ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘trump

Why so much attrition in the White House?

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AR-170729920.jpgI am not writing this from a partisan point of view and must be read in that spirit. There have been too many resignations and replacements in current White House administration. Lot has been attributed to President Trump and his reality show mindset. I beg to differ.

In light of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson getting replaced today, let’s try and assess the situation. As per reports Tillerson and Trump didn’t agree on Iran deal. While Trumps’ position on the deal is well known, Tillerson had an opposite view. Similar was the case with handling North Korea. And herein lies the real reason.

Most of the people who have left the White House or have been let go, they differed with President on matters about which Presidents position was widely known. And these people while accepting the job very well knew the policies that Trump campaigned for. Either they misled the President when they accepted the job on their own position or they remained quiet. Or President never asked them clearly.

Maybe they thought Trump will be a typical politician who will throw the campaign promises under the bus once elected.

Maybe it’s the President’s credibility issue. His appointees see him as an opportunist who didn’t mean what he campaigned for. And that they can impose their own ideologies.

With time President Trump will get smart and will appoint people who believe in him and his agenda (Good/Bad/Ugly). Sooner done the better. For so much upheaval does not augur well for the leader of the First World.

Written by arpitgarg

March 14, 2018 at 4:25 am

Posted in Political

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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.

Written by arpitgarg

December 20, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Political

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Media bias and why it is bad

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media_bias.jpgIndia had its first brush with power of media with Jessica Lal murder case. Govt. and Courts buckled under media pressure. Public supported the campaign whole heartedly. The case had all the ingredients of a pot boiler made for television. It garnered TRP’s and served justice. A win-win.

Media backed Anna Hazare who shook the roots of Indian politics and gave us Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal’s anti-political diatribe was tailor made for claps and whistles. People lapped it up (at least those who could afford cable television), resulting in a resounding win.

Last half decade or so Arnab Goswami took media activism to another level, equalling US journalists. In US, journalism is too bi-partisan. Two major political parties reflecting two differing ideologies have their own propagandist media apparatus. Last decade or so has given India the same. Media, which used to be a stronghold of Congress, got rivals in BJP. Today the field looks evenly distributed.

But the bias in media has turned out to be bad for society. To be true, it’s not just the bias, but the biased people earning millions and prospering is what irks common man more. It’s not mere coincidence that oldest and largest democracies are headed today by individuals who rode the anti-media wave. Modi called media news-traders, his people called them presstitutes. Trump has called media all sorts of names.

6-8 years back, in India, media was this promising child with high credibility. Currently, it’s credibility is as bad as that of US media. Biased towards one side or the other.

Earlier media used to shape the politicians and politics worldwide. Nowadays politicians shape opinions about media. Ironical isn’t it? In India it would be a first in modern times that PM and Govt has more credibility than media. And it’s scary. I’ll tell you why.

Media is one branch which has the power to keep the legislative in check. It talks directly with public and informs them if executive is doing anything wrong. And public does the rest in the next election. The loss of credibility of media will hit this balance hard. With corporatization of media, the problem is bound to get much worse. Media bias is the new form of crony capitalism and quid pro quo. Scratch my bacl and get favorable coverage.

Whatsapp, facebook and youtube channels have come up as alternate media. They berate main stream media just like I have been doing through this post. Some like the_young_turks have got a huge following and along with that subscription money. It was nice initially but as the current US election showed they too became biased and carried out their own propaganda.

It’s very important for media to curb political leanings. If media persons want to be political activists, it’s their right but they should quit the profession first. If they can’t curb this inherent bias, they should not go on air. Rise of fascism is preceded by a biased media!

Written by arpitgarg

November 30, 2016 at 5:09 pm

The Era of Right Wing Populists

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trump_modi.jpgSometime back I called the current decade as the decade of right wing, across the globe. From Japan to India to US. But I would like to add a bit to my stance. It’s the era of right wing populists. Normally right wing politicians are known for fiscal control and anti-populism. The current crop of leaders from Abe to Modi to Trump are from right wing parties but the leaders themselves are populists. This mix of right wing and populism has lefts and liberals in a lurch.

