Making sense of Donald Trump
Some years ago I wrote a blog post titled “Why I support Narendra Modi” and it was read by many. I wrote that post not as a journalist, because I’m not. I wrote that as a layperson — what I felt about him. I wrote about what I found amiss in the country and how I saw him doing at least something about it. I was proven right. He began addressing many issues I had mentioned in that post immediately after becoming the PM, the Swachh Bharat movement being one of them.
Of course he was subjected to so much political and ideological witch hunting that I thought if so many tainted journalists and intellectuals were opposing him then he must be doing something right or he must be about to do something right. Even the worst politicians, criminals and public figures in the country hadn’t been hounded as much as he has been.
But this is about Donald Trump.
Since he is not my president (although being the president of the US is going to have a ripple effect almost everywhere) it doesn’t make sense to write “Why I support Donald Trump”, but I’m going to share my thoughts again, as a layperson.
If I were sitting in a room I could have easily said that 90% of the people sitting in that room oppose Donald Trump. But I’m not sitting in such a room. It’s just an analogy. I’m constantly using my PC for work as well as social interaction.
I write on technology and almost every online technology blog and magazine that I read reeks of loathing for Donald Trump.
For example take this Wired article. Because Donald Trump has become the President, the article is questioning the very legitimacy of freedom.
But it might be time to ask even bigger questions. Questions like: Is technology always an ennobling force? Questions like: Does allowing humanity untrammeled access to one another always result in a better world? Questions like: Are individuals capable of processing all the information that they once relied on institutions to process for them? Questions like: After people free themselves from their social and cultural shackles, then what?
The author feels we are not properly free to form political opinions because the information on the Internet is too freely available and we are too connected and we have stopped depending on institutions and organisations (and individuals) that used to process information before that information reached us.
Now we are processing the information in raw format and forming our own opinions and conclusions. People who were supposed to form opinions for us are no longer able to do that. According to the author, this is bad.
Technology has suddenly turned bad because it isn’t giving the results it was supposed to give (keep people like Donald Trump away). We have too much democracy, we have too much technology and worse, we are too free. We are not fit to be so free. Deep down, we want dictators and absolutists to control our lives as long as we feel safe in our homes.
Donald Trump made use of the technology that “we” have created and got himself elected. He used platforms like Twitter and Facebook to directly reach people and communicate with them his political ideas without they being refined, sanitised and detoxified by the institutions and individuals who are supposed to “process” such ideas so that they don’t have the negative effect. What he means is, people getting to know Donald Trump’s thoughts on Twitter and Facebook instead of from New York Times and Washington Post. People are supposed to get sanitised information. They shouldn’t get raw information because intellectually they are not capable of ingesting and processing that raw information on their own. They get upset. They get disoriented. They lose all sense of right and wrong. People are imbeciles, especially when they vote for someone like Donald Trump.
The opponents of Narendra Modi in India have had the same gripe, that he exploited the reach of the Internet to reach his political goals. Maybe we’re not ready for so much freedom, those who want to decide how free we should be, have started thinking. The very foundation of freethinking and democracy seems to have shaken, or, for the time being, have totally turned upside down.
This is just one example. Although I cannot possibly read every article and blog post, I come across such pieces of writing at least 3–5 times every day while doing research for my own blog. Almost every technology blog makes you feel as if all hell has broken loose and we have entered the dark age. People lost jobs or almost lost jobs for vocally supporting Donald Trump. They became pariahs. It’s like Hitler part deux. It’s like Apocalypse. Supporting Donald Trump is the ultimate un-coolness.
I’m an aspiring writer and almost every writer I admire has written something lamenting the ascent of Donald Trump. Okay, not “almost”, I must say, at least going by what I have come across, I would say “every” writer. Just the way it happened with Modi, not using invectives against Trump and not using condescending expressions for him and not comparing him to the biggest villains of fiction and reality can turn you into an outcast. Even posting nude and seminude photographs of his wife seems to be the in thing with renowned liberals and intellectuals.
The same is for artists and actors. Pretty much every actor, every musician has bitched about Trump. The now-famous speech by Meryl Streep.
Major scientists have painted doomsday scenarios. They have equated Trump to some cosmic catastrophe like a comet crashing into the planet. “We are back in the Jurassic age!” said one scientist recently after the results.
Here in India, even many Modi supporters are sceptical about Donald Trump.
So what do I think of Donald Trump?
Oh, again I find myself taking reference from my support for Narendra Modi.
Ever since I started supporting Narendra Modi I started forming my political opinions based on who supports those opinions and who opposes them. I have firmly come to understand that there are vested interests with political stakes. They support and oppose political establishments for their own agendas. These people may directly be following agendas or they may be clueless supporters of those following the agendas.
