“Liberals are wholly responsible for the ascendancy and the annointance of the phenomenon called Donald J Trump. And their continued tirade against anything and everything Trump would ensure his re election in 2020”.
That is the verdict from a Havard academician who has studied Donald J Trump, since he came down the escalator in June,2015, of The Trump Tower, announcing his candidature for the Grand Old Party- Republican- nomination to become @POTUS. Ever since that day, Trump has played Disruptor in Chief of everything perceived as Politically Correct to become the Commander in Chief. Forget not, Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, but still trumped Hillary Clinton, thanks to the weird Electoral College mandate under the US Constitution. The founding fathers put it there, to ensure that smaller States joining the Federation were not left out in the stakes. But it become skewed that just 76,000 vote difference in 3 swing States ensured Trump’s triumph.Democrats having been crying hoarse that this Electoral College route was cruel and it has run out its shelf life.
Recall Al Gore lost out to George Bush in 2000 and the close tussle got escalated to US Supreme Court which ‘declared George Bush winner as it was too close to call and too dicey to let the battle linger’ as Inauguration Day was round the bend. But a Constitutional amendment to the Electoral College window, can be ruled out, for all practical purposes, considering the deep divide between the Democrats and Republicans, and as Republicans have everything to gain and nothing to lose, in the present dispensation.The day of inauguration on Jan, 20, 2017 was an inauspicious start for the Trump vs Main Stream Media- print and electronic media. Trump won promising to ‘drain the swamp’ and he included the Media in the swamp, as they were working for the ‘elites and intelligentsia’. While Trump’s spokesperson claimed a record crowd during the inauguration, he was pilloried and mocked at.
Trump was not amused and christened the ‘Failing NewYork Times’ led Washington Post, NewYorker, CNN, MSNBC combo as ‘enemy of the people’.Donald Trump has a huge ally in the Australian Rupert Murdoch’s true blue conservative network @foxnews. It has the highest access into the homes of Americans and Trump’s base is absolutely loyal and has shunned the rest of the media. The description of Trump’s Presidency as ‘chaotic’ and a series of best sellers on the disoriented and disrupting White House administration has not moved the needle an inch. On the other hand, it lent muscle to Trump’s base, “We knew it was coming, for you cannot digest either Trump or us- described as ‘Basket of Deplorables’ (by Hillary Clinton who later apologised to no effect). Who cares?” A Trump voter.
True to self, Trump dismissed his FBI Chief, James Comey, as he declined to be ‘loyal to the Boss’. That Vladimir Putin, Kremlin and Russia interfered in 2016 elections is a given. Trump declared that the Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation was a ‘witch hunt’. Trump tweeted it ad nauseam – to his 35 million followers, and retweets added to the numbers, and @foxandfriends amplified it into the homes of Trump’s loyal base. ‘Mueller failed to indict Trump in his 400 page report when no one except the committed Trump enemies tried to reinforce their pre determined agenda’ as a GOP Senator commented. Trump claimed ‘complete exoneration’ and his Base jubilantly agreed.A day after Robert Mueller deposed in the US Congress, Donald J Trump made his ‘perfect call’ to the Ukrainian President ex comedian Zelensky – seeking a quid pro quo, by way of investigating his possible political opponent in 2020 elections- Joe Biden/son Hunter Biden, for $490 million defence support. The Democrats led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched an Impeachment Motion in the House of Representatives.
It was clear from day one that the visceral hatred was on partisan party lines and just no way Donald John Trump was getting removed, in the Senate where GOP had a majority. So it turned out, and now Trump claims to have come out of an Agni Pariksha and he is now ‘unstoppable’ as his Base claims. In fact, poll after has turned out results that Trump’s popularity has been not merely strengthened rendering him a ‘cult leader’ as Tom Friedman suggests, but increased his percentages.
The Liberals are astounded. This man is not Teflon coated. He is reinforced steel. Nothing is sticking. Everything they are concerned with are real and true, yet Trump and his base ‘continue to be unshakable despite the attempt to shakedown Ukraine’ as a columnist wondered. He is uncouth, sick, coarse and prurient in his tastes and expressions. But his base is not going anywhere. They are stuck to him leech like.
The Liberals have not had it so bad. Despite print and electronic media having humongous traction, for politics, since Trump happened, the divisive times continue. And the Democratic primaries are a mess and the generation divide is showing and reports suggest while Putin wants Trump to come back, he wants to make it easy, by interfering to get Bernie Sanders- a self proclaimed socialist – as the Democratic nominee, to ease Trump’s return. It is utterly shameful that the oldest democracy knows not what has hit them-from inside, outside, every other side- and Silicon Valley technology tools notwithstanding, US cannot fix their elections.The liberals assumed that ‘political correct’ constructs would expose Trump, Trumpism, his acolytes and his base.
Truth is that the base is getting even, “Excuse me, don’t tell us Trump is a badass. He is no better or worse than the other side. The liberal hypocrites living on doles and in and as special interest groups are showing. At least Trump is our badass and our own hypocrite. You have been pulling fast ones all these years and it is our time to get even with our own disruptor. Take him on and defeat him in the hustings. Economy is booming, unemployment is at its lowest. If it is despite him, defeat him, on Election Day. Why are you playing games trying to trip him every day- as if you are all spotless, squeaky clean and Trump was the solitary sinner. Sorry, wrong number. “That is a farmer/voter from Deep South. He typifies the Base and the base has widened and solidified.
Trump is anathema to the liberals. They cannot tolerate or trust him, to preserve and sustain American values and dreams. After 2016 elections, the liberals realised they had got it wrong. They did not hear the rumblings from the ground. They assumed that Trump’s unconventional ways would trip him, as he was anything but politically correct. Liberals have now realised that it was hi’ political incorrectness’ that got him there. For the voters saw themselves in him. The ordinary commoner who was worried that 1% of Americans held 60% of the assets and the only weapon of mass destruction in the hands of the deprived was to elect the most unlikely one- an outsider from the establishment. They chose him for his disruptive devilry. For his anti liberal stance and disdain for the elitist intelligentsia.
Trump comes to India having trumped the liberals, fair and square. The millions that would greet him Namaste Trump would only infuse adrenaline and testosterone, for him to indulge in, more of the same. Trump is unlikely to pivot from his ‘uncivilized ways’. Time for the Liberals to see the writing on the wall. Reports that Russia is out to get Trump elected again, is being twisted by Trump, “Here they go again”. His base loves him. The liberals may have gone too hard, too long and hypocrisy displayed by them in selectively taking on Trump may have misfired badly, and the chaotic confusion in the Democratic Presidential Primaries is a perfect illustration of where liberal libido has led America to. Time for liberals to become practical, pragmatic and realistic in not claiming themselves to be who they are not. They have been dishonest in their assumptions, and the rude awakening to their own hypocrisy, is too hot to handle.
(Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan- Author is practising Advocate in the Madras High Court)