What is to come in future is something to be seen, but I see some good at present. They are beyond the classical mold of right or left. Their parties are right but they themselves have no clear ideologies. They all like claps from the audience, hence populists. They shed the hardline approach of their parties and tread a middle path.

What this has done is broken the barriers. For long politicians in democracies has reaped benefits of a divided electorate. Liberals and Conservatives in US, Nationalists and Seculars in India. Political class likes to keep the people divided in these artificial silos. This fight helps them get elected over and ove. Due to this the Gandhi dynasty in India has prospered and so did Bush/Clinton dynasties in the West.

Modi and Trump, controversial figures in themselves have made people realize this division and how political class has benefitted from it. Don’t get me wrong, in destroying these old barriers, they have created their own. Hindus/Muslims in India to Black/Whites in US. We will have to wait and watch how it evolves.

Next question is, how does the right wing populism pan out. These leaders, since hard liners are able to take decisions which liberal/secular Govt. would never have taken. Currency ban in India to potential poll promises of Trump. In a sense right wing populists are able to take tough decisions. And it’s the decisiveness that people cherishes in them. In itself these leaders are tainted. But in toto they do what none dares.

As with other things, the effects of this right wing populist wave will be evident 10-15 years down the line. Maybe good, maybe bad. Currently we are in a transition era which comes once in a lifetime.

Written by arpitgarg

November 25, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Political

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Cruz v/s Bernie: Who helped Whom

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us_elections.jpgMy last week’s analysis of Ted Cruz’s speech would be incomplete without mentioning Bernie’s speech at DNC. Bernie Sanders has been one politician who has got a lot of love from a lot of people. In college campuses across US, he is a like a human cult. It was a change in American people who have been perceived around the world as capitalists. A socialist getting so much support in US showed the world that socialism as a phenomenon still packs a punch or two.

Quick to the comparison between the stance taken by Bernie and Cruz and it’s ramifications to the party nominee’s chances coming November. Ted Cruz was jeered off the stage and was regarded by overwhelming Republicans as selfish person preparing for his own 2020 bid. When he suggested ‘vote your conscience’, which had undertones of helping Hillary to win, it enraged Republicans, who have nothing but hatred for Hillary. His action solidified support behind Trump, who was the last man standing against Hillary Clinton. It looked like other elite Republicans were not repugnant to Hillary becoming President. This consolidated Republican base around Trump. Some suggest that this might even solidify anti-Hillary base around him. We know it includes pro-Bernie crowd.

Now to Bernie Sanders. Honorable man that he is, he decided to keep his pledge and support Hilary Clinton even when it became evident that Democratic Party worked in tandem with Hillary to rig the race. Chaos on convention floor suggested that his followers haven’t taken to this idea. They feel it’s a sellout. Supporting her without showing a ‘pinch of salt’ has been a setback to the young people who have been part of heated debates as to why Hillary is bad and Bernie is good. All those people are left as sitting ducks.

It seems Ted Cruz rejection was a better idea than Bernie’e endorsement. Maybe Bernie’s rejection would have helped Hillary as it would have solidified anti-Trump base behind her. For it to have happened Bernie should have come out as a bad and selfish person. However he came out as a weak leader who is too tired to fight and who is ready to abandon the ship.

Difference lies in the supporters. Cruz and Trump had two things in common. First they both wanted to defeat Hillary. Second they both were anti-establishment. Now that Cruz looks ‘not opposed’ to Hillary to keep his hope for 2020 bid intact, it’s easy for his supporters to move to Trump since Trump is also anti-establishment and is the only person who wants to defeat Hillary.

On the other hand Bernie and Hillary supporters were opposites. One were anti-establishment, other were pro-establishment. It’s right they both hated Trump, but Bernie hasn’t done a Cruz to give his supporters a reason to support Hillary. By endorsing Hillary so wholeheartedly, he has in fact endorsed the power of Big Money. It’s like a win for the establishment, what he fought against.

