By Ram Kumar
Hindu Americans have generally supported Democratic party nominees in Presidential elections overwhelmingly. Republicans generally receive fewer than 20% of the Hindu American, and more generally, Asian American vote. Reasons for this generally include the fact that the Republican party has had a reputation for being a ‘racist’, white dominated party with a strong fundamentalist Evangelical Christian base that is a turn off for Hindu Americans. In addition, many Indians do not buy into the notion of ‘limited government’, ‘low taxes’, and ‘strong defense’ mantra of traditional conservatism because most Indians are beneficiaries of socialism in India (free higher education for instance that enabled them to earn a world class higher education in India without incurring a huge amount of debt, which in turn enabled them to emigrate to the US and join the top echelons of an advanced STEM based economy) who instinctively see a role for government in allowing upward mobility and correction of past injustices. And since many Hindus continue to have Gandhian non-violence etched into their subconscience, American militarism hasn’t been an attractive proposition, especially since much of this American might has been anti-India in the past (the support for Pakistan for instance). Besides, India was friendly with the former Soviet Union (FSU), and hence American opposition to the FSU which happened strongest under Republican presidents such as Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush Sr. has not been a selling point for Indians either. The American-led fight against communism also failed to excite Hindus as Hindus saw communism primarily as an anti-capitalist, anti-western movement that had much legitimacy given India’s own experience with British imperial colonialism and its exploitative capitalistic economic policies that destroyed much of India’s native industries and impoverished Indians on a large scale.
However, that is all in the past, and things have changed considerably in the past twenty or so years. The former Soviet Union is dead, India has come a long way from its Socialist past, and Hindus have gained enormous confidence in their ability to perform at world class levels.
In this election, we are faced with two candidates in Clinton and Trump. Trump is a different type of candidate from the standard Republican torchbearers of yore, and appears to have stumbled onto a platform that can be summarized by three salient points:
1. An end to American involvements in wars abroad where American national security is not directly affected.
This is a welcome proposal as the history of such American involvement shows that in most cases the countries intervened in have become worse afterwards. In recent history, President Bush is blamed for invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam Hussein on the false charge of harboring weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that were never found. Post invasion Iraq has been a disaster, and tens of thousands of Iraqis have died in sectarian bloodshed, and allowed ISIS to take birth. However, despite this Bush blunder, the Obama administration appeared to learn nothing from it, and under Clinton as secretary of state, proceeded to foment the various color revolutions in 2009–2012 or so. It intervened in Libya and killed Ghaddafi, who was a doddering senile old man by this time. After his regime was overthrown, there has been chaos in Libya, and it opened the floodgates to a large African refugee problem that started washing up on the shores of the Mediterranean European countries. The same Obama administration was also trying to wave NATO in Putin’s face in the Ukraine where they tried to foment unrest against the Russia-friendly Ukrainian government. Neo con Robert Kagan and his wife Victoria Nuland at the State department played an instrumental role in engineering the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Yanukovych, which prompted the Russians to seize the Crimean peninsula. In Syria, the Obama administration has steadily droned that “Assad must go”, again learning nothing from the disasters of post-Saddam Iraq or post-Ghaddafi Libya.
Trump’s insistence on his opposition to the Iraq war, as well as American involvement in other Middle Eastern disasters including the destruction of Libya, and his plan to work with the Russians to stabilize the Assad regime in Syria and destroy ISIS is a common sense policy. With the specter of Islamic jihadis running on a murderous rampage throughout the world, it is silly to think of Russia and Putin as the enemy as so many in the Democratic and mainstream Republican party seem to think.
2. A rational immigration policy.
One of the central planks of Trump’s platform is to tackle the illegal immigration problem by building a wall on the southern border. In addition, he has said to great criticism that he would temporarily ban the entry of Muslims to the US until “we can figure out what is going on”. Those opposed to him call this bigoted in the extreme. However, there is nothing bigoted about insisting that the laws and borders of a country be respected. Many Indians support India’s building a wall with Bangladeshis to keep illegal Bangladeshis out. Many Indians will support India’s building a wall with Pakistan to keep Pakistanis out, especially the violent criminal ones. Israel has a wall to keep Palestinian terrorists out. Jordan is building a wall with Syria to keep ISIS out. The Chinese built a huge wall to keep the Mongolians out. Even the Vatican built a wall 800 years ago to keep Muslim invaders out. It would be intellectual hypocrisy to suggest that the US should not have such a wall.
