Partha Chakraborty is an Indian-born immigrant, a naturalized US citizen since 2018. Educated in India and at Cornell University, Dr Chakraborty is currently an entrepreneur in water technologies, blockchain and wealth management in the US and in India. The views expressed are his own.
I thought I was prepared. The glass with my favorite poison was just round enough to fit into my palm, a glistening shiny ball of ice sunk to the bottom of the pale brown elixir, and I was nestled deep inside a well-worn lair. It has been long since there was a live slugfest of the athletic kind on television, a spectacle of a grudge match will do — was the thought in my head.
Judging by some headlines, I got my money’s worth. “Food fight in Cleveland”, “POTUS TV: Spectacle Made for Video”, “POTUS relentlessly heckles Biden”, “Swamped by Bluster and Crosstalk” read the banners.
It was so scurrilously a predictable performance that you could almost draft the inches beforehand.
“Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and groups to say they need to stand down and not add to the violence and number of the cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?” Chris Wallace, the moderator, asked President Trump.
“Sure. I’m willing to do that,” said Mr Trump, adding in the same breath, “Almost everything I see is from the left wing. Not from the right wing. This is not a right-wing problem. This is left wing.”
Mr Trump brings up left-wing violence every time he is asked to condemn white supremacists, even when his own administration cannot back up his claims.
Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, was quoted as saying “when white supremacists act as terrorists, more people per incident are killed.”
FBI director Christopher Wray said under oath that “racially motivated violent extremism,” mostly from white supremacists, has made up a majority of domestic terrorism threats.
Let that sink in. The Number One source of domestic terrorism are people like Kyle Rittenhouse who walk in with an assault rifle, kill two people and calmly walk past SWAT cars to his safe haven.
The number one terrorist threat is not that thing called “Antifa” that even the FBI director said was an idea, not an organization.
When reminded, the President replied: “You have to be kidding.”
You could attribute his comment to his playing fast and loose with data, facts and rules every single time they go against you. You saw that play today, he had little regard for decorum or time-limits, no respect for the umpire, no respect for the fallen, no empathy for the sick and the stricken.
He even had the gall to reiterate he was doing a “fantastic job” in the face of over 200,000 dead and 7.2 million cases of COVID-19.
He calls it best economy ever when last three years of last Presidency produced better numbers in many respects than first three (pre-pandemic) years under Trump.
But it goes far deeper than that. The many faces of Trump blushes at the thought of turning pejorative when confronted with ravages of white right that even his $70,000 worth of hairstyling cannot hide.
That brings me to typical Trump voters. When I hear them bemoan lack of opportunity in their flyover counties, I hear echoes from growing up in India. These are the people who choose not to retrain, reorient or relocate for opportunities, fail to create them for their own, and expect to be served on a proverbial platter at their location.
It can happen by subsidizing a dying trade or industry, just because satisfying their
demand means not supporting a trade or technology or industry of the future, and thus letting a very eager China to steal lunch of tomorrow.
As an immigrant who chose to call this country his own, one who not only traveled over ten thousand miles, but retrained and reoriented himself many times, I find their ask laughable at best.
Their single-minded opposition to the last President — the one who actually inspired me to go through the naturalization process — stinks to high heaven of pure racism, a fact many of them are more than willing to accept even when the tape is rolling.
Mr Trump even launched his long march to White House with the same canards.
In Trump they found somebody exactly like them. Boorish, uncouth, proud of his lack of inquiry, smug in his “alternative facts”, perverted disregard for science just to fit political dogma, quick to pretend victim even when he is the bully in the courtyard.
I would call it a positive if a political system is crafted to minimize wreckage caused by his lowliness; we have quite the opposite in an electoral college created for the sole
purpose of placating slave-owning Southern states. It can be, and is, manipulated to serve the specific idiocies of the white underclass by the 45th.
What we saw on Tuesday night is exactly how the white right wants to behave — never one for rules or boundaries, never one for decorum, never one for facts. You can not call them on it, it makes them do more of the same.
You can work to make them irrelevant, if not invisible. As long as it is not done, Trump will be a handmade messiah for the white right.
It will be a long slog, but worth it. Let’s get to it.