Trump: Week One


One of the intellectually lazy, actually the word should be moronic but I am trying to be kind here, connections often made by our liberal media cognoscenti is between Trump and Modi, between the Republicans and the BJP, between the Right of India and the Right of the US, and if a poke in the eye as to the difference was ever needed, it was delivered by a succession of Trump’s executive orders. To put it in perspective, if Modi had come to power in 2014 and within a week, asked for the construction of a wall on the Bengal border, allocated more resources to search and weed out illegal Bangladeshi refugees already in India, threatened the government of West Bengal of withdrawal of federal aid if they continued to turn their back to influx of Bangladeshi refugees, put in place a number of policies that would essentially make legal Muslim migration an impossibility, and, then just for fun, asked for stringent laws across the country to ban cow slaughter, and asked Parliament for a plan to build the Ram Temple in 180 days, and made sex-determination of fetuses legal, and made Yogi Adityanath his number two man in government, then, yes, perhaps there would be a smidgen of similarity between the two.

Whatever you may have thought of Trump, one thing you have to accept. He does not waste much time. Within a week of coming to power, he has put in place, through executive orders, the foundation planks of some of the most extreme of his election promises. The hand of alt-right bannerman and the right ear of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon has never been clearer. Needless to say, stopping PhD students in linguistics or professors in biology from entering the country, some of whom have been here for years and have green cards, and some of whom are from Iran, the land of Shias who the ISIS hate the most, will do nothing to curb the ISIS menace or radical Sunni terror. Not that Trump cares. He doesn’t because a bulk of his supporters, the so-called alt-right, don’t care either. For them, this is red meat, the humiliation and defenestration of the undesirable “minorities”. For now, Trump has gone as far as he can, while being within the limits of the Constitution, which a blanket “Muslim ban” would possibly have violated, though I doubt just this would be deemed satisfactory if this is all that Trump does in four years.

That’s why Bannon is there. To keep the pressure on. And he he hasn’t done badly. This is just Week One. And it is already Christmas in January for the Breitbart crowd.

For a lot of Indian NRI Hindus, I observe regrettably an emotion that ranges from “Won’t happen to me because Trump loves Hindus” to schadenfreude because those affected are Muslims. While I would not have the courage to stick my neck out and predict what Trump will do next week, let me posit a sobering hypothesis. Steve Bannon’s army, or one of Trump’s core constituents, may rail against the Muslims and the Mexicans, but they know that their odds of being killed in a road accident are higher than of being killed by Islamic terror, and that the Mexicans aren’t the ones who are taking the jobs they would care for. Their real enemies, they believe or are made to, are the Chinese who have taken their manufacturing jobs and, hold your breath for while, Indians who have taken their IT gigs. So the sabre rattling against China will go on, on trade, but then again Trump and his team knows, and remember Trump understands his own interests if not anything else, that an all-out trade-war with China will not end well.

Fighting with nations is hard. China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia.

Individuals, well that’s quite easy.

Which leaves the H1B program, the perfect low-hanging fruit for Trump to score some brownie points with his constituents, made even lower by the fact that Donald Trump’s businesses won’t be affected by its gutting. And trust me, if Indian Cobol developers are summarily sent back, there won’t even be the gentle consolation of crowds of ACLU lawyers with “Free legal help for those affected” at the airport, or impassioned articles in the Times.

So be careful in your neutrality or delight, dear desis. Be very careful.







11 thoughts on “Trump: Week One

  1. Tongue_tied_and_twisted January 30, 2017 — 1:07 am

    Excellent article.
    The only ray of hope can be the fact that beyond regular cobol developers and Wipro/TCS/INFY ‘programmer’ there are some genuine talent working in places like silicon valley. Removing them based on H1/L1 visa will be a blow to Apple/FB/Google and other big names.

    1. Wipro/TCS/Infy programmers are also in Silicon valley. An example –

      Not that Trump and his crew give a rat’s behind if your H1 is due to ‘genuine talent’ or not.

  2. Mostly great article, but the term “alt-right” is a bit subtler. There is perhaps no consensus on what it means, but e.g., if you take Richard Spencer to be alt-right, here is an excerpt from his NPI speech (the one that had “Heil trump” etc.):

    “Donald Trump is a step towards this new normal. But even he is deeply compromised by the perversions that define this decadent society. Donald Trump warred against segregated establishments. He supports affirmative action, or put more bluntly, state-sponsored discrimination against whites. He will be perhaps the most pro-Zionist president ever put into office, turning a blind eye to continued Jewish settlement in the Palestinian territories. He opposes the Iran nuclear deal, which, we should admit, isn’t exactly that bad.”


