Politically-Incorrect Trump Makes More Sense On Patriotism, Globalism Than Left-Lutyens Elite

by R Jagannathan - Sep 25, 2019 12:14 PM +05:30 IST
Politically-Incorrect Trump Makes More Sense On  Patriotism, Globalism Than Left-Lutyens EliteUS President Donald Trump.
Snapshot
  • That it takes a Donald Trump to state this truth when it was staring in the faces of the Left-Lutyens lobby in India tells us how wilful blindness is an affliction with no cure.

    Truly, ideology creates blinkers as bad as those created by human narrow-mindedness and bigotry.

It is not often that one expects pearls of wisdom to emerge from the mouth of Donald Trump, a man known more for his boorish behaviour, misogyny, racism, and general political incorrectness.

Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly yesterday (24 September) was undiplomatic to the core, and blunt about naming and shaming those he considered America’s enemies.

On China, he said the country had “declined to adopt promised reforms” and “embraced an economic model dependent on massive market barriers, heavy state subsidies, currency manipulation, product dumping, forced technology transfers and the theft of intellectual property and also trade secrets on a grand scale.”

He also backed Hong Kong’s protesters and called on China to respect the promises made to Britain when the deal to hand over Hong Kong to China was signed in the last decade of the twentieth century.

On Iran, Trump not only declined to consider easing sanctions, but blasted what he called its “bloodlust”, blaming it directly for the drone attacks on Saudi oil installations. He said: “No responsible government should subsidise Iran's bloodlust. As long as Iran's menacing behaviour continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened.”

As this came even as other countries called for a broader engagement with Iran, but French President Emmanuel Macron said conditions were in place for Trump to talk to Iran President Hassan Rouhani. But Trump, who probably knows what is happening behind the scenes, had this to say: “The United States has never believed in permanent enemies. We want partners, not adversaries.”

If this was par for the course, his remarks on globalisation and nationalism were worth noting.

This is what he said: “The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to strong, independent nations.”

He added: “Globalism exerted a religious pull over past leaders causing them to ignore their own national interests. Those days are over.”

In a broad sense, this is the Westphalian consensus that existed before globalisation started breaking down national barriers to trade and people movements. But Trump is right to point out that the balance had tilted too much against local identities and concerns and in favour of deracinated globalists.

Trump railed not only against trade-based globalisation that capitalism brought, but also the globalism of the communist and socialist kind. He called communist ideology the “wrecker of nations, and destroyer of societies.”

In the sphere of trade, the globalisers have a huge task ahead of them: if they cannot devise schemes and programmes to lift those left behind by globalisation and trade liberalisation, there will be roadblocks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis in his first term on schemes for the poor as against the interests of only businessmen fits in well with this reality.

Trump instinctively recognised Modi as an embodiment of similar national sentiments. At a press conference after his talks with Modi, Trump was asked what message he had for Imran Khan, and his reply was simple: “The message (to Imran Khan) is not for me to give… it is for PM Modi to give, and he gave it loud and clear…”.

In short, nations will defend their interests, and in this case, Modi will defend India’s like he would America’s.

Trump’s reference came in the context of the removal of Article 370, and the loud endorsement it received from a fawning Indian-American crowd at the ‘Howdy Modi!’ event in Houston the other day.

While it is no one’s case that the days of globalisation are over, the real takeout is that when the balance between global and local identity is skewed in favour of one against the other, there will be a blowback.

This is true of the US as much as India. In the US, those who could not board the globalisation bandwagon voted Trump; in India, the demonisation of the Indic/Hindu identity by a deracinated and Hinduphobic Lutyens elite played no mean part in bringing Modi to power, not once but twice. But Modi has not only transcended his vote base to restore what was ours (our sense of being Hindu), but taken the idea of India all over the world, from making yoga international to bringing Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) back to the Indian mainstream with the effective abolition of Article 370.

The road to peace and progress in J&K is far from smooth, but the first effective steps have been taken.

That it takes a Donald Trump to state this truth when it was staring in the faces of the Left-Lutyens lobby in India tells us how wilful blindness is an affliction with no cure. Truly, ideology creates blinkers as bad as those created by human narrow-mindedness and bigotry.

Jagannathan is Editorial Director, Swarajya. He tweets at @TheJaggi.
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Comments ↓
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.
Advertisement

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.