The MAGA Fever – An Incredible Phenomenon:
Like many other people eager to see actual socio-political change, there is nothing more scintillating and enthralling than the United States presidential election. The outcome of which has a significant impact on global affairs.
Since 2015, social media and cable networks were on a feverish pitch to cover the presidential debates & election events. People around the world including my country India awaited the elections in eager anticipation to see who would win between an establishment backed Democrat & the enigmatic Republican who was revolutionizing conservatism? After all, we were witnessing the genesis of a socio-political renaissance, a true game changer affecting the very ethos of American society.
To me, the beginning of 2015 seemed like yet another dreary election season ripe with predictable lackluster performances and “Kabuki theatre” styled dramatics from politicians on either sides of the aisle. However, August 2015 changed all that when Republican candidate Mr. Trump made some rather startling but astute points. He talked about some elemental subjects that were then considered too taboo to discuss out in the open. While broaching the subject of national security vis-a-vis immigration his emphases on the right of self determination for the American people was the ultimate deal breaker.
The Trump phenomenon was not only groundbreaking, it also accelerated the evolution of what is now known as the “Alt-right” movement into public discourse. The social Trumpian slogan, better known as “MAGA” ( Make America Great Again!) is now available on hats and t-shirts sold in shopping malls all around the world including India.
MAGA Mania Reaches India – What Does Trump’s America Mean For India?
The 2016 US election was given a fair amount of coverage by the Indian corporate media. Despite trying their best to appear non-partisan, I did notice our news media showing a clear bias in favor of the Clinton camp. Two of our biggest English language news channels i.e. CNN-IBN & Times Now are actually controlled by the American media group Times Warner Inc. & the London based Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd respectively. Needless to say, both these western corporate media giants are part of the establishment elite which favored their preferred candidate: Hillary Clinton. If that does not speak volumes, I don’t know what can?
Like their western liberal counterparts, the English language Indian news networks focused on replaying sound bites as well as quotes taken out of context when it came to building an unfavorable narrative on Donald Trump. They would even invite leftist “pundits” and media personalities to talk about the potential risks of having a Trump presidency in the White House with negative implications for India.
Meanwhile, some right-wing Hindu nationalist groups and forums such as the “Hindu Sena” ( which literally translates as “Soldiers for Hinduism”) were quite busy chanting praises of the Republican presidential nominee. There was a widely publicized video event where they performed “Pujas” ( prayers & offerings) for Trump’s success in the elections. One particular event that catches my mind was the public celebration of Trump’s birthday this year with cakes, desserts and flower garlands to adorn the event.
People in India had mixed feelings about the US presidential elections. To be fair, many Indians seemed to have a negative opinion on Trump. According to quite a few of them, a Trump victory meant the end of the world. They would express their fears based on Trump’s firm stance on immigration as well as getting jobs back to American citizens first. The main stream media and newspapers had a plethora of negative stories and editorials related to Trump on these issues.
Till date, I can’t really remember a single positive story in the Indian media about the New York business tycoon turned reality TV celebrity turned Presidential nominee. This could explain the overwhelming number of people not too keen on a Trump presidency. However, there were a few people like me in India who seemed to almost fanatically desire a Trump victory in the elections.
A conservative Republican President in the White House generally works out more favorably in India’s interest. A strong Republican congress along with Trump’s strategy to work closely with India against global terrorism and check China’s rising power in Asia is a win-win situation for both nations. On the other hand, the Democrats tend to collaborate and appease radical Islamic terrorist sponsoring nations like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia & Qatar. Additionally, Mr. Trump also has personal investments in India’s booming real estate market. His company has real estate projects in Indian cities like Mumbai and my home city of Pune. Based on his recent interviews on the nation, Trump has affirmed to cement the close political ties between the two countries.
