Trump Vs. Biden: Is Everyone’s Vote Based on Fear?
When I hear Venezuelan-Americans talk about who they’ll vote for in November, it’s clear that fear is the main driver of who gets their vote.
Those going for Trump are fearful a Biden presidency will lead to Venezuelan style socialism. They’re actually terrified and quite certain that this will be the case.
Biden supporters in turn fear that Trump is just like Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez and current President Nicolas Maduro. They’re convinced that, like the Venezuelan dictators, “he would see this country burn if he could be king of the ashes,” as Lord Varys said about Littlefinger in Game of Thrones. In fact, Biden voters think Trump has already begun to “burn” the country.
Both groups fear the same thing: the destruction of the US economy and political repression. Each group, however, has reached a diametrically opposite conclusion on who’s the right choice.
Before I go any further, know that I fall into the second, though I try mighty hard to understand the first one and to question my position.
In any event, the contradictions and confusion don’t stop there. Here are just a few ways each side interprets real words and actions as well as unstated motives in drastically different ways.
As far as foreign policy goes, Trump voters only appear to know about Trump’s sanctions against Venezuela and Cuba, and his support of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. They’ve apparently only heard Trump’s words when he denounces Socialism and the Venezuelan and Cuban regimes, but missed the part when he shook the North Korean dictator’s hand, called him “talented” and extended him a future invitation to the White House.
Meanwhile, Biden fans are convinced that Trump’s sanctions won’t facilitate regime change in Venezuela and might actually bolster the regime, as they have in Cuba. When it comes to what Trump says, we hone in on Trump’s Chavez-like divisive rhetoric and on the way he blames everything on the former administration, the “establishment”, and foreign powers (China in Trump’s case, the US in Venezuela’s).
To Trump supporters, the word “Progressive”, especially when uttered by any Democratic politician, always means extreme “Socialism” of the kind I write about here:
Two “Socialist” Policies that Ruined an Economy
It happened in my home country. It can happen anywhere.
In turn, Biden voters like me view progressive policies as urgently needed to counter growing inequality and marginalization, the kind of inequality and marginalization that made possible the rise of Hugo Chavez and his regime.
Trump supporters don’t view Trump’s “some very fine people on both sides” statement about the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as threatening, while Biden supporters find it eerily Nazi-esque.
The Access Hollywood remarks and Trump calling women “nasty”? Trump voters will take his apology at face value, while we Biden supporters label him misogynist.
Then there’s race. Trump fans view the race issue from the Venezuelan lens, which hardly translates to the US context. The main or only issue, to their mind, is that Black Lives Matter, the international left and protesters are raising tensions in order to advance the cause of extreme Socialism.
By contrast, Biden voters tend to view racial tensions in the US as entirely legitimate and protesters as primarily good citizens exercising their right to assemble in the face of grave injustice.
We Venezuelans are terrified of dictators and of Chavez-style “Socialism for the 21st century”. I’d almost say we suffer collective PTSD due to the widespread misery and political repression we’ve suffered and the fact that we know any country’s trajectory can change dramatically.
Now, how do I convince my fellow Venezuelan-American voters that Donald Trump is the one likely to take us down the path to political repression and economic ruin? How do I persuade them that Joe Biden is, at the very least, the preferred less bad choice?