For example, there are journalists furthering the agendas of particular political parties and politicians. There is an ecosystem of intellectuals and the so-called liberals (most illiberal people I must say) that depends on particular political parties and politicians for patronage and mutual interest.
And then there are misguided people who admire these journalists, intellectuals and liberals and want to be seen as supporting causes supported by these journalists, intellectuals and liberals. It’s like, if you adore Meryl Streep then you should also admire her political stand. If you trust Salman Rushdie’s literary genius, you should also assume that his political, social and cultural values are at the right place.
Some may have genuine reasons for being in the same box of these journalists, intellectuals and liberals but they are a very minuscule minority.
You may say that such journalists and such ecosystems and such blue-eyed followers are everywhere, for every political dispensation, and I totally agree. Whatever might be his opinions these days, pre-2014 Arun Shourie supported Narendra Modi and had no problem with him being the PM. In fact, unconsciously some of my support for Narendra Modi might have come from the fact that I highly admired, up till now, unquestioningly, Arun Shourie.
What I’m saying is, I form my political opinions based on who is supporting those opinions and who is opposing them. This is how I started supporting Narendra Modi. I must confess I didn’t know much about him, but I was pretty sure that journalists and intellectuals opposing him didn’t mean well for the country. They didn’t have the good of the country in their hearts. They just had the good of the political parties and the political bosses they promoted, in their hearts. All those who have thrived due to political and economical wretchedness of the country in one way or another, strongly oppose Narendra Modi. This is my belief and you may think differently.
I’m using Narendra Modi here because I’m trying to draw parallels. This is how I started supporting him and started taking note of him. There were so many wrong people opposing him that I needed to pay attention.
At this juncture I don’t know if I am right or wrong, but the same seems to be happening with Donald Trump. I’m not talking about people in technology because they may have their own genuine reasons, but all these journalists and intellectuals who oppose Donald Trump one way or another have had shady backgrounds. For example, the lady journalist from India who was going into a tizzy at the thought of Hillary Clinton becoming the president has had a very shady background back in India. She sort of leads the pack that constantly conspires against Narendra Modi.
Actually, I have no problem with people opposing Narendra Modi or for that matter Donald Trump. I have a problem with people they support. In fact, my dislike for them is not for their opposition to some political figure I support, my dislike for them is for furthering the cause of politicians and ideologies that are constantly harming the country.
Just look the way they totally whitewash all the shady deals Hillary Clinton has been involved in, fake news or no fake news.
Recently on the Internet a lady was explaining why, despite Donald Trump’s misogynistic statements, she voted for him. She said that Donald Trump may look crass and may not know how to talk in front of the public. But what about Hillary Clinton? She is aware that her husband has had scores of affairs. He sexually exploited his young intern. Still, just because she wants to maintain a public image, she never separated from him, in fact, she has been making good use of his office. How can a woman take a stand for the country when she cannot take a stand for her own self-respect?
I think this is a valid argument. Despite that, these journalists and the so-called intellectuals portray her as an ultimate example of women empowerment. Doesn’t this make you doubt their moral integrity? I mean, support her, even for the sake of opposing Donald Trump, but don’t try to make her into something that she is not.
These people continuously pretend to be something that they are not and in the process hoodwink everybody.
Right now I feel whatever Donald Trump is, it is in front of everybody. People know how he thinks of women. They know how he thinks of his opponents. They know how he thinks of terrorism and other economic problems being faced by his country. They know his thoughts on immigrants. His opinions are out there. There is hardly anything hidden about him. Whatever his public posturing is, I think he is less dangerous than politicians like Hillary Clinton.
I totally agree with him that many industries are sending out jobs to other countries to save money. They say Apple has so much cash that the company doesn’t know what to do with it. They have been outsourcing all the manufacturing to China. Tim Cook is one of the most vocal opponents of Donald Trump in the tech world. This is just one example.
Many Americans feel that the jobs that they should have gotten have been lapped up by people from other countries or in other countries, simply because they are ready to work for less. Donald Trump promises that he is going to bring back manufacturing and he is going to bring back the jobs. What’s wrong in that? Every country is entitled to think that way.
He believes that instead of giving doles to the underprivileged they should be integrated with the economic process of the country so that they don’t have to depend on doles and monetary help. What’s wrong in that?
What’s wrong if he talks against Islamic terrorism? Doesn’t Islamic terrorism exist? It sure does.