This has lost him a lot of fans just like Cruz lost a lot of his supporters. But the difference is Cruz people solidified against another anti-establishment Trump. It doesn’t seem to be happening for pro-establishment Hillary.

Written by arpitgarg

July 27, 2016 at 3:18 am

Posted in Political

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Britain’s moment of Trump(h)

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trump_britain.jpgBritain has voted for exiting the European Union putting to rest months of uncertainty and leading the global economy towards unchartered territory.

A lot was said as to how bad Brexit would be for UK economy and UK political standing. People campaigning for Leave were termed racists, xenophobic and what not. Still people decided to leave. Just as we did not ask when Trump won Republican Primary, we are still not asking the right questions. I see a lot of analysts and pundits calling it a dark day and a bug loss for humanity. Seriously? People of a nation determining their future, if that is a black day, then something wrong with the analysis.

Those who wanted to Remain and a huge number of them, have to introspect why they lost. No point blaming the other side. Why was it that people chose to leave? To understand that well off ones have to come out of their palaces. This includes media pundits. Stop demonizing the poor’s as racists. These people want jobs, security. Why call them xenophobic?

How I read this outcome is, majority of population have been left behind. Majority of population has not benefitted from European Union. A lot of them have benefitted and it is evident from 52-48 split. But the majority has been left behind and ignored. When they raise voices, they were called bad names. Hence they took matter to the ballot.

Same happened in case of Trump. He invigorated the silent majority. People who have been left far behind. People who were at the fag end of economic spectrum. People who have gained nothing for decades. I felt bad when Trump voters were demonized as racists in the similar way. Pundits could have called Trump a racist, but calling the voters names was outright wrong.

Now is the time for course correction. Its up to the 48% people now. Do they want to take 52% along towards prosperity or not? Further alienation and subjugation might lead to much worse consequences. I am not much too happy with Brexit myself. But will be happy if this is taken as a sign to stop taking the bourgeois for granted.

Written by arpitgarg

June 24, 2016 at 1:54 pm

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Hillary vs Obama

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hillary_obama.jpgNow that it is evident that Hillary and Trump will clash off this Nov to be the leader of the free world, the analysis have started. With #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary doing rounds and un-favorability ratings of both candidates huge, this is going to be an election beyond compare. Today I want to concentrate on Hillary. Let’s try and see how 2008 and 2016 are different for Democrats.

Just like 2016, 2008 too was an uprising against the status quo. Higher unemployment, never ending wars and crippled economy motivated voters to choose an outsider. While Obama was the disruptor, McCain represented the continuum.

Coming to the 2008 Democrat primaries, initially the super delegates were with the Hillary, just like this time. Obama channeled the young voters and forced the party to toe the line. Eventually his 4% margin in primaries forced super delegates to jump the ship.

This time round the youth is with Bernie. Hillary has benefitted with initial momentum and lack of early awareness about Bernie. As months have passed more and more people have come to know Bernie and things have changed for him. However Hillary has been supported by African Americans and Latinos big time. But the main problem is youth. They are not with Hillary.

This is what makes 2008 different from 2016. Last time young voters propelled Obama and party fell in line. This time party has propelled Hillary and it wants young voters to fall in line. I am not trying to take away anything from the lead Clinton has across other voter categories. It’s just that youth represent the future of any movement. Also youth are the ones which resulted in huge voter turnout in 2008. Going by Democrat primaries, there is a question mark over quantum of Democrat voter participation in Nov 2016.

While Trump is plagued with issues of his own making, Hillary is plagued with the magic of Bernie. How the General Election pans out is anybody’s guess. One thing is clear, Hillary is no Obama.

Written by arpitgarg

May 4, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Political

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Why media got Trump prediction wrong?

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trump_media.jpgSince Trump started topping polls and started winning primaries, media pundits are having a hard time explaining why they got predictions so wrong. It’s not an easy thing to introspect about ones failures. Most in media are passing through the same phase. They are blaming Trump voters, calling them angry, bigots and every name under the sun. Few have admitted they were wrong in their analysis. Still they are not ready to admit as to why they went wrong. Let me do it for them.

