Thursday, 27 January, 2022
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Trump is not nuts, he is presiding over the highest growth rates in recent times

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The Left-Liberal NYT-CNN-BBC-Guardian-Economist consensus that many Indians have bought into about Trump simply does not hold water.

Either because he says and does the right things, or because he is lucky (and who can disparage fortune), Trump is presiding over the highest growth rates in recent times, the lowest inflation rates and the lowest unemployment rates. His business-friendly executive actions seem to be paying off. He may get re-elected (as a not-so-distinguished predecessor of his said: “it’s the economy, stupid.”) and one wonders what the pundits of NYT-CNN-BBC will have to say then.

On foreign policy, he has finally summoned the courage to openly say that the anti-Russia positions of the elitist US Deep State are foolish. The US and Russia can and should work together. He has backed one side clearly in the Middle East — the modernising wing of the Saudi royal family. While this approach has its risks, it has some clarity. It’s far superior to the Democrat Jimmy Carter undermining the modernising Shah in Iran or the Democrat Barack Obama apologising for the West in Cairo, encouraging the young to pursue absurdly anarchic goals and wrecking the regime of a dependable ally like Mubarak.

Trump is now pushing for an ambitious and wide-ranging domestic tax reform. If it goes through, Trump may preside over a Reaganesque growth spree and strengthen his position. If, for some reason, the US Congress stymies him on tax reform, he will again emerge as the political winner. His supporters will conclude that they must strengthen their man in DC.

To some extent, this has already happened by the stubborn defence of Obamacare that has been put up by the political establishment. Everyone who is upset with his or her insurance will blame the Democrats. Everyone who may have been deprived as a result of the repeal of Obamacare, will not notice. People rarely notice the “absence of problems”. Modern societies who have been spoiled by decades of leftist entitlement rhetoric (with no attention at all to civic duties or obligations or to personal responsibility) have successfully created millions of perpetual grumblers and complainers. Ironically, Trump is and will continue to be the political beneficiary of this state of affairs.

It is fashionable for many to make fun of Trump’s tweets. It is wrong to conclude that these are attacks on CNN or Zuckerberg or the hapless Theresa May. These are coded messages to Trump’s own support base, where he continues to retain the votes that he needs and wants for 2020.

Many years ago, I got into an argument with a couple of American friends. My position was that a leader does not become a nut case merely because Time and Newsweek repeatedly say so. For my money, Gaddafi was smart and not mad, even as he indulged in disreputable and despicable rhetoric and actions. Getting rid of Gaddafi has shown us that the pop psychoanalysis of Time and Newsweek, and BBC for that matter, were misplaced. The real mad persons of Libya are now wandering around that unhappy country.

Hillary Clinton once argued that there was “a vast right wing conspiracy” against her husband. I wonder if she can now discern a vast left-liberal conspiracy against Trump. Some of us are inclined to make the argument that rather than being mad or comical, Trump is an intelligent leader who knows how to successfully press the hot button that energise his supporters and who brings a refreshing clarity to domestic and foreign policy—a clarity that has for years been hidden in the fog of political correctness and a refusal to steadfastly defend Western/American exceptionalism.

Someone should tell Hillary’s media friends that the shriller the attacks on Trump by  NYT-CNN-BBC-Economist, the greater the evidence on the ground that he is succeeding.

Jaithirth Rao lives in Mumbai. He is an entrepreneur and a writer.

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  1. As a former colleague and (proud to say) friend of Jerry Rao, I am pleased to congratulate him on his cogent and courageous comments on the U.S. president. Recognition of the leftist conspiracy against Trump is something many, abroad and in the U.S. , would do well to recognize. One wonders what that conspiracy will have to say in the face of the future economic growth resulting from the just passed tax legislation.

  2. At some stage, people have to make a choice if high growth rates (or development as in India’s case) rationalises / balances a Head of State’s other glaring drawbacks: of a sexual harasser, a bigot, a divisive figure, a paranoid man lacking in civility. If a country’s populace is alright with economic targets met at the expense of all these things, then Trump emerges a successful leader. If not, and if they demand something more basic – like decency and guarantees of life and property, then Mr Rao’s assessment that Trump isn’t a fool stands good.

    • Then Mr Rao’s assessment doesnt* hold good, I meant. It falls flat on the bum. Also, high growth for whom is a big question. Unless we are very sure of trickle down effects of growth in a highly capitalistic economy, wrong to presume benefits of high growth are indeed reasonably well spread. Also, global economies are picking up. Is this down to Trump or he’s gotten lucky. Germany n mid-Wars saw unprecedented growth, and technological advances that when seen neutrally were brilliant. So did Imperialist Japan. But, at what cost?

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