Yesterday, a liberal New York Times editorial by a writer named Jennifer Senior created something of an outrage when she argued that among Donald Trump’s many faults is the fact that he has two wives of Eastern European descent, one Czech, the other Slovenian. Many people pointed out that Nosferatu, the classic 1920s vampire film by F.W. Murnau, isn’t about Slavs at all, but rather Romanians, Germans, and Hungarians. In any event, it’s about a monster from the East come to Western Europe to pray on innocent German virgins, a classic expression of the western fear of the “other,” and thus at least partly antisemitic.
But the reason that American liberals hate Eastern Europeans is much simpler than Ms. Senior’s critics have argued. Eastern Europeans, like American southerners, are poor white people, as opposed to the Germans, French, Scots, English, Dutch, Norwegians, or the residents of Greenwich, Connecticut or Short Hills New Jersey, who are rich white people. American liberal culture is deeply puritan. American liberals, like the people of Calvin’s Geneva, John Knox’s Glasgow, Oliver Cromwell’s London, or John Winthrop’s Boston see wealth as a sign of God’s grace. Yet Donald Trump and his Slovenian trophy wife are both immensely wealthy? How can it be that some low class Eastern European broad, who should be renting herself out as a mail order bride to the guy who fixes your toilet, has found herself at the White House, at center of imperial power, status, and thus moral purity?
The naturally ordained moral order of the universe has been shattered. Donald Trump, and of course the Russians, derailed the inevitable moral and social progress that the Hillary Clinton, the first woman President, following Barack Obama, the first black President, would have represented. If the White House, the previous residence of fine upstanding, moral individuals like George W. Bush (war criminals are acceptable as long as they’re graduates of Andover and Yale) is now occupied by a vulgar racist lover of the inferior Slavic race, then perhaps rich American liberals owe their wealth, not to the grace of God, but to unethical business practices and a good lawyer. Perhaps you’re not the fine, moral upstanding individual you thought you were. Perhaps you’re just another rich asshole just like Donald Trump. Perhaps your stock portfolios, your children’s “good” schools, your Summer House on Martha’s Vineyard, don’t mean you’ve been blessed by Jesus, but by capitalism, the real Nosferatu, the bloodthirsty soul sucking mode of production that’s brought death, disease and destruction to the entire planet as surely as Murnau’s iconic vampire once brought it out of Transylvania to the center of European civilization.