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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Divided States of America in Left grip

Not all the demonizing of Donald Trump for inciting the January 6 violence at Capitol Hill can remove the miasma of suspicion surrounding the outcome of the 2020 US Presidential poll. Dangling the Sword of Damocles of another impeachment coupled with the decision of Facebook and Twitter to ban him for life can only deepen America’s socio-political divide. It will, sooner or later, come to haunt the Left-loaded Dems desperate to manipulate the levers of power to their advantage.

At the heart of the change in the White House lies the stark choice: Do Americans want the country to be dictated by a woke fringe which hopes to smash with a single lunge the systemic racial and cultural fault-lines of the last 150 years? Given the increasing assertiveness of blacks and browns acting in concert with the growing tribe of white wokes, will the world’s greatest democracy be pushed into walking the socialist path with communists lurking in the shadows.

More importantly, will the mass of people known as White supremacists allow the woke crowd to call the shots any longer than necessary before civic unrest begins to unfold? Democrat control over the trifecta of Presidency, Congress and the Senate can impel the party’s fringe to risk the worst. And their 78-year-old boss, Joe Biden, lacks the guile or gall to check their radical agenda beyond the restoration of normalcy after four chaotic years of Trumpism.

There is really no point in dwelling on Trump’s sins of omission and commission. To reiterate that he was a misfit for the Oval Office is a waste of time and breath. It was apparent from the first few days of assuming power. America’s Left-Liberals who have a vice-like grip over the media narrative, however, made utter asses of themselves both in 2016 and 2020 by predicting a Democrat landslide. Even a month before the day of reckoning last November, every single opinion poll showed Biden getting an overwhelming majority of the popular vote. The actual results, however, saw a massive 74 million plumb for Trump compared to 81 million for Biden, roughly making for a 51:49 divide.

Democrats are welcome to dupe themselves by claiming that the Don’s backers are an ungainly mix of semi-literate, gun-wielding, Bible thumping bums who belong to the colonial era. This is the kind of drivel that cost Hillary Clinton the election in 2016. Newsweek magazine prematurely declared her “Madam President” on the cover. Well over 125,000 copies of the magazine had to be recalled when the tables were turned at the eleventh hour. The pre-written cover story contained much the same diatribe regurgitated by Trump critics throughout the four years of his Presidency.

Here’s a sampling of the self-delusional cover story: the election “was unique in a number of ways because a female candidate faced a kind of demagogue previously unknown in American politics…President-elect Hillary Clinton ‘went high’ when her opponent and his supporters went ever lower…” and so it transpired that “on election day, Americans across the country roundly rejected the kind of fear and hate-based conservatism peddled by Donald Trump… The highest glass ceiling in the western world had finally shattered.” Guffaws!

Liberals are good at jumping the gun. Mammoth Trump rallies compared to the sparsely attended Biden meets towards the end of the campaign had the TOI’s Washington correspondent, Chidanand Rajghatta, a bleeding heart to boot, cream his pants at the horrific prospect of another Dem disaster. If only the Don had wagged his foul tongue less frequently, restrained himself from deluging the media with racist slurs against blacks, women, political opponents, African and other black nations like Haiti, he could have breasted the winning tape.

Even if Trump’s Weltanschauung of White racial superiority is taken as the swagger of a certified oaf, he cannot be forgiven for canceling his visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 on the plea that it is filled with “losers”. The 1,800 marines who lost their lives at the Battle of Belleau Wood (during the German Spring Offensive in June 1918), he said, were “suckers” for getting killed.

Earlier in 2015 while running for the nomination he had insulted the late Senator Joh McCain, a war-hero who spent five years as a prisoner in North Vietnam. Trump refused to acknowledge McCain as a war-hero because “I like people who weren’t captured.” The remark touched the nadir of insensitivity and idiocy.

Trump also referred to former President George H. W. Bush as a “loser” for being shot down by the Japanese as a Navy pilot in World War II. Bush escaped capture, but eight other men were shot dead. If there is one reason for which he deserved to lose the Presidency, it is the contempt he has for military service. Smart people in the Trumpian worldview never join the military. He said he disliked the presence of amputees in military parades.

History may judge Trump as among the worst inmates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (DC), but the hypocrisy of America’s vicious liberals was never more in evidence than during his Presidency. Their standard bearers, the New York Times and CNN, called the anarchists who ran amok at Capitol Hill “domestic terrorists” and seditionists. Biden referred to the events as an “insurrection” what was in essence nothing but an obstreperous demonstration with some isolated violence resulting in the death of a woman protestor and three others in medical emergencies.

Glib tongued Michelle Obama, a favorite of fashionistas and feminists, called on Big Tech to ban Trump from their platforms on the plea that such a move would prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to incite insurrection.

Compare this with the #BlackLivesMatter and #Antifa violence last June in which swarming hordes of louts went rampaging across several cities, looting shops, felling statues of national heroes, and vandalizing public property following the death of a black criminal (George Floyd) at the hands of a bestial white cop in Minneapolis on May 25.

