Trump trumps Clinton
In USA, the unexpected happened. Contrary to what the political pundits, media and poll analysts had predicted, Trump trumped Clinton in one of the most hotly contested presidential polls. Donald Trump, the Republican candidate entered the race with a divisive agenda much against the diversity that has been a feature of American life, ever since Abraham Lincoln worked to unite Americans on race relations after an acrimonious civil war in and around mid-19th century. It took America another century of effort with campaigners like Martin Luther King to put race relations on an even kneel around the decade of 60's in 20th century.
In 21st century, the race relations in USA improved to an extent, where Americans felt sufficiently emboldened and liberal enough to elect a black president—Barrack Obama. The unexpected happened instead of Barrack Obama carrying Hussain as the middle name. Though the middle name was largely not in the news during Obama presidency, Donald Trump made an issue of it, as his campaign passing adverse remarks on Muslim immigration reached a fever pitch. Demonizing Muslims was not the only divisive feature of Trump campaign; he lashed out against the next door Mexicans, threatening to build a wall. In a land of immigrants, Trump in his campaign was hell-bent on checking immigration. And, the fact that he won on a divisive agenda makes it clear that older immigrants want a decisive check on new immigrants, with Muslims the most demonized of the immigrant lot.
Trump trumped Clinton in spite of the fact that one named Khizr Khan; named as the most famous Muslim American father asked the crowd in the state of New Hampshire, "Will Trump's America have room for someone like my son?" Khizr Khan's son, part of US forces in Iraq had laid down his life while saying some precious American lives. Trump demonized Muslims in spite of the fact that it was a coalition of Muslims of various nationalities that secured for USA, the sole super-power status after delivering a decisive blow to USSR in Afghanistan. It was USA in forefront of western coalition that strategized the use of Muslim forces from around the world to go after the godless Soviet communists. This is a fact that US presidents from George Bush to now the president-elect—Donald Trump seem to conveniently forget, as Muslim bashing and demonizing Muslims suits political designs. If there are evidences of Muslim extremism as made out, American strategists have much to answer for; many of them are still living.
If extremism is bad, as it indeed is than Americans by electing Donald Trump need to stand on notice. In spite of the win managed by creating fear psychosis among older settlers and by adopting extremist attitudes, the massive demonstrations following it indicate that it has not gone well with the social synergy and cultural interaction, which stand as the hallmark of American diversity. Much more than any other nation in the world, America stands marked as a nation of immigrants. And, the older immigrants have no moral reason to make immigration laws as stringent, as the president elect wants them to be. America is great because it has shown a willingness to absorb the best that the rest of world has to offer. The country has shepherded the Brits, the Germans, the French, the Italian, and the Hispanics, as also the Africans. If the occident, the European continent provided the brain, the black Africans provided the brawn. By working on the farms of the virgin land, the Africans made America an agricultural marvel.
Donald Trump's sloganeering such as 'Make America great again' and 'Take back your country' smacked of the created fear psychoses trying to make out that America had lost its greatness, which needs to be regained. And, there is a need to take back the country, God knows from whom? It is clearly a voice against later immigrants—culturally and religiously diverse, yet the ones who worked to realize the American dream. The fear psychoses that Trump's sloganeering has created may not be exclusively an American phenomenon. Brexit vote in Britain recently had much to do with the immigration issue. In India too, sections of Aryan settler migrating from Central Asian lands in ancient historical epochs have demonized the later settlers from same parts, taking religious diversity as the sore point. Indian phenomenon could be traced to ancient historical times, though the repercussions relate to passing times. In America on the contrary, the immigration row created by Trump is an emerging trend, nevertheless the trend takes the shine off the concept of the global village. It promotes exclusiveness, instead of inclusiveness—the cornerstone of the concept of the global village, of internationalism instead of nationalistic hype.
'Not my President' the widening voice across America bodes ill for the president elect. Though David Trump has talked of being the president of all Americans, the emerging presidency has made sections of Americans nervous to the extent of joining protests. And, Donald Trump on the performance of his presidential campaign has not shown to be a conciliator. He has had sharp words for even his fellow republicans, who took exception to his hyperbolic outburst. If this is Trump's attitude to fellow republicans, God save the rest of Americans! And what Americans often pronounce–God save America!
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]
(Author is doctor in medicine, a social activist, and a senior columnist)