Hillary-Trump face-off: Indian American view from the US West

Hillary-Trump face-off: Indian American view from the US West 

Sacramento/San Francisco, Oct 18 (IANS) With just a few weeks to go for the race to the White House to end, it now leaves us with two important questions: will Hillary Clintons strong political background and her stint as the first female presidential candidate in US history act in her favour or will Donald Trumps business skills turn out to be his only saving grace?

Not surprisingly, this confusion has resulted in uncertainty among the huge Indian-American community in California, the third-largest state in the US.

With the latest addition of the leaked video on Republican Donald Trump’s plate, a Fox poll showed Clinton leading Trump by seven percentage points — 49 per cent to 41 per cent. The latest PRRI/Atlantic poll has suggested that Democratic rival Hillary Clinton holds a 49-38 lead.

“This latest video was just unacceptable. Trump has already been slammed over his countless remarks about women but this one just takes the cake. I think he will lose most of the female votes now,” said Vipin Mathew, respiratory therapist at University Medical Centre of Southern Nevada.

The 2005 video released earlier this month showed Trump making lewd remarks about an unidentified married woman with whom he hoped to have sex and boasted about how easy it was to attract women with his celebrity status and even talked about groping women.

Then came another shocker last week: Intemperate remarks against troubled singer Lindsay Lohan.

As a result, nearly half the 331 incumbent Republican senators, House members and governors have condemned the lewd remarks and about 10 per cent have called for him to drop out of the race.

In the past, the Manhattan billionaire has made offensive remarks about women like giving a wife “negotiable assets” is a terrible mistake; women are essentially aesthetically-pleasing objects; sexual assault in the military is totally expected; a woman must be hot to be a journalist; pumping breast milk is “disgusting”; and Hillary would be a bad president because of her husband’s actions.

However, there were still some people who no matter what Trump did during the campaign that began in March are still rooting for him.

According to Indian-origin walnut grower and founder of the Sacramento Valley Walnut Growers Sarabjit (Sarb) Johl, the Republican nominee is just misunderstood and although he is politically inexperienced, “he’s the one with the least damage”.

“This country needs to figure out a way to deal with rising unemployment and the almost stagnant economy and who better than Trump? A leading business magnate of recent times is more capable of handling this situation,” Johl told IANS.

“Being a top businessman, he has the skill to strategise and yes I am confident that he will ‘make America better again’,” Johl added.

Johl has lived in the country since the 1960s and being migrants, “we have adapted to the ways here and this is what Trump exactly wants people to do: Come to this country legally and adjust to the American ways but not as an illegal alien and with criminal motivation”.

But another Indian-origin businessman had a different opinion and said that if Trump comes to power, Mexicans, Hispanics and most of the non-Whites will face a hard time living in this country.

“Trump’s racist comments are very concerning. He is very upfront on what he wants and if he does as he has said he would, then it will be very difficult for non-whites to sustain in this country,” Jaswant Singh Bains, a prune and walnut grower in Sacramento, told IANS.

The Republican nominee during his campaign has called Latinos rapists and criminals; he has planned on building a border wall along the Texas-Mexico border, terming Mexicans as killers; he blamed African-Americans and Hispanics for violence across the nation; and has called for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims.

“Hillary, on the other hand, has had immense political experience as a Secretary of State, a Senator and also the First Lady. Even if she has been accused of numerous things including the email and Benghazi controversy, she is still the lesser of the two evils. She would be more pragmatic; hence I will vote for Hillary,” Bains added.

Clinton has been embroiled in two major controversies: on September 11, 2012, while she was the Secretary of State, four Americans — Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and CIA contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods — were killed in an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi in Libya. The second controversy is that she used a private email server to send thousands of mails – some of them top secret, thus compromising security.

As for her health issues, she nearly collapsed during a 9/11 memorial ceremony in September which was later found to be a case of pneumonia.

Hillary won the first presidential debate, the second had no winner and the third and final would take place on October 19 in Las Vegas. The debates, which have turned out to be pure blame games, can still change the face of this race dramatically.

(Karishma Saurabh Kalita was in Sacramento and San Francisco at the invitation of the California Walnut Association. She can be contacted in karishma.k@ians.in)

1 Comment

  1. Why Clinton is bad for India? Article by Kaal Chiron.

    Wilsonians: They are Ideological Expansionists. They seek to use the economic, political and military might of the United States to create a world where all nations look to the United States for ideological leadership. Their goal is to have all other nations willingly subject themselves to the geopolitical dominance of the United States in a global Pax Americana.
    Wilsonians pretend to be “anti-imperialistic”, and conceal their intentions behind rhetoric of “democracy”, “American moral compass” and “multi-lateralism.” In this sense, the Wilsonians are the most hypocritical of all the four groups.
    The Wilsonians favour democracy in other nations, only when such democracy is guaranteed to be dominated by essentially pro-American parties who will toe the American line when it comes to making policy. They are intolerant of democratic systems which could potentially be dominated by independent parties who put their own national interest ahead of America’s.
    Wilsonians with respect to India: In this sense, Wilsonians are the most likely group to be anti-India. They are relatively happy with Manmohan Singh because of his willingness to accommodate American interests; but they are deeply distrustful of Indian babudom, and they are completely against nationalist Indian parties like the BJP.
    In fact, even though they claim to stand for “democracy”, Wilsonians prefer dictatorships that can be successfully manipulated by America, to democratic countries that are independent enough to oppose America. The Wilsonian path to American global dominance involves “balance of power” games which essentially amount to divide-and-rule. The Wilsonians see America as the true legates of the British Empire, even though they would like to couch their subsidiary alliances in the guise of “independent democratic regimes” that only seek the leadership of America because America is morally superior.
    One important thing to realize about the Wilsonians is that, since the end of the Cold War, they have actually split into two competing camps.
    As long as the Cold War was in progress, Wilsonians were more or less united in seeing international Communism, specifically Soviet Communism, as the chief obstacle to ideological dominance of the world by the United States. Henry Kissinger could be described as the archetypal old-school, Cold-War-Era Wilsonian. However, following the USSR’s collapse, there is disagreement among the two camps of Wilsonians as to what America’s priorities should be.
    These two camps of Wilsonians:
    2A) The “Bush Wilsonians”, also commonly known as “Neoconservatives”. You can read about them in original piece if you are interested. Click here

