What Appears To Have Cost Trump. The Election – by Rajmohan Gandhi
The deadlock in US, is the Log in Trump’s eyes, America First! By that what he means is: "Whites First." What is indefensible is the head of state toking misinformation (and potential for violence) by accusing his opponent of “trying to steal the election”.
The good news is Joe Biden, the 46th the second Catholic after John F. Kennedy, to take over the office with the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, some 160 years ago. Often one has to see to believe. I was fortunate to see it some 50 years ago when I got the undreamt of chance to land in New York by ship from Calay, France.
US publicity materials!
As a youngster studying in madras I had seen US publicity documentaries, which showed only all white well-dressed people, no BLACKS at all. I was shocked out of my misconception, for the firs time only during my travel on Gray Hound bus from NY to Chicago, on my way to Marquette to study Journalism.
On the bus I was closely watching the picturousqe landscape on both sides. Suddenly I spotted, I couldn’t believe, a school with all black students, so continued to watch more closely, and to my surprise more schools, some with all white, some with all black, which I could not digest.
Chicago gave biggest shock!
The biggest shock came when I landed in Chicago’s underground bus terminal. I thought I was landing in the heart land of Africa, with hardly any white person to spot. Since there was long waiting time to connection, I went out to see if I was mistaken. No, I wasn’t.
It was the heartland of Chicago where the lowly placed Blacks were huddles together, when the Whites flee to suburbs, for fear their children may fall in love with black neighbors, “Who wants my daughter to marry a black boy?”.All these forced me later to study Gunnar Myrdal’s “Melting pot theory” which didn’t melt.
Melting pots don’t melt!
So even to day whites from various European countries live huddled together in water-tight enclaves like different Pots put together which don’t meet or touch each other to melt. It is a very long story to write.
On the brighter side when I landed at NY harbor, it was a White man, Dani Beresheim, a German married to an Italian, whom I never met before, but got a letter addressed to a needy missionary in India with some gifts, which the Rector, Shrider gave to me. It contained his address in NY and I replied thanking and saying: “I am coming to NY, starting from the Frech shore” giving the name of the ship, as there was no time to get a reply.\
And what a surprise, at the middle of the Voyage on the 3rd day I get a telegram in the ship, “Dear Jim, I am Dani, a fat man, will be at NY harbor to take you, put on your clerical colar to spot you.”
That I did, all else were a wild dream come true! Dani spotted me in the ship,shoutd, took out my bags and baggages, with nothing to worry, drove me to his house, kept and fed me, and took me several times to see New York World Fair going on then, forced me to stay with him one week and put me on Gray Hound bus to Marquette with no cost to me. Believable? It did happen to me, why I don’t know still! God bless that ‘Good Samaritan Dani’.
Color and Caste blindness!
If color blindness in US is the original sin in US, Caste blindness in India is our Original sin and you know all the atrocities done in its name. So both in India and US we all have much to change, instead of Pot calling the Kettle black.
May that help us to follow the lead now being given by Joe Biden to strive for a Humane Humanity of Unity and Brotherhood (Fratelli Tutti) living in a sprawling borderless, dry earth now reduced to a GLOBAL VILLAGE of instant communication! james kottoor, editor ccv.
By obliging millions of Americans to vote by mail, Covid has lengthened the counting process in America’s elections. Though it may seem that a cloud continues to hang over the outcome, some conclusions can perhaps be drawn.
One is that Donald Trump’s exit is almost certain. His evident defeat offers a significant lesson: Like other tides of history, an ethnonationalist tide too can recede, or be made to retreat.
When, again and again, Trump shouted “America First!”, everyone knew that he meant “Whites First.” A rejection of Trump, no matter how narrow, will announce America’s rejection of White supremacy and become a historic moment for the world.
Though nationalism has its downside, it often unites a nation. Ethnonationalism, on the other hand, divides a nation by privileging one of its sections. “Whites must take America back,” “Muslims must dominate Turkey” and “Hindus are India’s masters” are ethnonationalist cries.
By apparently winning for Biden the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia, Blacks in cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee and Atlanta may have saved America as a nation for all Americans.
Campaigning with fearsome energy during the final days, Covid-afflicted Trump fired up his substantial base and obtained more votes than he got for his 2016 victory. Unfortunately for him, Biden in 2020 has exceeded Hilary Clinton’s 2016 tally by far larger numbers, receiving more votes than anyone in US history, and eclipsing Trump by more than four million votes.
It took a lot to bring Trump to this point. Because his niece quietly collaborated with The New York Times reporters, America learnt that this supposed billionaire was paying $750 a year as income tax. Dozens of fact-checkers assembled a mountain of Trump’s provable lies. Two additional heaps grew before America’s eyes, one of Trump associates jailed by the law, another of staff members fired by him.
After a brave girl took a video of the murder of George Floyd, the streets of a hundred American cities erupted with protesters of every race. Civil servants stepped forward to tell the truth, anonymously to begin with, and openly later. Risking the wrath of loyalists, a few prominent Republicans campaigned openly against Trump under a “Lincoln Project” banner.
For years a committed Republican and a member of Trump’s “Covid Task Force”, Olivia Troye from El Paso, Texas, quit the team and publicly denounced Trump’s inaction over Covid.
Though overcoming his own Covid infection, Trump paid the price for claiming continually that the disease was “about to disappear”. In their homes and hospitals, Americans saw that Covid’s destructive spread took zero note of the race, creed or nationality of humans in its way. They also saw women and men of every race serving Covid’s sick or dying targets.
Covid exposed the hollowness of racial superiority, but White supremacy remains an American force that received a powerful impetus from Trump’s occupancy of the White House. And from his marketing skills.
Trump enabled Whites, a huge majority in the land, to think they were America’s victims. In effect, he told them that they had been betrayed by their country’s establishment, intellectuals and media – by the Deep State, as he and others described the supposed enemy. Also, Trump warned America’s Whites of “threats” from Blacks, other non-Whites, immigrants, and a “hostile” world.
Though apparently defeated, Trump is not “about to disappear”. There is talk of his running again in 2024. Fortunately for the U.S. and the world, however, there are symbols other than Trump for Americans to rally around. Apart from Lincoln, Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, there is the image that America saw after the George Floyd killing of Americans of all races, genders and ages marching for equality and mutual respect.
That memory could soon clash with images of disagreement and even conflict within the coalition of progressive and moderate Democrats that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris represent. The future of the Republican Party will be equally if not more interesting. In the wake of the election, some Republicans have openly warned that a solely White party will soon be out of sync with a changing America.
That White grievance may not long survive as a winning strategy was understood by Trump himself. His campaign tried very hard, and not without some success, to appeal to Black and other non-White voters, while simultaneously encouraging supremacist groups.
Also interesting to watch will be the ability of a President Biden to work with a Senate likely to remain under Republican control and with a House of Representatives where Democrats will be somewhat weaker than they have been for two years. Meanwhile, a majority of Americans and many in the world will probably be relieved at the setback that ethnonationalism seems to have received. (Rajmohan Gandhi is presently teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.)