ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Archive for December 2016

Obama and Trump: Implementing each others agenda

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obama_trump.jpgFirst African-American President of United States, Barack Obama, will vacate office in Jan and Billionaire Donald Trump will take office. It is well documented that they are opposites when it comes to their electoral agenda. What I want to touch upon is something that is not discussed too often.

Democrats promote higher Govt. spending and immigrant reforms, while Republicans represent smaller Govt. and less immigration. But the problem is when you support certain position too openly, you get push-back. Obama faced a lot of resistance when it came to implementing his agenda. At the end, he couldn’t achieve what he wanted to in terms of medicare and public spending. What he achieved was deporting more immigrants than George Bush did. In the end he was able to implement the agenda of Republican Party more successfully than of his own Party.

I have similar prediction for Trump. At the end of his tenure, he might be able to do more on medicare and public spending than tightening immigration. He would be successful in implementing Democrats agenda more than Republicans. Begs the question why?

When you implement opposition’s agenda, you get their support. Your own party supports you anyways. But while implementing your own agenda, you don’t get opposition support. Hence the result.

Instead of shaping policy by legislation and bureaucracy, US Presidents most potent weapon has been appointing Supreme Court Justices. That is what guides the agenda and that is what defines the policy.

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Written by arpitgarg

December 20, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Political

Tagged with , , , , ,

Ideological death in Democracy?

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illusion-free-choice.pngI was talking to one of my seniors at office about current state of politics. It got me thinking about the ideology in a democracy. We have been brought up in a society where we came to know how much our forefathers had to struggle to achieve the democracy that we live in.

We have learned that political ideology can be broadly divided into left and right with a center. Left leans towards communism, right leans towards capitalism. Let me take an example of India. Historically we have seen Congress and BJP as left and right parties. Over the years they have grown center-left and center-right.

Today, I don’t see any stark difference their ideologies. Whatever keeps them in power. Congress introduced MNREGA and BJP has continued with it. BJP might very well give loan waivers to farmers before 2019 elections. Both the parties have benefited selected business houses in their own capacity. Both are against electoral reforms and hate scrutiny of donations to political parties.

Makes us wonder is there any classical ideology left in politics? In the sense that does society at large support such ideologies of left/right/center? Coz political parties can only adhere to such ideologies as long as people vote for them. In US, right and left has sustained for decent amount of time, given two party system and high percentage of registered members. In India it has moved to a scramble all too soon. Number of regional parties, based on anti-Congress plank, have mushroomed in last 30-40 years. Their ideology is not left/right but is to uplift certain sections of society.

Advent of Trump, an amalgamation of left right and center, signifies a landmark event in democracy. Democracy anyways is a recent experiment on how to run the society. About last 200 years or so. I believe it’s still in a development phase and will take another 200 years or so, to judge the pros and cons. Maybe we will see a new societal system altogether, who knows.

One thing is for certain, the era of discrete left and right might already be over in major democracies of the world.

Written by arpitgarg

December 17, 2016 at 8:29 pm

National Anthem in Cinema Halls

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anthem.jpgI normally avoid writing on such contentious issues which involve nationalistic fervor. Simply because it’s lose-lose situation. Take for example the current Supreme Court order on National Anthem before movies in cinema halls across the country. If you are for the decision, you will be labeled jingoistic, right wing extremist. If you are against the decision, you will earn the wrath of being anti-national.

Hence a worthwhile conversation goes out for a toss. Still I would try to clear my views on this. National Anthem is a celebration of the constitution state we live in. It’s the celebration of the togetherness among the citizens, togetherness of agreed upon rules which govern us, celebration of a culture, and celebration of the country. Do I respect National Anthem? Yes. Do I stand up when it is sung? Yes. Do I hate the fellow who does not stand up? Meh!

My view is, disrespecting is not the same as not-respecting. I don’t think, sitting falls in the category of disrespecting or being anti-national. If a person starts dancing, goes shirtless, maybe. But still not anti-national. Take for example a person who stands up for the national anthem but take bribes. And a person who does not stand up for the anthem but is a hard working, non-corrupt person. Who will you call anti-national. Either or Both? I think, not standing for the anthem is wrong but should not be termed anti-national.

Consider a guy, who has been wronged by corruption and muscle in society. Justice failed him. He might feel anger towards the county and what more peaceful way to show that anger? If we take that peaceful protest away from him, we are leading him to a path of violent protest. The more we force someone, the more rebellion we will face.

There have been occasions when I have come across people not standing for the anthem. I have gone up to them and had a conversation. I started the conversation by, “Sir, you have full right to do what you want. I just want to know why you don’t want to”. Most of the times, people realize their folly and apologize. Sometimes they are angry with the corruption, with something they feel wronged about, that they don’t want to. Sometimes they feel that it is wrong to impose and that they should not be forced to prove their nationalism.

As I said it’s a tricky situation. Again, I think the people not standing are wrong but I won’t go as far as terming them anti-national, specially if they are not corrupt and help in nation building in their own way.

Written by arpitgarg

December 14, 2016 at 3:28 pm

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