A defiant COVID + President Trump returned to White House from Military Hospital and his ‘copter return clip’ is widely circulated among American Desis with a popular SRK movie tune. So, on a social media platform asked an Indian American UIC student how she would evaluate President Trump’s performance and she replied as promptly as Trump will answer in a press conference, “Perfect, he is the best.” When I checked the same question with a Pakistani American young man he replied, “He is full of energy and that is why only he is eligible for the second term”.
No matter what likes or dislikes are working for and against President Trump in American Desi circles, he has already set a new hope for them. While Democrats have an outdated American dream card and soft promises on immigration and medical care, Trump had acted with stronger determination on these issues that favors the interests of young Desi American voters.
The Indian American community has a traditional leaning towards Democrats. However, a conflicting confusion is reigning among “grey” and new generation of community. While grey Indian Americans still look forward for Democrats’ values, the youngers are liking President Trump for all that he is doing. For them, Trump is energetic, active and aggressive; the qualities that make a politician a leader. The younger Desis are more concerned for a doomed job market. Hundreds of Desis American kids are graduating from universities at home with bachelors’ or masters’ degrees and they have no jobs.
A crash course certificate holder imported on H1B visa is conveniently placed on a well-paid job. There is no verification of his degrees or professional qualifications. At the same time American students with local Master’s degrees find it difficult to secure same jobs as taken over by H1B visa holders. The Trump administration focus on jobs for Americans has not only attracted mainstream Americans, it has also appealed young Desi Americans.
There is another conflict among Indian Americans that is inadvertently helping Trump. The conflict was the result of a divide on ‘religious’ lines among Indian Americans. The divide or rift among Indian Americans occurred soon after BJP led government passed CAA law. The Muslim Indian Americans and secular Hindu-Sikh Indian Americans openly condemned BJP and RSS on US grounds. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy added fuel to fire when he asked “Hindus” to vote for Democrats.
The report prominently published in Times of India, was widely circulated in social media. Raja’s misadventure on “religious” card in US politics has its own ramification as Muslim Americans are third largest section of US population after Christians and Jews. Congressman Raja’s advocacy for Hindu votes can be justified in view of PM Narendra Modi’s Houston recommendation that, “Ab Ki Baar, Trump Sarkar”.
On the other hand, President Trump has seriously stopped his utterances against Muslims and Islam lately. In fact, he paved for the UAE and Israel peace agreement. Muslim Americans, including Indian Muslim Americans are now looking back favorably at Trump than Biden. Raja Krishnamoorthy’s Hindu call has further distanced Indian Muslim Americans from Democrats.
There are other factors too helping Trump acquire an edge over Joe Biden among Indian American voters. He is the only world leader who condemned China openly, both for COVID 19 and aggression against India. Trump’s strong stand against China is a new hope for Indian Americans.
Who will Desi American vote in US elections is as hard to answer as to counter the energetic President Trump. In spite of all his ‘careless’ rhetoric, President Trump remains the only world political leader who has survived waves of hostile sarcasm, mocking shows, and national media onslaught nonchalantly? In line with his habitual working fallacy, President Trump proved that he cares for Americans. He signed Executive orders for cash stimulus to individuals and unemployment allowances that helped millions during current Pandemic.