At a rally in Iowa, President Trump said that he didn’t want a poor person in his cabinet. At the heart of Trump’s poverty shaming is a belief that poor people aren’t smart and deserving of economic opportunities.
During a rally in Iowa, Trump was talking about why he appointed rich people to his cabinet, and said, “I love all people rich or poor, but in those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense? Does that make sense? If you insist, I’ll do it, but I like it better this way. Right?”
The false implication made by the president is that poverty and intellect are directly related. The thinking is that if a person is rich, then they must be smart. Of course, Donald Trump is living proof that one doesn’t have to be smart to be rich. In fact, a large proportion of the wealthiest Americans inherited their wealth. A study of the Forbes 400 richest Americans found that 40% inherited their wealth. President Trump was born into a wealthy family, and despite his personal mythology, was born rich and got richer.
The belief that rich people are smarter than the rest of the country is part of the worship of wealth that the conservative movement has subscribed to for decades.
The myth that poor people are stupid is one of the stereotypes of the economically disadvantaged that goes back centuries in the United States. Financial wealth does not equal intelligence, and Trump’s assertion that it does is part of the dangerous Republican demonization of the less privileged that is the backbone of the ideology that is driving them to destroy the social safety net.
In Donald Trump’s America, the poor are dumb and have no ladder of opportunity to escape poverty.
Trump is transforming the United States into an oligarchy where the very wealthy are worshiped for the size of their bank accounts, and the poor are punished for their financial struggles.
It is more than Trump believing rich people are smart. Trump also believes that poor people are not worthy of the opportunity.
What Trump is voiced was nothing less than the death of the American dream.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association