Four months later Secret Service agents rushed Trump to a White House bunker as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades. Neither NYT nor CNN labelled the turbulence as terrorism. Instead they described the protests as peaceful.

And, lest it be forgotten, just as Trump supporters refused to accept the verdict of 2020, angry Hillary backers had staged widespread protests across America in 2016 marching under the banner of #NotMyPresident.

Conservative author and commentator Mark Steyn called the media’s coverage of the chaos at Capitol Hill as “sanctimonious drivel”. In a witty takedown of the People’s House and the violence done to the Capitol’s dignity, he wrote on his website:

“The media may be sentimental about the Capitol, but in my unscientific survey of my North Country neighbors the people aren’t. Congress has an approval rating that falls somewhere between Islamic State and child pornographers. Pundits and politicians can wax mawkish about ‘the people’s house’ but you’d be hard-pressed to find one in a thousand citizens who’s ever used those words in a non-contemptuous sense…”

I was surprised, he later tweeted, that even politicians and pundits could utter all that eyewash about the citadel of democracy and a light to the world with a straight face. It is a citadel of crap, and the lights went off long ago.

An unrealized aspect of the racial political divide in America today is that much of it is exaggerated, media fueled, even imaginary. Blacks, in fact, have never been as equal as today. In his article titled “White Wokeness” written for City Journal, America’s premier urban-policy magazine, in June 2020, Charles Love says that discrimination and racial prejudice does exist, but it is rarely violent and does not affect blacks in any significant way. The prejudice is not systemic or institutional.

“For more than half a century, the US has had no laws preventing black people from doing anything that white people can do, and government agencies and courts closely monitor socioeconomic life for any vestiges of discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodations.

“The media give a distorted view of black life. We see this in the stories they decide to report—and not to report. In 2018, police shot and killed 54 unarmed men; 22 were black. Compared with the percentage of blacks in the U.S. population, that figure looks disproportionate—but black people commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime and thus tend to have more interactions with the police…”

Trump may be a racist, but there is little evidence to suggest that he did anything overtly anti-black. Ironically, this is why newspapers like NYT have a vested political interest in projecting, magnifying, and over-dramatizing subterranean race tensions. It is the pivot of their editorial line. Liberal politics in America would substantially collapse without depicting blacks as desperate and defeated, with nothing in the way of material or personal resources to extract themselves out of their misery. Arousing white guilt is the linchpin of the fundamentalist liberal.

The City Journal article refers to ridiculous instances in which conciliatory gestures took the shape of whites washing the feet and polishing the shoes of blacks to expiate themselves of the collective guilt. Public spouting of the great White guilt was heard from celebrities, athletes, and corporates; and millions of dollars pledged to plug the racist vein.

The apogee of White wokeness was Nike’s advert starring Colin Kaepernick which won the award for outstanding commercial at the Creative Arts Emmys in September 2019. The advert featured the NFL quarterback sloganeering: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.” In 2016 Kaepernick began kneeling for the pre-game national anthem in protest at racial injustice in the US.

When civility leads to death, revolting is the only solution, he tweeted. To which that messiah of racial justice and non-violence, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, responded with a liberal $3m grant “to advance the liberation and well-being of black and brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass mobilization to elevate the next generation of change leaders”.

In the end, however, it is the people’s mandate which settles scores. When nearly half the popular votes cast for the winning candidate are polled via the post office, the millions of Trumpers who took the risk of venturing out to cast their franchise amid a raging pandemic have good reason to feel cheated.

The contention that Team Trump failed to produce hard evidence of widespread electoral fraud that could change the result is sophistic. Implicit is the conclusion that minor gerrymandering can be taken in stride. Especially in a country where there is no federal body to supervise Presidential polls. Every state has its own set of rules, with some having a provision for universal mail-in balloting, a throwback from the 19th century. Then there is that arbitrary institution known as the Electoral College which decides the size of the victory through a perverse set of rules which have always puzzled outsiders.

The practice of ballot harvesting can only add to the overall suspicion. The US Election Assistance Commission had in 2006 issued a report on election crimes which said:

“One point of agreement is that absentee voting and voter registration by nongovernmental groups create opportunities for fraud. For example, studies have cited circumstances in which voter registration drives have falsified voter registration applications or have destroyed voter registration applications of persons affiliated with a certain political party. Others conclude that paying persons per voter registration application creates the opportunity and perhaps the incentive for fraud.”

Attorney General William Barr had warned weeks in advance that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic. Though he later insisted that the Justice Department had not detected any major voter fraud, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani issued a scathing statement that “there hasn’t been any semblance of an investigation” into the illegal voting in at least six states.

Given the complexities nothing but a complete reform in election laws can restore trust in the system. Failing which America will teeter on the political precipice every four years.

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Sudhir Kumar Singh
Sudhir Kumar Singh is an independent journalist who has worked in senior editorial positions in the Times Of India, Asian Age, Pioneer, and the Statesman. Also a sometime stage and film actor who has worked with iconic directors like Satyajit Ray and Tapan Sinha.


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