New Delhi, August 15, 2020: US President Donald Trump has attacked Indian origin candidate Kamala Harris saying that she is a step worse.
But his quip that “she is of Indian heritage. I have more Indians than she has,” speaks of his confidence in the Indian American community which ironically has largely supported the Democratic Party. His confidence was also visible when he was in the Indian city of Gujarat for the ‘Namaste Trump’ event.
The frenzy that erupted in India as soon as he landed is iconic and has rarely been surpassed by any foreign leader. Even Bill Clinton and Barack Obama could not match the sway Trump had on the Indian people.
Non-stop coverage by media, each of his words at the rally saw massive cheering and the Prime Minister of India standing by his side, and this all for a US President that too from the Republican Party with which Indian politicians never had any connection with. Cold War brought out the worst of Indo-US relations, so what was different this time? Why Trump, who is famous for speaking whatever that comes to his mind, getting thumbs up from Indians? It is simple, he is raw. People in India like him for saying things without sugar coating. He comes across as a politician who is much like an ordinary Indian; simple in his words, says the unsavory truth, but never harbors grudges.
Indians also remember well how the USA came out to support India after Indo-China clash at the Galwan. All these have made Trump more and more likable to the Indians who see in him a friend. Trump listening to a Hindu woman narrate woes of Bangladeshi Hindus have also helped add to his stature in the eyes of the Hindu majority of the country.
And where was Kamala Harris of ‘Indian origin’ in all this? Nowhere!
This is why Kamala’s Indian origin is a no-brainer. Kamala Harris is just another career politician and comes across as shrewd and hardly someone as genuine to an ordinary Indian. She famously got destroyed by a much younger and talented Tulsi Gabbard on the national television for her ‘record.’ Tulsi’s peace message endeared her to the Indian people who have seen how much destruction Iraq suffered after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Yazidis who I have spoken to often say that had Saddam stayed in power, Islamic State would never have happened and nor would Yazidi genocide.
Qualities such as those mentioned above would help Trump and Tulsi always stay ahead against an ‘Indian-origin’ candidate like Kamala Harris who has nothing to say about troop withdrawal and therefore of little interest to the Indians anywhere.
And hence, Trump is right when he says that more Indians are rooting for him than Kamala Harris because, for Indians, truthfulness, and straight talkers are always more palatable than incoherent candidates like Harris or Biden who have nothing to offer except the usual gibberish.