He has run successful businesses. Personally I feel being a politician like Hillary Clinton is much, much easier than being a successful businessperson like Donald Trump. The same is with Narendra Modi. He has worked in the trenches all his life whereas his other political opponents have gained political stature by just being born in powerful families or by indulging in criminal activities. Narendra Modi is among the very few politicians who have risen up due to sheer hard work and clarity of purpose, without political connections.
Before painting doomsday scenarios vis-a-vis Donald Trump, we need to see how many of his businesses he has destroyed due to his senselessness and misogynistic tendencies. They say there are lots of women administrators in his current government so there goes the anti-women hype. There are many Indians in the current government, so there goes the anti-immigrant hype.
I look at him as someone who calls a spade a spade. If there is Islamic terrorism in the world, then too bad, there is Islamic terrorism in the world and there is no harm in trying to deal with it with a firm hand. If it is felt that Americans are ignored in favour of immigrants for various jobs then this is a genuine problem for the Americans.
Finally, the electorate should be trusted. If people have voted for him, then the mandate must be respected. One of my clients has voted for him and I have been working for him, with him, for more than 15 years now. I think if I don’t understand the problems he has been facing under the Obama administration, and why he was rooting for Donald Trump, I can understand nothing.
All this chest-beating going on on the streets of America is plain silly and immature. Whether they like him or not, they should move on. I’m not saying they should remain quiet if he does something really unacceptable but while he is in the process of becoming the president, they should let him be.
And anyway, there is no use showing discontent because he already knows of your discontent and he seems to be relishing it instead of feeling bad about it.
I believe he should be given a chance. There was a time when Hillary Clinton or one of her supported organisations were trying to find mass graves in Gujarat so that Narendra Modi could be implicated and his political career could be permanently destroyed. Hillary Clinton would prefer the Congress government under Sonia Gandhi in India instead of Narendra Modi because of the actions his government is taking against various NGOs.
The Obama administration continuously supported and abetted the Pakistani establishment despite finding and eliminating Osama bin Laden within Pakistan and despite all the incriminating evidence against the rogue country.
If a country like Pakistan can go on without one of its presidents, generals, ISI chiefs or prime ministers pressing the nuclear button, I’m sure there is no nuclear holocaust looming large upon the terra firma of the globe because Donald Trump has become the President of the United States. He seems a bit crass sometimes, but he is far better than Hillary Clinton.
Regarding his thoughts on women, let me tell you one thing. There is a politician in India called Mulayam Singh. He has been the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and currently his son is the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Lots of rapes and sexual assaults on women happen in Uttar Pradesh. When he was asked why there are so many sexual assaults in his state, his answer was, “boys will be boys.” There is a senior minister in his cabinet who believes girls invite eve teasing and sexual assaults by going out alone without a male member of their family.
There is a politician in India called Laloo Prasada Yadav. Criminal politicians and politicians with history of sexual assaults are the norm in his party, not an exception.
These 2 are darlings of Indian journalists and intellectuals who find Donald Trump’s misogyny abhorrent and who are all starry eyed about America getting its first woman president. This is just to demonstrate what sort of people support Hillary Clinton and oppose Donald Trump here in India and the same sort of breed is present in America.
The typical liberal and intellectual, of the sort that you may come across supporting Hillary Clinton and being very vocal against Donald Trump, is of the type of Tarun Tejpal who sexuually assaulted his daughter’s best friend while his organisation was organising an international festival in Goa.
A politician in the Congress party who is a known author and who almost became a big shot at the UN (if I’m not mistaken) is suspected of murdering his wife and even if he hasn’t murdered his wife, it’s a known fact that he used to physically abuse her while having affairs with other women. He is considered far better than Narendra Modi by the same sort of people supporting Hillary Clinton and opposing Donald Trump. Similarly, a politician belonging to the Congress party (again, a darling of these journalists, liberals and intellectuals) was caught on camera getting a nice blow job from an aspiring judge.
What I’m trying to say is, just because a particular person is opposed by a particular class of people, it doesn’t make him or her a bad person. Similarly, if a person is being supported by a particular class of people, it doesn’t make him or her a good person. Although I may seem to be contradicting my premise that I used in the beginning (regarding why I started supporting Narendra Modi), I’m sure you understand what I’m saying.
Another reassuring thing about Donald Trump is that he hasn’t changed a bit since his The Apprentice days. If he is nasty now, he used to be nasty then also. If he used to speak plain then, he also speaks plain now. If he sounded insulting then, he also sometimes sounds insulting now. It was typical of him to deny the BBC and the CNN a question because he feels a certain way about these news organisations.
Would I have given vote to him had I been an American living in America? Yes. Even if I didn’t like him personally, I would support him, at least politically, because of the way he has been hounded and the way Hillary Clinton has been supported. Total black comedy.