Unless of-course, you oppose all types of walls and are a believer in ‘open borders’. In an imperfect world with much inequality, the open borders argument is itself hypocritical as it has no ability to influence countless despotic regimes (such as China or the wealthy Middle Eastern sheikhdoms that do not even grant citizenship) while holding only certain democratic countries to a much higher standard even if it utterly changes their demographic composition and causes social chaos.
As far as the temporary ban on Muslims goes, this seems to be a common sense reaction when you have Islamic radicals committing many acts of terrorist violence in liberal Western countries who have mostly welcomed these Muslims. In any case, importing Muslims or Hindus or Germans or anyone else is not some sort of an essential requirement that America cannot live without. There are 320 million Americans here already and presumably they are more than capable of running the country without needing a steady supply of Muslim immigrants some of who may be looking to commit great acts of violence.
Trump’s ban on Muslims is also a reaction to Merkel’s policy of admitting 2 million Muslim refugees into Germany. This policy of Merkel’s has been done in a most undemocratic manner, and no consensus or permission has been sought from the German people whether they want millions of people from an alien culture that generally despises Western culture and way of life. In addition, anyone who objects to this is sent to the corner and accused and destroyed by being labeled a ‘racist’, ‘Islamophobe’, and that most frightening of all slurs, ‘Nazi’. One can be sure that if Trump hadn’t talked of banning Muslims here, some left wing ‘progressive’ would have been demanding why the US wasn’t taking in 10 million Muslim refugees (after-all, the US is 5 times bigger than Germany). A standard Republican might have said ‘no more than 5 million’, and he/she would have been branded an Islamophobic fascist for not agreeing to 10 million. Trump, being the businessman that he is, has started with the most extreme negotiating position in this case, which he may relax later, but to be sure, the compromise will not be anything like Merkel’s Germany. In fact, while Trump is often compared to Hitler, the real German-leader comparison that should worry us is Clinton’s admiration for Merkel.
3. Rational trade deals that do not end up hurting blue collar American workers
Again, this is a common sense policy that any American patriot has to advocate. It is indisputable that all of the free trade deals have benefited well educated workers at the top of the value chain, corporations, politicians, and blue collar workers in Third World countries such as China or Mexico or India. As an Indian American, I wish for India to do well, but cannot intellectually demand that American workers suffer and lower their standard of living to raise someone else’s.
Trump is often branded as a ‘far right’ politician, even though of his three planks, two are traditionally ‘left wing’ positions; only the immigration policy could be considered ‘right wing’. Of-course, it is indisputable that some members of the far right — neo Nazis, KKK types — have been enthusiastic of Trumps candidacy. Indian Hindus are just as undesirable to these types as any other non- European immigrant. But here is the thing: Trump is hardly a Nazi. Trump’s daughter Ivanka married a Jewish man, and converted to Judaism herself. Her child is Jewish. Trump’s main speechwriter, Stephen Miller, is Jewish, as are some of his wealthy backers such as Robert and Rebekah Mercer and Sheldon Adelson. The neo-Nazis often talk disparagingly of ‘cuckservatives’: white conservatives who have been ‘cuckolded’ by women and other minorities. Trump is said to be an ‘alpha’. However, what kind of a self-respecting ‘alpha’ ‘Nazi’ would allow his own daughter to become a despised, hated Jew (despised by the Nazi bigots that is)? So if anyone is being conned by Trump, it is his neo Nazi supporters who don’t seem to be all that bright.
