Trump or Biden: Desis Can Make History

By Bhamy Shenoy

For once, President Trump spoke the truth during the recent Republican convention. He roared that this election is the most important one deciding which direction the country will take. While we hear such warnings during each election, this time the wolf has finally come to town. I am sure that Desi Indians, most educated and most affluent  are fully aware of this warning. Still, it is a mystery that both mainline and ethnic papers are writing that more than 30% Indian-Americans (during the 2016 general election close to 80% voted democratic) are likely to support Trump.

Desis can indeed make a difference, first by voting and second by registering their opposition to what Trump stands for. No papers write about how even the young children who are neither left nor right are urging their parents and relatives to vote against Trump. This is based on my informal survey.  It is true that children cannot vote, but it shows how they feel about Trump.

In the next election more than 1.5 million Indian-Americans are likely to vote. In three battleground states – Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin- there are 320,000 Indian-Americans. Trump’s winning margin in these three states was 43,000, 10,700 and 21,000 which is just 23% of total potential votes by Indian-Americans.

Three factors which are often mentioned as the reason for Desis supporting Trump are: tax cuts by Trump which has reduced the income tax for the rich, the opposition by few democratic Congressmen like Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, etc against  India’s Constitution Amendment Act and perceived strong friendship between Trump and Indian PM Modi. However when these factors are stacked against the compelling reasons for voting out Trump, any rational thinking Indian-Americans will be swayed.

Vote for Biden is a vote to preserve democracy and noble principles the US stands for. Just like Brutus in Shakespeare’s drama is an honorable person, Trump is also an honorable person. It is just that he is incapable of comprehending complex issues, or not interested in getting facts, or thinks he is already an expert on most subjects (recall his statement that he does not need any advice on foreign relations).

Trump “seeing many sides” and “good people on both sides” after the violent confrontation between White Supremacists and other protestors in Charlottesville, Va, brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin etc has clearly shown the ugly side of racism during Trump era and what may follow if he gets reelected.

Let me give some more shocking examples of Trumpism based on an article in the New York Times – one of the enemies according to Trump. Trump has stated that a judge of Mexican ancestry can’t do his job. He makes fun of a disabled reporter without any remorse. For him, Haiti is a “shithole.” country. He does not hesitate to suggest that  the “Second Amendment People” can/maybe do something about Hillary Clinton.

Even a high school student studying the statistics of the US rate of infection and death by Covid-19 pandemic vs. other countries can comprehend how Trump has singularly failed to control the menace. First he claimed it was a hoax. Later he announced that it would disappear. He has failed to heed to the advice of his scientific advisors. US population is 4.5% of world population but Covid-19 related deaths are 22% and number of infected is 24%.

It is a cruel joke to claim that the US has achieved energy independence. Not only has the US shale revolution come to an end with oil production falling significantly after the collapse in world oil demand, there is no chance of it recovering in the near future.

Judges on the Supreme Court are expected to vote strictly according to the constitution and laws. However how a judge interprets them is influenced by their conservative, neutral or progressive views. Since Indian-Americans are fully aware of how the Supreme Court judgment is of critical importance to the future of the US and not the three factors discussed earlier, they may not like to give an opportunity to Trump to appoint some more conservative judges as he has done during his first term.

When Trump chants mantra of “Make America Great Again”, his hidden agenda is to strive for “Make America White Again”.

When most scientists agree on the need to act urgently on climate change, Trump has done everything possible to dismantle all the strategic steps taken by previous governments and put the world and the US on a path to future disaster. Recent Hurricane Laura in the US Gulf Coast, unprecedented wildfires in California, and many such events throughout the world are a few of the warnings by nature. Not only does Trump not believe in global warming, he  also criticizes climate scientists as “prophets of doom”.

History will consider withdrawing from the Paris accord as the most dangerous decision made by Trump if it is not undone by voting him out. Just for this life and death issue alone, Indian-Americans should take active part in this election and work for the defeat of Trump irrespective of whatever problems they may have with Biden’s position on Kashmir.

Biden has not hesitated to change his position when he is properly briefed and learns about new facts. Most likely he will change his position on Kashmir as well. One should recall that Biden as chairman of Foreign Relations Committee played a key role in Indo-American nuclear deal. It was during the Obama era, the US supported India’s bid for the security council in the UN.

In conclusion, while voting rational Indian Americans will be swayed by their moral compass (Trump stands no chance against Biden) and make history to ensure that the US will remain a strong democratic and vibrant economy to promote world peace.

The writer moved to the US in 2005 and is currently residing in Missouri City.