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Will self-interest trump bigotry?

Melvin B. Miller

A major event scheduled for 2016 is the election of a new president. The Democrats and Republicans will hold their conventions and each party will decide upon their nominee. Then in November citizens will go to the polls and decide who shall lead the nation. Nonetheless, the politicizing will not be over.

Donald Trump may have awakened a sleeping tiger. For some time, conventional Republicans have been the guardians of white supremacy. For many whites with a modest education and little more than a moderate income, that service was sufficient to earn their loyalty. But the growing economic disparity that is disrupting their American Dream has aroused anger and dissatisfaction.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders has stated that whether or not he wins the race for president, his campaign is the start of a political movement to end the 40-year decline of the middle class. He plans to “fight for a progressive economic agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care for all.”

Sanders’ post-election effort is likely to be multiracial. It remains to be seen whether Trump supporters will move beyond the bigoted tone of that campaign to pursue their economic interests in partnership with blacks, Latinos and Asians.

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