In any case, from the point of view of Hindus, the left wing alliance of minorities is hardly welcoming any more. We have already seen that in India, the alliance of various sundry minorities such as the Dalits, Muslims, Christian missionaries, Marxists, and Naxalite Maoists allied with the Congress party are united only in their hatred of Hinduism and Hindus in general. And that left wing coalition is globalist in nature; it is aided and abetted by left wing groups in the West, including such institutions as the New York Times who constantly give space only to the most odious of the Hinduphobic India baiters, the ample amount of academic Hinduphobia on display, entirely from the left (after-all, it is not white supremacists who are doing it) and even right wing evangelical Christian groups who in India are part of the ‘left wing’ coalition. The NGO/Christian based hounding of Modi also needs no repetition; all of this has been done by so-called ‘progressive’ forces that are aligned with ‘Breaking India’ forces as shown by Rajiv Malhotra. Thanmozi Soundararajan, who was at the Hindus for Trump rally in order to ‘oppose Hindutva’s joining with Trump’, is a classic Hinduphobic bigot (she calls Deepavali an ‘upper caste’ festival, and would no doubt fight to have it abolished if she could) whose motley collection of Dalit, Khalistani, Kashmiri, Muslim, and Christian coalition has fought tooth and nail attempts by Hindus to get a decent portrayal of their culture in California school textbooks. Hindus should realize that the Democratic party in the US is becoming like the Congress party in India: a collection of motley minority groups who are united only in their hatred of white men. However, since Hindus are not white men, you might say you have nothing to fear. But remember that old leftist story?
“First they came for the Gypsies, I said nothing. Then Jews, Catholics, disabled, yadda yadda, then me, and no one left to speak for me”?
Well it has to be turned around now:
“First the left came for the white men and I said nothing, then they came FOR ME”.
Hindus, you are next! In India, you are already front and center. Your victim card pales in comparison to that of Blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, Dalits, Gays, Women, Transgendered, Black-Dalit-Transgendered-Muslims and so on. Of-course, it matters not a whiff that none of these groups are ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ themselves; they are motivated purely by an identity-based rent-seeking arrangement with the Government. They are also not interested in social justice; only in capturing and holding power. While Hindu-Americans have plenty of interest in actual social justice issues, the current Marxist “intersectional” claptrap will require them to disown their own heritage in order to be part of that coalition. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for the strengthening of the ‘Breaking India’ forces, as well as groups like Thanmozi Soundararajan. And while neo-Nazis may spew venom on Hindus, at least they are not part of the mainstream, and the vast majority of institutions and the public shun them. However, the left wing Hindu bigots, whose hatred for Hindus is greater than anything neo-Nazis have dreamt up, are actively encouraged and given prominence by academic institutions, the media, and funding agencies. This same Soundararajan for instance, was a featured speaker at UC Berkeley recently. Remember that all those Hindus being hacked to death in Kerala and Bengaluru recently are being butchered not by white neo Nazis, but by left wing extremists and their unholy alliance of Marxists, mullahs, and missionaries.
Similarly, while the ‘right wing’ in the USA may have some rabid Christians who want a free hand for their conversion activities in India, they are already part of the left wing alliance there anyway. If gov. Pence is a devout Christian, so is Kaine, and he was even a missionary in Honduras. Hindu nationalists in India have a better chance of negotiating these things with other nationalist groups than the globalist left wing coalition.
So in this election, the choice is very clear. Trump may be an undisciplined candidate with a questionable personal standard of behavior, but he is far better than the leftist rabble that continues to grow in strength. While Trump may ‘grab women by their genitals’, women can at least be aware of this and keep their distance from him. Besides, and I am no lawyer, I do believe that grabbing someone by their genitals is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. So if he does do that, you can sue him and get him impeached. However, if Clinton goes and deposes yet another dictator of some tinpot country somewhere, creates a huge bloodbath prompting millions of refugees to knock on America’s door, they will all be let in. In case you complain, you will be called a racist or a fascist. And there is nothing much you can do about it because that sort of thing is neither illegal nor unconstitutional.
Woke Hindu Americans should vote for Trump/Pence on November 8th, 2016.