Indian Nationalists must Review their Love Affair with Trump
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 04 Nov , 2020

For the past three years or so, this analyst has watched with increasing dismay the uncritical admiration and love that the desi nationalists have been displaying and expressing for President Trump. At times, the swooning by the Trump admirers’ club in these shores has been positively embarrassing.   

This is not to deny that Donald babu had walked into a scenario where the earlier Democratic leaders had been displaying amazing myopia and dangerous illusions about India’s security concerns and the peaceful nature of our sworn adversary, Pakistan. Hillary Clinton and her coterie in the Democratic Party had been most egregious about the existential threats that our immediate western neighbour poses for us and our ancient Indic civilisation.

There was (and is) a personal chemistry between Trump and Prime Minister Modi that is genuine and impressive. Furthermore, an entire generation of new Indian immigrants from specific socio-economic backgrounds also have a very positive attitude towards Trump that is not shared by the earlier Indo-Americans who have been in the U.S. for many years. Because of these two factors, there is a now a clear bonhomie between South Block and the White House, as well as between many Indians in the old country, their new relatives in the U.S. and the current President.

All this is hunky dory. However, this writer is not a fully paid-up member of the Uncle Donald Fan Club. I have always had reservations about DT (as he will be referred to subsequently) and his policies. Just after the last American Presidential elections in November 2016, I had written an essay on DT and posed the question about the consistency of his views on India.(

One of the worries that I had expressed was whether Raisina Hill would be able to fine-tune its world-view and develop rational expectations from the Trump administration, based on a nuanced assessment of America and its society. Any hype would lead to disaster. Fortunately, things panned out rather well for Indo-American relations in the last four years. However, DT’s conduct in other areas was hardly kosher. This is the theme that I would like to develop in this essay and spell out for my readers the critical questions about DT that we must all ponder upon.

After all, as President of the U.S (POTUS), DT is the single most powerful individual on this planet. His conduct and policies have a major fall-out on every aspect of life on this globe, among which Indo-American ties are a relatively small component. Statistically however, the other policies of DT would have a major impact on how our two countries get along. The key factor, therefore, is DT and his likely conduct. What is critical is how the American electorate would respond to DT on election day, the 3rd December.

Therefore, let me get down to the principal issues pertaining to DT, not necessarily in any order of importance.   The first is the increasingly erratic behaviour of the man in the last few months. To mention just one issue, there were credible reports that DT was medicated with the steroid, Dexamet has one, used for seriously ill covid-19 patients. This is certainly alarming many because its known side effects include aggression, agitation, and “grandiose delusions”—behaviour that he already seemed to exhibit, based, at least on his Twitter writings.

There have been many red flags raised about DT in the last 3 years. Some senior American officials have said that Trump appeared to be suffering from some form of dementia. A former White House adviser Omarosa Newman stated in her book “Unhinged,” in 2018, that Trump’s “mental decline could not be denied.” Trump’s former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said, in 2019, that Trump “has declining mental faculties.”

Others, including DT’s niece Mary L. Trump, a clinical psychologist, have said that his behaviour shows the symptoms of “narcissistic personality disorder”. A number of mental-health experts have also suggested that he may suffer from “malignant narcissism,” a term that was coined by the psychologist Erich Fromm to describe Hitler and Stalin. DT, most worryingly, has even refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

If he persists with this attitude, DT will bring unprecedented disaster to his country and Indo-American ties will be nothing more than a foot-note. In a scenario presented by a well-known professor of Constitutional Law, Edward B. Foley in 2019, DT might even attempt to defy a landslide in the popular vote in battleground states.  Larry Diamond, a political scientist at Stanford, has described “by far the most dangerous scenario” in which DT could adopt Bihar-West Bengal tactics and stop the counting at midnight on election night, before the Democratic wave starts coming in. The situation will be much clearer on the night of the 3rd November (the morning – afternoon of the 4th November in India) what the trends are.

DT’s India-based fan club will be most disappointed to learn about the results of a recent poll in September this year, conducted by a reputed organisation. The data shows that Indian Americans continue to be strongly attached to the Democratic Party, with little indication of a shift toward the Republican Party. In addition, Indian Americans view U.S.-India relations as a low priority issue in this electoral cycle, emphasising nationally important issues such as healthcare and the economy. There is scant evidence that Democratic voters are defecting toward Trump and the Republican Party.

Seventy-two percent of registered Indian-American voters plan to vote for Biden and 22 percent intend to vote for Trump. There is little doubt that Harris has mobilised Indian Americans, especially Democrats. Hervice-presidential candidacy has galvanised a large section of the Indian-American community to turn out to vote. On balance, while Harris might not change large numbers of votes (given the community’s historic Democratic orientation), her candidacy is likely to ensure greater enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket.

Internationally too, DT is faring poorly. Staunchly-conservative journals like The Economist and The Spectator in Britain of London have also endorsed Biden, although the latter’s socio-economic views are quite different from what these journals normally espouse. Even the American business community is clearly less than enthusiastic about DT, who should logically have been their choice. On the 2nd December, the New York Times disclosed the list of top donors for Joe Biden. These include some of the most prominent and well-endowed names in American business who have helped Biden to surpass the funding received by DT.

