Saying I’m devastated Sanders won Kansas, my home away from home, is an understatement. Sanders may tell peoples’ personal stories to help reinforce his stances, but there’s an important story he isn’t telling: that of hardworking, middle class Americans who started from nothing to become the successful individuals they are today. Sanders is not telling this story because it hurts his agenda, but since he is refusing to tell it, I’ll do it.
Sanders stated, “When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor.”
My hometown resides in Bates County, Missouri, with a population that’s 96.4 percent white and has a poverty level 4 percent above the national average. My parents were born and raised there, where they spent the better part of their early lives poor. Over the course of 35-plus years and countless 18-plus hour days, my parents have built successful businesses that they owe to nothing but their own hard work.
Knowing Sanders had the nerve to say my parents and others like them got where they are by a rigged system, or any of the other falsities he’s peddled during his campaign, is insulting.
Sanders preaches the unfairness of income inequality. Yet how can he justify penalizing those like my parents — ones who’ve worked hard and followed the rules — in order to even the gap? At the end of the day, he can tax them out of everything they own, redistribute all they’ve achieved and try (and fail) to even the income gap. What he cannot take away from them, though, or prevent me from inheriting, is their work ethic. And perhaps, if Sanders had taken the time to consider their story, and the other stories like them, he might’ve had my vote.
Candice Wilson, graduate student in agricultural economics