More desponded and distressed than Hillary Clinton today are liberal elites—and not just in the United States where Donald Trump will soon take charge of the administration but all over the world. In India, the shock is somewhat familiar though, however paradoxical it might sound. Two and a half years ago, it was Narendra Modi; now it is Trump.
How they hated Modi! Communal, bigoted, mass murderer—certain epithets and adjectives were his constant companions. Ditto with the ‘misogynist,’ ‘Islamophobe,’ ‘xenophobe’ Trump. Like Modi, he is also an outsider. But Modi was an outsider to the high politics and affairs of Lutyens Delhi, not to politics itself, for he was an apparatchik of the RSS, an essentially political organization. Trump, on the other hand, was not in politics at all; he was a flamboyant billionaire with an extravagant lifestyle and a penchant for loose talk.
The New York Times’ editors are convinced that Trump “has shown himself to be temperamentally unfit to lead a diverse nation of 320 million people.” They said, “We know he lies without compunction.” He “has recruited as his allies a dark combination of racists, white supremacists and anti-Semites.” There references were to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke who supported Trump. This was despite the fact that the President-elect’s son, Eric Trump, said on November 4 that Duke deserves “a bullet.” He told a radio interviewer, “The guy [Duke] does deserve a bullet. I mean, these aren’t good people. These are horrible people… My father’s the first Republican who’s gone out and said, ‘Listen, what’s happened to the African-American community is horrible and I’m going to take care of it’.”
A top NYT editorialist, Thomas Friedman, was nonplussed by the election result: “at the moment I am in anguish, frightened for my country and for our unity. And for the first time, I feel homeless in America.” He is among a large number of celebrities who want to leave their country. A la Aamir Khan’s wife.
Huffington Post’s senior politics editor, Sam Stein, felt that Americans “chose to jump into the abyss” because Trump is one “one who has brought in his wake a scary thread of anti-Semitism and racism that has marred the entire 16-month presidential campaign.”
According to CNN’s Van Jones, Trump a “nightmare,” representing a “white lash against a changing country… a white lash against a black president in part.”
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow cautioned her viewers, “you’re not having a terrible, terrible dream. Also you’re not dead and you haven’t gone to hell.”
This is argumentum ad hominem at its worst: the position that Trump has taken on Mexican and Muslim immigrants is not rationally scrutinized and analyzed; he is maligned just for his audacity to take a stance that is at variance with the accepted canon. Anybody questioning such dogmas as ‘Islam is the religion of peace’ and ‘Islam means peace’ is sullied as a racist. Anybody questioning the racism of Black Lives Matter is dubbed as a white supremacist. Evidently, Americans were fed up with such demonization. However, intellectuals’ proclivity to blindfold themselves to the reality not conforming to their preconceived notions failed them; they couldn’t see the concerns and the anger of a large section of Americans.
Many of Trump voters were non-degree holder whites, who are regarded almost as ‘white trash’ by the highbrow liberals. The John Does and the Jane Does had lost jobs, many of which had gone to China and other places and illegal aliens. They also suffer violence at the hands of illegal Latino immigrants. And they are worried about unchecked Muslim immigration, something which Hillary Clinton, backed with the liberal establishment, would have thrust upon them, thus endangering their lives. For the ‘white trash,’ these were real problems, not some abstractions in which deracinated intellectuals immersed themselves.
By electing Trump, and by rejecting Clinton, the Americans have defied the authority, indeed the tyranny, of an intellectual establishment that is wedded to the dangerous doctrines of multiculturalism and political correctness. The results of US Presidential elections should be celebrated for, more than anything else, the defeat of liberals’ superciliousness and pomposity.