Finally, an important point is the prospective Trump administration’s earnest fervor to work in good relations with another global power – Russia. India and Russia have been very close allies since 1947 when India achieved independence from colonial Great Britain. The Indo-Russian alliance is at an all time high. At the same time, the United States has cultivated a very good relation with India. A trilateral partnership between the United States, Russia & India based on mutual geo-political interests can only prove to be beneficial to all parties concerned. One objective which all 3 nations seem to share is combatting radical Islamic terrorism worldwide. With amicable ties between these 3 nations, executing this objective only becomes a lot more easier.
Why Would I, Some Guy From India Desire A Trump Victory?
I had studied & worked in middle America for a few years before returning back home to India. Between the years 2009-2014, I resided mostly in the states of Indiana & Illinois. My brother who is an American citizen lived in Chicago, IL which was easy for me to reach just in time for Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving. During this period of time, my interactions with people in the midwest was a real eye-opener.
In those years, one could sense the rising tides of frustration among many working class Americans who rightly felt that they were given a raw deal. The media and the entertainment industry had not been kind to middle America.
From displaying awful stereotypes demeaning conservatives on TV right up to helping legislate draconian laws which put traditional Americans at a clear disadvantage, the damage was being done.
Meanwhile, factories were closing down or moving abroad, turning much of the industrial belt up north into rusty ghost towns. People were being laid off. Depression & suicide rates were at an all time high. Many folks who once owned thriving small businesses in the 80’s & 90’s now had to contend with slogging two to three menial jobs just to stay afloat. Needless to say, I was greatly disheartened by their conditions. I tried to help some of my friends financially, but there was only so much I could do. It was heartbreaking at times!
Many good hardworking American families whom I personally knew as friends in small towns had to risk ill-health & ice storms just to get to work 60 miles away from their homes. Federal, state and county taxes only kept getting higher while the infrastructure crumbled. The so called affordable healthcare act (ACA) which was supposed to be President Obama’s greatest legacy only served to strain the tax payer even more with rising premiums.
The academia and MSM (main stream media) were busy ostracizing traditional working class Americans for being privileged while urban centers were being wrecked with inner city violence and anti-police protests.
People were getting fed-up with the decadent system. For quite some time, any small wave of resistance seemed futile with the conservative establishment failing it’s base miserably for the past 8 years. And all of a sudden emerges a New York based businessman Donald Trump with chants of American victory making the rest history.
It was only a year back when I discovered you tube channels such as “Black Pigeon Speaks”. It reinforced my beliefs and validated my observations on the status-quo of much of the western world. I can confidently state that long before Donald Trump even won the Republican race, I had already placed my bets on him winning in the general elections. To me, he represented a long awaited populist movement that would be the much needed anti-dote to the present ailments afflicting American society. His victory would serve as a worthy comeuppance to all those smug establishment elites who had for so long suppressed the will of the people of the republic.
On November 8th 2016, the whole day passed by in nail biting suspense. Since India is ahead of the United States in time zone, I had to wait for 12 hours just to get the earliest updates. Something changed within me due to this election. Although born & raised as a Roman Catholic, I never considered myself as much of a believer. I preferred to describe myself as a rationalist. This election fever almost tried to change my core personal beliefs. In my eager anticipation, I actually recited a Catholic prayer just a few hours before the results could be declared fervently interceding for Mr. Trump to win.
Triumph of the Titan – Presidential Elect Donald J. Trump
I guess my prayers were actually answered. Against all odds, Donald Trump did it. He won! Since last month, I’m actually in a state of Euphoria. My joy was amplified with comical videos of seeing various liberal Hollywood celebrities, MSM personalities and all those whiny Hillary supporters crying like petulant children.
I’m happy for the country where I used to reside. I’m happy for my brother and all my dear American friends in the mid west. I’m happy for the direction the nation may take in the forthcoming years towards rebuilding the elements of the American dream.
Perhaps this successful formula where the will of the people defeat the agenda of the globalist elite could be replicated in Europe & the rest of the world. I join you all my friends in hoping for the best in what the Trump presidency has to offer in order to “Make America Great Again!”