They talk sense through hyperbole, like Trump


April 23, 2016 by AK

Excellent reporting by Olga Khazan in The Atlantic: Why Soviet Refugees Aren’t Buying Sanders’s Socialism. She has interviewed some older-generation Americans of Soviet-Jewish extraction and found them categorically opposed to Sanders and leaning towards Trump.

It seems at times that Khazan is lapsing into caricature. I am convinced she is merely reporting what was said, but judge for yourselves:

One attendee, Nick Wolfson, dissented. As a doctor who had worked in three different healthcare systems, he believed socialized medicine was the best option. “I believe a good society should take care of the sick and weak and should not cost money,” he said.

“Are you going to work for free?!” cried Alexander Bootman. “Who’s going to pay?”

It escalated until Wolfson rose up out of his seat, shouting. “Do you really want Trump to be your president? He’s going to sell you! He will sell you tomorrow to the Arabs!”

For a split second, one suspects this was lifted from a Russian short story or a 1990s film. But that’s only because reality sometimes makes one feel that way. Take a walk in a small Italian town on a feast day, and you won’t believe you’re not in a movie because everyone around looks like a character out of one.

I can very well picture the good doctor hectoring his unreasonable friends. What did he have in mind talking about the Arabs? Trump’s dealings with some sheikhs? Whatever. The doctor’s precise words matter little: he talks in hyperbole. His arguments are technically incongruous but if you know where he’s coming from and if you’re familiar with his way of expressing himself, he’s perfectly sensible. He doesn’t like Trump much apparently, but their habits of self-expression are pretty much the same.


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