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The political apprentice

D Asghar
These last few weeks have been not so comforting for our President Trump. The probe, whether his campaign had any contacts with the Russians, prior to the recent elections, is springing forward. Even his own nominated Judge Gorsuch, took exception with Trumps criticism of the federal judges. The much talked about, the new and improved and properly vetted, Travel Ban 2.0 became a non-starter, as a few Federal judges, suspended it, the day it was about to go into effect. Not to mention, the Wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for, perhaps will cost billions to the US tax payers and Mexico shying away from such a monstrous endeavor. At times, one wonders, the notion of the “outsider” coming in and fixing the mess of Washington was perhaps a mere sound bite. Come to think of it, this administration has had a rocky start, from Day One and till these lines are being written, it almost feels like the chaos and the anxiety clouding the administration has not had any reduction in sight. If the historians and the analysts are going to look towards first 100 days as a yardstick, come April 30, they are not going to find a major source of illumination in this long dark tunnel, that we are trapped in, for the next four years. The President has vowed to reach to the apex court to eventually give him a nod, so his travel ban on certain countries is implemented. Not an unusual request, had the loud mouth Presidential candidate, Trump not called it a “Muslim ban.” The “Muslim Ban 2.0” has excluded Iraq from the countries that were on the list of the ill-fated initial ban. This back tracking, after a huge criticism from all quarters, as Iraq happens to be a huge ally and partner in the ongoing war on terror. The conventional wisdom, would dictate that Iraq happens to be one of those countries, along with Syria, where the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) has its hold in certain areas. Come to think of it, chances of an ISIS infiltrator to sneak in as an Iraqi or Syrian refugee are high. This brings us back to the subject of vetting, which yours truly had touched on a few weeks back, here at this forum. If proper vetting is conducted, across the board, with every one, who intends to come to the US as an immigrant or non-immigrant, it will make this country a lot safer. Then a selective ban of only certain and predominantly Muslim countries, will become a moot point. The entire world is jittery with the horrific threat of terror looming over its shoulders and on top of that the powerful remote control of the free world, in the hands of an equally unpredictable leader. The news of hate crime and bigotry against Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus across America is on the rise. Which of course is very unfortunate and regrettable. Who knows better about the ills of division within a society than people like us.
We witness this first hand in our home countries and now America the last beacon of hope and freedom has fallen prey to such absurdity.

It took decades for America to reach to this level and now it will take perhaps another decade for America to regain its normal values, should this madness continues. The political stunt that President Trump played to entice his voters, is going to come in with a hefty price that American people will end up paying for years to come.

The politics of fear and isolation that President Trump started in the guise of “America first” resonated well with his voters, who were sold on the potion that “foreign workers” were stealing their jobs. The fact checkers perhaps can perhaps, clear the fog for such simple and naive masses. Most blue-collar jobs, that went away from the rust belt of manufacturing had nothing to do with the foreign workers. These were American conglomerates, either behind the curve ball of technology or quality or under stress due to spiraling labor costs and Union requirements. These plants were moved to Mexico and other countries, where a conducive business climate existed.

With such misleading sound bites it is much easier for the confused and jaded and often disgruntled people, to take their anger out on vulnerable and innocent people. This bolsters the segment on the sidelines and fringes, who take such incidents as an encouragement to stoop even lower.

Amidst this despair, there is a silver lining. People often ask me at private gatherings, whenever we embark on such discussions. I say with utmost humility that American values will eventually trump, any President Trump. The sooner the President comes to grip with the fact, that he is no longer running a private business enterprise and a country full of diverse people, he will be on a better footing. The tough guy image which was of course good for reality TV will eventually become a detriment in politics for him. This is a different kind of business, where alliances and unions matter and the astute ones are those who are able to get the job done through engaging and not constantly offending the other side.

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