“I grew up in secular America. The distribution of wealth was equal, then. It was a period of enormous wealth and stability. Although the Vietnam war was undoing that stability, it did not particularly affect the middle-class society in America. But Donald Trump is a product of something new”, quipped Vijay Seshadri, a Pulitzer Prize winner in Poetry. He was in conversation with Chidanand Rajghatta, who is currently the Foreign Editor and U.S Bureau Chief of The Times of India. Both these men, hail from the very city of Bangalore and now live in the US. So, the Bangalore Literature festival had them discuss about Trump’s win in the presidential race and the aftermaths of it.
Vijay said he was at the airport lounge in Frankfurt when the news of Trump’s win popped up on his phone and he thought he was dreaming. It was only after, he saw Hillary conceding, he realized it wasn’t a dream after all and he was truly shocked. He knew people who supported Trump and therefore knew that the variety of reasons for supporting Trump was extensive and interesting.
Chidanand pointed out that there might be a huge support for Trump from the Indian-American community. Even in India, there is a good amount of crowd cheering for Trump. He wondered if this meant the rise of the conservative right wing. However, according to Vijay, 80 per cent of Indians had supported Barack Obama. So, Trump is not a self-generated phenomenon born out of certain rationalistic thoughts or principles. He is the product of the failure of liberalism and Hilary represented the contradictions of liberalism. Trump managed to cobble together the annoyed and the frustrated. He is a marvel of a certain sort of rhetoric in politics and there are no parallels to him from the past. And the benchmark that he set is too low that the days are getting darker and darker for America.
On the question of if Trump would get re-elected in 2020, Vijay said he is a Berni-person. But Berni is old and there is no single person who can take on Trump now. Trump is a terrific mover and has great energy. So, only time will tell if Trump will surprise the world with another win. However, Vijay wishes that people pay lesser attention to Trump. Even the failing New York Times is making money just by covering Trump. Lesser attention would mean cutting out his oxygen supply and that might help with things.
About the Author – Jeevanayagi Ganapathy is Founder Editor and Writer at Bookstalkist.