Donald Trump’s appeal will not be sullied, Obamas and Clintons can try all they want….writes Bikram Vohra
We, the media (unlike the grandeur of we, the people) have a highly inflated idea of the impact we make on events and trends. In India it is even more fleeting and little of it sticks. Despite all the froth we create and the drums we beat, nothing really changes because of us. Oh, yes, a passing shower, a false perception that the truth has been exposed and justice done, the good fight fought but it all adds up to naught.
We do not influence elections much as we would like to think we do. Our campaign against rape has been a dismal failure if not a fan to intensify the flames. Our doughty defence of Dalits has only added to their plight. Cow slaughter, terrorism, the Hindu-Muslim divide – the media has done very little to resolve any of these issues.
There was a time, not so long ago, when media was limited and what was said or spoken had a certain sanctity and more importantly, was believed. Now, the deluge drowns the receiver, destroys his synapses and overloads the circuits.
Making the wolfish Donald Trump look callow and cowardly and pathetic.It’s due to this canvas that I would not get too excited about the Democratic National Convention in USA, a nation whose media model of search and destroy we now so violently follow. Of course, Michelle Obama gave a stirring speech. Slavery and children, lethal combination. She finger painted pictures of the legacy for tomorrow so eloquently that sunbeams frolicked on the floor. Bill Clinton being folksy, the rhetoric of President Barack Obama resonating as it always does, even former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s salutation to Hillary, collectively soul stirring and wonderful.
Doesn’t add up to a spit in the wind. Just words that will dissipate in the winds of time, just a little time, days not even weeks. All it needs is one more act of gratuitous violence and Trump will leap back into the saddle, these words of wisdom lost to the electorate.
Americans have been given a shock that is arbitrary and new. They have been taught how to be scared, vulnerable and suspicious, states of mind that have not been part of their psyche. God has always been in His heaven and all is right with their world. And now there is this man telling them the smelly stuff is hitting the fan.
They are boarding up the windows and circling the wagons.
Trump is strumming their fate with his plump little fingers and he knows the words so well. As a nation, America is on the mental backfoot.
So much so that even Trump’s inelegant, politically incorrect and totally graceless call on Russia to hack Hillary’s emails has flown under the bridge without much condemnation.
In these circumstances, pomp and ceremony, well-written speeches and great delivery are soggy cardboard. It is all just a more refined version of what Americans have heard at the preamble to an election since the days of JFK.
In an odd way, there is comfort in being scared. It is like battle inoculation and that’s exactly what Trump is doing; a call to arms, to gird your loins for war for war it is.
It is like the Wild West and it is striking at that macho streak that has been consecrated in the American psyche.
The fact that by now Trump has not disillusioned his Republican support base either in the Houses or on the streets speaks volumes for his tack even if it’s filling the sails with an ill wind.
To believe there will be no terror attacks between now and November is a bit of a stretch. Every such attack will add a brick to the man’s walls and his prejudices will feed off it.