  3. @Pandit_Lakhnavi January 30, 2017 — 3:06 pm

    To quote (actually, a translation) Martin Niemoller:

    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.

  4. what_have_i_to_lose January 30, 2017 — 3:25 pm

    The H1B programmer, for me at least, is the fake degree Andhra University “learn Java in 30 days” nose picking, English butchering greedy lout. His mail-order wife would go from “never having touch a computer in her life” to noisy ugly babies to HR recruiter to javascript programmer. I was away from Silicon Valley for a few years and am shocked at how this group has proliferated and made inroads.
    What is especially bad is that all these entry-level jobs into programming have been taken. To get a programming job as a qualified American one would need years of experience. This was the situation 10-15 years ago. Today, they’re still coming, earning good money. They have NO INTEREST in any of these subjects and have edged away those of us who do.

    I was considering programming 15 years ago but of course I never got/could get into it. Instead I got highly qualified (as in multiple advanced degrees in very difficult subjects). But guess what, H1B greedy lout is trying to hack all these other avenues bit by bit. Machine learning, AI, signal processing are all difficult subjects. There he sits in kota or rajahmundry or meerut, picking his nose, plagiarizing content on Analytics Vidhya, and trying to figure out how to hack this shift.

    Trump might be the person to deliver us from this filth who have made a mockery of everything. As for me, you know many of us have not been able to get our careers on track because of the pressures of things like the H1B program. And then there is an age limit. 15 years ago I was past the age limit. Now I should do something else. Yeah, I’m one of the few who cared about tech. Got a PhD. Have a 140+ IQ. Could have done something.

    1. I am sorry to hear what these nose picking guys managed to do to you. Perhaps it is for the best. You know, you are destined to do better things than be a low level programmer.
      I am sure your babies are not ugly. What have you planned for them? Coz these ugly babies from the nose picking folks *will* again steal the jobs in future.

      Unless of course, you are waiting for ‘Donald* to rescue the so called non-ugly race.

    2. @what_have_i_to_lose
      I agree and empathize with the sentiments expressed by you. Only thing left for some of us is to be intellectually honest. The new demographics really swept the land.

      -East-coast Indian (alt-Andhra)

  5. “So be careful in your neutrality or delight, dear desis. Be very careful.”
    As I go about my daily business, whether the ants in my yard are neutral or delighted is not the foremost thought in my mind. H1B visa holders may figure a bit lower than that in Trump’s mind. I am surprised to see the level of hurt entitlement in this, from all sides. From the extra-American perspective, an opportunity opened up, some people made use of said opportunity, now that window is closing, people need to look elsewhere, finis. Why this kolavari di?

  6. This is what I tried to tell you when you were legalistically parsing Trump’s phrases and concluding “Aal is well” (“Trump is *only* objecting to illegal immigrants, so nothing for our good hardworking model desi community to worry about”) and you refused to listen.
    Good to see you finally recognizing Trump and his cronies for what they truly are.
    Take care and be safe.

  7. “brownie points with his constituents”, NICE!!!

    I haven’t read Indian media’s comparison of Trump and Modi, but the media strategies of both are very similar. There is the tapping into the anger of the majority over perceived wrongs, the online attack brigades and the complete and total contempt for main stream media in both countries.

    Yogi Adityanath is now the chief minister of UP. Any comments?

    Also, Modi’s model for consolidation of power will probably be Erdogan in Turkey. Focus on development first and push the cultural/social agenda on the side. Given, how useless Congress has now become, I do not see any serious opposition for the next few years.

  8. Just Another Indian April 3, 2017 — 10:41 am

    “… asked for stringent laws across the country to ban cow slaughter, and asked Parliament for a plan to build the Ram Temple in 180 days, and made sex-determination of fetuses legal, and made Yogi Adityanath his number two man in government, then, yes, perhaps there would be a smidgen of similarity between the two.”

    Now that dear leader is inching closer to some of the above stated objectives, what is your take? Would you say that making Yogi Adinath the CM of UP is not as bad as making him no. 2 in the govt.?

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