The United States has a vulgarian president, everyone knows, though some have blinkered themselves to not seeing his multifaceted boorishness and bumptious buffoonery, and his inclinations to crudity and corrupt dealings. And there are some who cannot see anything beyond that crudity and corruption and thus ignore the problems facing American society, which, to the credit of blunderbuss Donald Trump, he has sought to address: illegal immigration, relationship with China, European dysfunction, etc. Many believe that America has never been this divided before, and they have, in making such a claim, do not offer evidence of having lived through history or having read all of history. Be that as it may, we all make assumptions, and that is as fine and dandy as human assumptions go, give or take a few data points here or there.
But three years of Trump and the unrelenting and coordinated campaigns in the media against him have made us all sick to the stomach — hating both the accidental president for his narcissistic and boorish behaviour and the power of the media to manipulate and to aggravate. “Stand with facts,” the National Public Radio folks pontificate, even as their reporters and their program hosts cherry-pick data, sneeringly refer to this person or that policy they dislike and sonorously and piously praise those that they favour. “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” proclaims the new masthead of The Washington Post, while the paper’s editors hire loathsome ideologues as their opinion writers and editors. As to The New York Times, a careful content analysis of their front-page news reporting over the past three years might show that half of their reporting is about Donald Trump.
“America can never be the same again, even after Trump leaves the White House,” say many, and you can read that here, here, and here, and in other places if you use the right keywords on a search engine, but they do not have special crystal balls that you or I don’t have, and their prognoses don’t matter because they cannot be held accountable for their speculative nonsense. These “experts” win heads or tail, and there is not much use trying to read their chest-beating. How the country will change or will not change depends on a billion other factors in the world, and having lived through the tenures of six presidents, since arriving on these American shores in 1985, we sure know that opinion writers have made similar grand proclamations at other times.
So, we here in the United States of America, with its never-ending political season, and where the campaigns for president start even before a new president takes office, continue to suffer from the daily hyperbole, increasing in shrillness as the political season progresses, and candidates from the only opposing party seek to pull each other down by whipping up passions in this political horse race, seeking to be anointed as their party pick at the convention in July. If a jockey were to whip his horse in a real horse race in this manner he would be disqualified, but then all is fair in politics, the second oldest profession in town.
The Democrats have had about two dozen candidates, some of them dropping off over the past month, and some of them getting into the game “late” — like the former Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, or the former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. In this age of the Internet and social media, the world gets to know what is happening around the world, and readers and viewers in India, surely do get their morning dose of the American mess. Thus, you may have already decided whether these late entrants are good or bad, right or wrong, electable or unelectable, and importantly, good for India or bad for India. And remember, the late entry of candidates is not over… with Hillary Clinton waiting in the wings and flapping her old, tired wings furiously, and going on book tours with her daughter penning forgettable nonsense, and with some speculating that former Attorney General Eric Holder too could be throwing his hat in the ring.
Former President Barack Obama has warned that his party is veering too far into the left/extremist territory, and takes to task, indirectly of course, Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren for their “sheer left” proposals that would saddle the government with more debt and potentially make government-provided services both more cumbersome and unbearably expensive. Whatever…. But, the more problematic part of Sen. Sanders’ campaign, for Indian eyes, is the set of characters who have jumped on his bandwagon, and who have begun to re-draft his campaign narrative. His “socialist” credentials have now enabled anti-Hindu bigots, posing as progressives, to squat on his campaign platform, and make the “weak-hearted” senior citizen a puppet of the men and women who run with the progressives and hunt with the radicals – more so of the religious variety and inclination. If these men, and fashionably hijab-clad women, carefully groomed by the money-bags at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), get a stranglehold on the Democratic Party, then we may as well welcome Trump all over again on 3 November 2020.
The good and sage VS Naipaul had things to say about ideologues, and writing in Magic Seeds, warned that “…it is wrong to have an ideal view of the world. That’s where the mischief starts. That’s where everything starts unravelling…” George Packer observed more sharply that, “Ideology knows the answer before the question has been asked”. The ideologues in the Democratic Party and their enablers in the media do have answers — and right now, it seems, they are all about repaving the way for the Trumpster. We do live in interesting times.