Sunday, January 29, 2017

Trump Troubles Start

How is banning people of certain countries going to improve the security?[1] You always need to do the hard work of identifying 'potential terrorists' among ordinary citizens, and the goal needs to be to do that search by minimizing hassles to everyday people. With blanket bans, you are destroying lives of people, making them live in fear. That is how Fascism starts. Your Green Card, your valid Visa or your American Passport; none of those things can save you if you are a political opponent.[2] 

By trashing Media as 'political opponent', Trump has effectively nullified American Media. There is nothing 'worthwhile pressure' Media can build in America to alter Trump policy. Today it is Muslims from those seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia). More Muslim countries are most likely to get added. Then anytime Indian PM Narendra Modi does not do things as asked by Donald Trump, India can very quickly come on that list too. With India, the number is large and by impacting those millions in Tech Industry if Valley Businesses get affected - so what? Tanking Economy does not bother Donald Trump and especially so of Tech Industry in Bay Area which did not vote for him. But same will be the case of Texas Corporations and Auto Industry in MidWest. All will get impacted, but that would not matter to Donald Trump so as long as he does not pay the political price.[3]

In Democracy, such political accountability is expected to come via elections. But when a good number of Americans (I know so many of those young American voters) who do not take voting seriously, who do not see the value of stopping extremists like Donald Trump; we have diminishing hopes of things changing soon. Meanwhile, with a delusional president who thinks his opponent got millions of invalid votes; the business of disenfranchising a large number of voters is in full force.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are still with the understanding that they will be able to 'ride the tiger' of Donald Trump all the way to enact their ideological agenda. Unless and until they have 'used Donald Trump' thoroughly to achieve the ideological transformation of America completely, whatever political 'pain' of sticking with Trump is; it does not get repaid in full. For Republicans like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell (Reine Priebus and Mike Pence have already crossed to the 'darker side' to count them as any credible conservatives); the investment in Trump has to pay, and until that, Republicans in Congress are just going to accept the collateral damage of Trump devastation.   

In American Democracy, you need ways to build the political pressure on Republicans so that they would find the price of sticking with divisive and destructive policies and politics of Donald Trump unacceptable. In a dysfunctional democracy, citizens and impacted people do not get those mechanisms to enforce any kind of political accountability. That is where America has landed itself. 

Indeed these are dark days for America, and they are about to get darker before getting any better. 


[1] - I get it when Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn are deciding Tump's National Security; their thinking would be: "we want to alert countries of the world by pointing and browbeating these measly seven countries. That way rest of the world gets the message that 'if they want their business with the USA not disturbed; they take all the precaution of not sending any suspect terrorist." But to start by second guessing rest of the world when it comes to terrorism is precisely following the playbook of Fascism - 'you start with distrusting other countries'. That is what contributions from Messers Bannon and Flynn are going to be to Trump's National Security policies.

Some sane people have suggested that Senate Republicans need to 'stand up' to Trump and they need to do it now. I think Senate Republicans refusing to confirm Trump Sec. of State nominee Tillerson; is one way to drive that message - unless the ban is removed and influence of Fascists like Bannon and Flynn reduced from National Security, Tillerson does not get confirmed. That will be a taste where these Republicans want to 'draw a line'. I am not hopeful, but still would like to see if there is any life left in working of the American system.

[2] - Many in Media have adopted an approach where not to get distracted by Trump's utterances but to focus on his deeds. I saw the merit in that approach since it was pointless to react to every utterance of Donald Trump. First, that is what Trump wants - he always needs the oxygen of attention from others. Second, that is his ploy of pushing agenda while distracting people. Third, the guy is a ceaseless machine of attention grabs. You are not going to keep up with a lifetime's worth of Trump Narcissism. But now is the time - Trump has done something which is actually, concretely damaging lives of people, people's businesses. So we in Media who adopted this approach of 'watch Trump and criticize him when he does something' need to come forward start calling Trump's stupidity very clearly.

[3] - I know some Valley-based Indian Americans who made their wealth via Tech Business and who have been backing Donald Trump's clueless politics. Kids of these wealthy Indian Americans are now employed at 'plum positions' in these Tech Companies. It will be interesting to watch as 'assets' of this second generation Young Indian Americans start to vanish due to wrong policies of Trump; whether the older first Generation of Indian Americans will continue to support Donald Trump. 

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