By Vibhuti Jha
Executive Director, Nalanda International
The 2020 Presidential election appears to be heading towards, to put it mildly, one hell of a humdinger on November 3rd! Two years of campaign with all its rhythmic chaos will get over soon! Let’s take this moment to talk about the election on hand.
If all the wisdom of the 2020 polls are to be believed, Joe Biden seems to have opened a clear edge to tip toe into the White House! But that’s what we were led to believe in 2016 as well when Hillary Clinton too thought about her coronation only to be upended by the talented Mr. Donald Trump who defied all predictions! The story line and scenarios have changed since 2016. Thus, the pollsters may have fixed the kinks of the 2016 calculations, but the imperfections and peccadilloes of 2020 will be revealed after the dust settles once election is over. Let’s look back at four years of Trump’s presidency which shows some impressive achievements against all odds!
1. President Obama had, rather acerbic in tone, said that “Trump doesn’t have a magic wand”. Trump showed he had, turning the economy in ways nobody had expected. Highest employment rate for the country as a whole. Lowest ever unemployment rates in history for the Blacks, Hispanics and Asians with higher incomes to boot! Thus, the recent Gallup poll report of 56% Americans “feeling better off today” is a very significant data compared to every other poll number! The economy was going great guns until the pandemic brought the world and the US to a lockdown and a grinding halt, showing the devastation this coronavirus caused to all of us.
2. Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winner and left-leaning
3. President Trump has been accused of being a racist – this is an accusation that is more insulting and unfair to the office of the President, this great country, and people who voted for Trump, than one specific person! Accusations of racism is an oversimplification of a complex and deep rooted issue in the US. Indeed, African Americans did not come to the USA as modern day immigrants; they were forcibly brought here as slaves – a horrendous act against humanity. Ironically, even the modern day illegal entrants virtually enjoy the compassionate concern of this society, that was not available to African American community as a whole.
My friend, Dr. Navin Doshi, an author of many books, President of Nalanda International, and a well-known philanthropist, has an interesting perspective on racial discrimination in the USA and in general. He says, the human mind is ever evolving naturally. Ancient tribalism still exists but to a much lesser degree. Treating fellow humans with discrimination and hatred is a tragic part of life we witness even today all over the world. He argues that we are all racists to some degree because everyone has likes and dislikes. Racism exists because it is not just associated with skin color, but also due to different attributes and culture of the people. Yet the dramatic shift with which we accept fellow human beings today is also an indicator that as people we are changing and evolving too. How does one explain the rise of Mr. Obama as our first black President? How do we explain the achievements of the likes of Gen. Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Justice Thomas?
Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina has talked about the sea change thus: “Our family went from (picking) cotton to Congress in one lifetime”. The sheer domination of blacks in various sports is all too familiar. Their accomplishments in music and entertainment are also impressive. Yes, more needs to be done, but let’s all celebrate what has been achieved.
Indeed, going by recent polls, a significant chunk of minority votes of Blacks, Hispanics and Asians including Indians will very likely come Trump’s way. This chipping away of minority votes away from Dems and Joe Biden could be a critical factor in battleground states.
4. The worst human tragedy of the 21st century is Covid-19. Mr. Trump calls it China-virus truthfully, however politically incorrect a statement it may be, since the pandemic did have its origins in Wuhan, China! The Chinese and WHO did not share full information about this global catastrophe, which has taken million plus lives, destroyed economies, paralyzed lives and vaporized jobs. Many virologists have claimed that Covid 19 is a “Made in China” virus to be used as a bio-weapon and the control of the human population is also supported by western oligarchs.
Hindsight and 20/20 is an obvious wisdom –
easier to be wise after the event! Thus, we cannot say what could have, should have and would have been done in the framework of communities we live in. There were those who didn’t want to wear a mask because their freedoms were impacted and Dr. Fauci who said in March that masks will not be any help. Joe Biden wanted to impose a nationwide mandate to wear masks only to backtrack that even as President he wouldn’t have the authority to impose that mandate. What we do know is that the Governors of states most severely hit by the pandemic early on – NY, NJ, CA, OR, MI – paid glowing tributes to President Trump for his readiness, preparedness and execution of help. Do note that the states and cities most affected negatively are governed by Democrats.
5. Economic plan vs economic agenda. If we care to dwell upon the economic and business philosophies of Republicans and Democrats, we see a clear distinction. The Republicans profess a pro-business plan enshrined in a capitalist approach based on performance, hard work, innovation and entrepreneurship, to name a few. The Democrats, on the other hand, seem to have no economic plan, but instead have an economic agenda to fund their freebies they promise to offer their gullible and misguided supporters. We all know there is no free lunch and even 1-800 toll free phone services are paid for by somebody else! Thus, we can predict massive tax hikes under Democratic-run presidency. Mr. Biden has already proposed significant increases in corporate taxes, income & payroll taxes, small business taxes and dividend taxes to fund their economic agenda! So, beware of what you are asking and voting for! Democrats always prefer to have people dependent on government hand-outs at the cost of giving up freedom and equality.
6. So what must Indian American voters do? As we all know, traditionally, over 80% of our community vote for Democratic candidates – from Presidential elections to the Town Hall supervisors of their county and towns. Yet, a careful analysis reveals that Democratic presidency has invariably been anti-India with sanctions and espousing a sanctimonious equivalence between India and her professed enemies. It is a pity that some of the Indian Americans in US Congress have openly supported the enemy agenda on the pretext of Human Rights, without bothering to ask those who grease their campaign. We do know that the Democrats and especially Mr. Biden has a significant soft corner for the Chinese and Pakistanis (who gave him a national award) and his foreign policy statements are strongly worded against India’s internal democracy! In addition, the party has passed uncalled for resolutions against India’s sovereignty to take parliamentary enactments to set right historical mistakes. That’s not going down well with Indians at large.
7. Finally, as we have talked about Mr. Trump’s accomplishments, let us also briefly dwell upon Mr. Biden’s 47 years in the government as a prominent Senator including eight years as Vice President in a popular administration of President Obama. Thus, whenever he complains about the problems plaguing the country whether it’s black lives, social and income inequities, wars and deaths of Americans fighting terrorism, inner city violence, one is forced to think and ask, “what did you do to set things right? Now, stories are circulating about his son, Hunter Biden’s computer in the hands of the FBI with proof of his corruption associated with Burisma, a Ukraine corporation.
Yes, the choice for Indian Americans is clear in 2020. If they want to endure and live with paying much higher taxes for their well-deserved earnings, if they wish to live in police defunded cities at the mercy of self-patrolled citizen police, if they want to live under the mercy of Antifa violence and if they believe India deserves a punishment for its supposed human rights violations, then your choice is not Trump!
We believe that Trump and Republicans are a better choice.
Trump, Biden, Indian Americans, Vibhuti Jha
Executive Director, Nalanda International