For desi fans of DT, there are startling revelations about him that are just being disclosed. Earlier this year, on the 7th February, DT tweeted praise for China’s “great discipline” in fighting the coronavirus and predicted that Xi Jinping would be “successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.” Later that day, the President, in an interview with Bob Woodward, acknowledged that the virus was serious, but said, “I think that it goes away in two months with the heat.” On the 24thFebruary as infections in America increased, he tweeted, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”

For many of us in these shores, DT sounds like a variant of Rahul Gandhi and his other fellow-accomplices. The only difference is that these local yokels do not have their finger on the nuclear trigger that can bring about the disappearance of the homo sapiens species.

Finally, as a dog lover, I wish that DT, like all respected American Presidents in the past, had got himself a dog after he entered the White House. It would have done wonders for his mental stability and balance. More importantly, it would have benefited the entire globe. After all, he is the first President in the White House not to own a dog.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Jay Bhattacharjee

is an advisor in corporate laws and finance, based in Delhi. His other areas of interest include socio-political issues and military history. He has been a commentator and columnist from the mid-1990s.

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12 thoughts on “Indian Nationalists must Review their Love Affair with Trump

  1. This is a welcome essay that was long overdue. For Indians like us who live in North America and have seen the behaviour of President Trump in the last few years, it was most surprising to witness the fan club of the man in the mother country. His supposed pro-Indian stance was also very spurious. He repeatedly tried to project himself as an arbitrator to resolve Indo-Pak issues.

    On another issue, it is distressing to see the completely unacceptable language of some commentators on this Forum. It is very surprising that IDR should allow such foul language in such a prestigious publication. The Editors must take a resolute stand in this matter.

  2. Shove this article up your rear end!!!
    Donald Trump is the first American President to put China on Notice for illegal trade practices!
    He was the first one who made America Self sufficient in oil by producing oil in USA. No more reliance on Saudi and Russia.
    He was the first one to approve arms sales of critical weapons needed by India.
    He also brought many manufacturing jobs to USA.
    He also cut funding to Pakis!!!
    There is a lot more.
    Biden did not have to work hard to win this election….Trump Did.
    Biden just rode on the anti-Trump wave!!!
    No go and f..k yourself!!!!! Idiot!!!!

    • Are you a complete scumbag or what? Writing gutter language on a reputed portal’s page.

      In any case, your role model Donald the Duck Trump has been soundly kicked in his rear by the American electorate and is already history. So, you are out of a job. Tough luck, you pr..k.

  3. India and the United States on Tuesday (October 27) signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), which, along with the two agreements signed earlier — the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) — completes a troika of “foundational pacts” for deep military cooperation between the two countries. The military cooperation extended by the Trump administration is vital for India’s security needs in Kashmir. For the first time in seventy years, the US administration has shown flexibility and is giving support to India during the standoff with China.

  4. Doggone Silly Reasoning:

    1. President Trump is not acting under the influence of short term corticosteroid used during his very brief hospitalization. 2. His higher intellectual functions are not impaired. All of us without any exceptions experience some age-related cognitive impairment which does not translate into the clinical diagnosis of dementia. 3. Self-Love is the foundation for all other kinds of love. If I hate myself, I would not be able to love either God or my neighbour.

    I thank President Trump for letting his Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers of the Indian Army at the National War Memorial in New Delhi on October 27, 2020, the Indian Army Infantry Day, a national tradition that commemorates the saga of valour and sacrifice during the First Kashmir War of 1947-48. I sincerely appreciate this very warm gesture and it is extremely meaningful in terms of interpreting President Trump’s Kashmir policy.

    While sharing the warmth of our defence cooperation with the United States, India continues to rely upon the Russian support and India would still buy those Russian Missiles even if the US does not like that dependence upon Russia.

    • Very impressive Wild West American expression to start your post!. Obviously, you are a desi who thinks he is truly Americanised and a suitable member of the Trump Fan Club.

      Your entire post is meaningless and trite. To start with, there is nothing all that significant about the American Secretaries of State and Defence attending the Indian Army Infantry Day function at the National War memorial. You will be more than naive if you think they came all the way to only attend this event.

      The rest of your post is rambling nonsense that does not need rebutting.

  5. I am ashamed that I live in a country where traitors like this writer lives to spread propaganda about a truly India friendly President in US .This way he is supporting jihadi and criminal CCP supporting sleepy JB who appears always semi conscious . It is Trump who smashed Terroristan by cutting all millitary aids and devastated our main enemy CCP economically ,millitarily and diplomatically .

    • This is truly a bizarre and offensive post. The commentator clearly seems to have a personal animus against the writer, apart from being extremely puerile and immature. He does not appear to have read the article attentively or he is incapable of understanding the very serious issues posed in this article.

      I am happy that a reputed Indian journal in the defence and security field has given readers like us an opportunity to hear a voice of sanity.. Trump has acquired a huge and immature bunch of admirers and fans who seem to have discarded their thinking caps. My heartfelt compliments to the author for presenting an incisive assessment of Trump.

      • U must be a china funded troll supporting JB whose presence in White house will only embolden paki terrorist army to plan terror attacks on India and JB will also do nothing to tame criminal CCP spreading covid in whole world ,exploiting world economy thru unfare means ,attempting to occupy territoties and seas of neighbours ,encouraging terrorism thru pak ,Turkey and others ,proliferating nuclear weapons and missiles to rogue countries like ,pak ,North korea and others .

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