    2B) Clinton Wilsonians: The second camp of Wilsonians that has emerged following the USSR’s demise are the “Clinton-Wilsonians.” They are actually more conservative than the Bush-Wilsonian “Neoconservatives”, in that their attitudes more closely reflect the classical Cold-War-Era Wilsonians’ worldview.
    The Clinton-Wilsonians are the closest group to what Sanjay M likes to call “Atlanticists”. They are deeply distrustful of Russia, and less averse to China; they are also strongly invested in the idea of revitalizing the trans-Atlantic alliances with Western Europe that America maintained during the Cold War. For the rest of the world, the Clinton-Wilsonians firmly trust in the British techniques of divide-et-impera, and in our region in particular, they are the modern torchbearers of Olaf Caroe’s geopolitical agenda. They are more likely than any of the other groups to entertain the idea that Jihadi Islamism can continue to be a coercive policy tool in America’s hands.
    Think-tanks of the Clinton-Wilsonian persuasion include the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Most of the Non-Proliferation types who bash India while ignoring Chinese/Paki proliferation, are Clinton-Wilsonians.
    The Clinton-Wilsonians showed their eagerness to reshape the world in America’s favour following the end of the Cold War, most prominently in two instances. One was the war in Yugoslavia, which was deliberately split up into ethnic nationalities, providing additional levers of control that the West could easily manipulate. The second was the secession of East Timor from Indonesia.
    In both of these cases, it should be noted that the Clinton-Wilsonians proceeded to fulfill their agenda under the cover of “international consensus”, using the UN to pull together “coalitions” of nations which supported the American initiative. This modus operandi is a key point of differentiation between Clinton-Wilsonians from Bush-Wilsonians, who have been much more prone to reject the authority of multilateral bodies like the UN and carry out unilateral actions such as the Iraq war.
    Clinton Wilsonians with respect to India: As far as India is concerned, the Clinton-Wilsonians (who include such functionaries as Strobe Talbott, Richard Holbrooke and Robin Raphel) are an inflexible, implacable enemy. This is the single worst group that could come to dominate US foreign policy, from our point of view. They continue the most anti-India traditions of the Cold-War-Era Wilsonians, supporting Pakistan to the maximum extent possible and winking at Chinese nuclear proliferation to Pakistan, even while they bash India for developing its own nuclear arsenal. They refuse to see India as a potential strategic counter to China, and prefer to cultivate China in a “G2” model of cooperative partnership for the short-to-medium term.
    The Clinton-Wilsonians are the group who most fervently support Pakistan as a counter to India’s regional dominance, as described in George Friedman’s Stratfor article. They are the most likely group to retain the India-Pakistan hyphen wherever possible, bombard India with equal-equal psyops, and overtly rake up the Kashmir issue as a pressure point against India. They seek to restrict Indian influence to a sub-dominant level even within the “South Asian” region. This is in sharp contrast to the Bush-Wilsonians who made some attempt to dehyphenate India and Pakistan, with a view to bolstering India as strategic rival against China.
    I do not see how the Clinton-Wilsonians can be won over… when they are in charge of US foreign policy, it makes more sense for India to engage with other powerful interest groups such as the Hamiltonians so as the modulate the virulence of the Clinton-Wilsonians’ initiatives against India.
    Speaking of Wilsonians in general, Lyndon Johnson (who began the Vietnam war) was a classic Wilsonian president, as was his successor Richard Nixon (who reached out to China via Pakistan to form an alliance against the Soviet Union). This is an illustration of how the policy groups of Meade’s spectrum can often cut across Republican/Democrat party lines.
    More recently, Bill Clinton has been a Wilsonian president who was, however, always careful to secure the backing of the Hamiltonians (whose power greatly increased during the Reagan years.)
    It should be noted that there are many in the US Foreign Policy Establishment who do not fully commit to either the Bush-Wilsonian or Clinton-Wilsonian camps. Robert Gates is one such. Other examples include academics like Stephen Cohen and Christine Fair, who pretend to an independent “maverick” image but in reality always make statements that are in line with the Wilsonian flavour-of-the-month in Washington.
    You can safely assume from the article that Clinton is very bad for India. You can see that from her tenure as State Department Secratary. She inacted many Anti-India Activities, plotted many acts to drive that goal. If she comes to power you can rest assured that India wil have a tough time. Because it has to face – Terrorist Pakistan, its ally China (who will be best friend to Clinton), and Anti-India Hillary Clintion. In that respect, Trump is very very pro-India. He openly said that in the recent Hindu Conference.

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