Sunday, May 26, 2024
Home > City News > Trump makes everyone smile!

Trump makes everyone smile!

Anil Shetty

It was indeed a rare opportunity rather a privilege to be a part of the IVLP ((International Visitors Leadership Program) delegation and contribute towards, a sustainable Indo-US relation in the present light of the situation. Well, I should concur, as a matter of fact, like millions of others both back home as well as in the US, I was pretty dubiously enthusiastic about America under Trump; my journey into the Trump land.
I gladly took upon myself to investigate the matter. During my three week stay, I habitually enquired my acquaintances as to what or how they felt about Trump’s150 days of Presidency. Interestingly whenever I asked about Trump,every American responded with a smile. (sometimes a giggle, sometimes a smirk). To me it was evidently a question that put them into an unknown, unsettling,perhaps a confused zone. It was neither an exhilarating smile nor a downcast one.
Twenty-one long exhausting hours of my flight time, lightened up with a vibrant greeting …. “ Yo-Man! Good man! India hah!” Well that was my cabbie who picked me up from Dulles Airport, Washington DC. During our course of chatting he confided in me, his story of migration from Ethiopia to the ‘Land of opportunities’. His greetings and talking style evidently reminded me of Jay Z, Eminem and Snoop Dog! I was exited! When I asked him about the current AmericanPresident, he of course in his animated rhythmic rapping style responded…”Yo Man! Trump good man! All media project man!” Well that was quiet a statement for me!In fact, his delightful openness towards Trump impressed me!
I started my next day witnessing the ‘Capital Pride Parade’, one of DC’s favorite parade. It was perhaps one of the biggest pride march of this year in States, with tens of thousands of LGBT supporters coming from all over the country.The entire city was colored in rainbow hues. Roads were closed with people holding multiplecoloredplacards. The march was not just meant to fight for the social security, inclusion, access and justice for the LGBT communitybut also to demonstrate their protest against President Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence and their opinions about the Gay community. They feel the accomplishments for which they fought so hard, might now be in peril.
As I walked in solidarity with the fellow Americans and talked to them about their newly elected President, I could sense their skepticism in this changed time. The members make no apologies for who they are and stood for “Unapologetically Proud”.
Later in the evening I attended a Symposium on American Hindu Coalition Forum. As it unfolded, it appeared, that the favored topic of discussion was of course the possible outcome of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US. But as I talked to some of the hard core Hindu supporters from India and Nepal, I was intrigued by their penchants towards Trump. I met an Indian soft ware engineer, who claimed to design a psycho-metric analysis of voter’s data, used both by Trump and Hillary during their election campaign. Of course Trump using it more seriously, as he claimed. He was indeed a happy Trump FollowerAmerican citizen and a strong ‘Hindutva’ devotee! In fact, like him, many of the Indian Americans I met echoed the same sentiments of affection towards Trump, may be because of his self professed fondness towards the Indian and the Hindu community.
However, the American Government officials and Bureaucrats, had a mixed reaction when asked about Trump’s governance. Most of them unsure of how time would unfold and were not much keen on talking about the issue, especially since talks about impeachments are afloat. And then of course the hard core American Feminists are really offended with the new choice.
Away from DC, the non-conformist, free spirited, bohemian culture of Portland city in Oregon, swayed me away. The frank unpretentious nature of the people appealed to me a lot! As I met a couple of non profit organizations working with homeless people, I could sense their worries about Trump administration, which is working on the line of reducing Federal funding to such organizations. [According to New York Times, dated May 22,2017, President Trump plans to unveil a $4.1 Trillion budget for 2018, that would cut deeply into program for the poor, from health care and food stamps to student’s loan and disability payments, laying out an austere vision for reordering the nation’s priorities]
The same sentiment was echoed by the local democrat politicians of Charlotte, North Carolina, who out rightly rejected Trump labeling this a period as worst night-mare of American political history!
I also got the opportunity to interact with two immigrant families, who have settled in US some 30 years back. To them a nation like America, which was built by immigrants, have committed the historic blunder by electing Trump as their President. Both the families unguardedly spoke about the contrast between the leaders of the two neighboring countries, Trump and Trudeau.They hoped one day America would learn from Canada, the art of being together.
Perhaps the most comprehensible clarification came from the academia in political space, who do not welcome Donald Trump simply because of the reason that he failed to win the popular vote. In fact, they are of the opinion that the process of Electoral College needs to be revisited. Though in 2016 American election, Hillary had an advantage of 48.2% popular vote over Trump’s 46.1% but in the Electoral vote, she managed only 227 votes, against Trump who got 304.
Then of course I met a couple of Americans who though voted for Trump, because of their lack of choice for Presidential candidate (Hillary, they found unworthy of trusting! after all, she supposedly used a private server to send classified emails!) are now disillusioned by Trump’s series of radical policies both inside as well as outside US. His policies towards NAFTA, Healthcare, Immigration, Paris Peace Accord have surely forced them to self question their allegiances.
I also came across opinions that perhaps it is Trump’s candid forthright nature that makes him come under the radar. After all he never belonged to the ‘old boy’s club’ and as an outsider has taken upon himself to disrupt the long run oligarchy.
However, my pursuit came to a rest when a teenager High school student summed it up for me by acknowledging the fact that though their current President is constitutionally elected head but unlike previous Presidents, he is far away from being the role model! Now that is something to ponder about and a pointer to keep an eye on the future days of the great nation.
*The writer is National President of
Nav Bharat Democratic Party

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *