the idea that anyone can go from rags to riches no matter who they are or where they come from, it’s all a publicity stunt. From the Chinese Exclusion Acts to condescending treatment of the Irish and Italian immigrants in the early 1900s, America has never been tolerant of immigrants.

So when Trump rants about building a wall to keep the Mexicans out, he’s speaking the truth of how many Americans actually feel. The problem doesn’t lie in the assumption that Trump is intolerant—the problem lies in the fact that American society is intolerant. Trump is simply being blamed for advocating the uncomfortable truth of many Americans’ beliefs.

Whether you are for or against immigration is irrelevant. I would just like to remind you that both sides hold validity in their opinions, and it appears that many Americans opinions swing towards anti-immigration, which, historically speaking, isn’t surprising. The part about Mexicans being rapists? That’s called over-exaggeration, done to keep the public’s attention. Using intense connotation sparks an emotional response, leaving the spotlight on him. If you really want to stop Trump, I would suggest giving him the cold shoulder. 

What other societal truths has the Trump campaign addressed? Bias in the media, and a lack of diverse public opinion through differing mediums. While his arguments are not well constructed, Trump’s frustration with the media being biased in Clinton’s favor is unfortunately accurate. Freedom of the press within the First Amendment is seemingly overlooked these days. With the technological age flourishing, it is clear that there are diminishing sources of where one can collect news, along with differing opinions. I was recently speaking to a well esteemed retired journalist, and his opinion of the newspaper decline is clear: it is not a good sign for democracy. With the media becoming increasingly homogenized, it becomes easier for bias to take shape. Hillary Clinton’s political power is strong, and the lack of diversity within the media makes her stronger.

While I could argue further for a bit more for a balance within public opinion of the elections, I hope I have made my point clear: there are always many sides to a story, and many factors to consider.

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