They were wrong as they were not impartial. They were wrong as they analyzed from studios. They were wrong as they were disconnected from public. They were wrong as their fat paychecks plugged their ears from the pain of the common man. They were wrong as they had a secure job, nice house and were paid for by those in power. They were wrong as the media houses they worked for and swore allegiance to, are owned by same elites who own politicians via campaign funds. More importantly they were wrong as they reported what they wanted to be true, not what was indeed true.

When polls started coming late last year, many in media knew that Trump had a solid chance. But they wrote otherwise. They wrote what they wished to be true. They wished Trump was not the nominee. Had they done unbiased analysis, they would have known the Truth, which was so evident.

Most of the Pundits are paid for by big business houses. Anything coming out of their mouths is thus tainted. They never say what they feel, they say what pays. Hence the disconnect.

Whether Trump will be a good nominee or a bad nominee, only time will tell. But to have said that he had no chance just coz they wanted him not to be a nominee, is where media went wrong. It’s time for biasness in media to go away or else people will force the exiting media to go away.

Written by arpitgarg

May 1, 2016 at 8:03 pm

What if Trump behaved civil?

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trump.jpgMillionaire media pundits have been going crazy all through the primaries. They wanted/predicted Trump’s downfall but it hasn’t happened till now. They called Trump names. “He is foul mouth. Not very Presidential.” Huffington post ran every article related to Trump with disclaimer that he is a sexist, xenophobic and what not.

Not just media, Democrats hailed their candidates as being civil. Democrat candidates also hailed themselves as being so nice as against the filthy mouth Trump. All those who want Trump to be civil. Let me tell you what would have happened. And why his bad mouth is working.

First of all, if Trump would have been all Mr. Goody, he would not have stood out of the 17 Republican candidates. Mr. Dollar Bush, would have been the frontrunner and eventual US President. Bush would have been nice in his debates and let the Super PAC’s do dirty work by filthy ads. Trump hasn’t spend as much as he does the dirty work himself. Have we forgotten how Dubya destroyed Mccain via vicious phone calls?

Trump was a non-politician. He didn’t have a ready vote bank like others. He created a vote bank for himself. Other have been fooling theirs for long. At least he hasn’t fool his, till now.

All the Democrats who are patting themselves and their candidates. Look what has happened to you. Sanders played gentleman and Hillary is on her way to be the nominee. Hillary who is corrupt, takes money from Banks and will put Bill Clinton again in the White House. Had Sanders played rough, he could have beaten Hillary.

This is why Trump did what he did. To break the dynasties. To change the age old status quo. To clear the filth, he had to be filthy. I am no Trump fan. Hell he wants job back from India, my country. But still I don’t despise him. But for his filthy mouth, it would have been Bush v/s Clinton this November. And I hate dynasties. What about you?

Written by arpitgarg

March 8, 2016 at 11:32 pm

Posted in Political

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Good to have the right Enemies

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Best-Of-Enemies-Movie-Poster.jpegI recently read an article as to how Donald Trump’s rise has been aided by “the right set of enemies” he has. Sounds a bid weird right? Enemies are meant to take a person down, how come they aid in taking him up. Let’s explore.

I would also make a reference to Indian PM Narendra Modi who I feel too attribute his rise to “the right set of enemies” he had. Both are considered strongman right wing personalities. Because of these traits, they have been labeled by their enemies as dictators, anti-minority and what not.

They both have been known to be against radical islamic terrorism, something that people including media don’t want to talk about. They both bad mouthed media at every given opportunity. They promised jobs and development to the nation. They both talked about things which are not part of main stream discourse anymore.

Their enemies were busy berating them on what they say, how they say, their speeches, tone of their sound etc. When a person talks about helping common man and an increasing set of well off people say bad things about him, common man tends to sympathize. This is what has happened with Trump and Modi.

When enemies themselves don’t have public credibility, their words backfire. There is a lot of class resentment with an increasing income inequality. The enemies are part of top tier of wealthy people. Whatever they say people despise. It is like, “This well off person is against someone who is promising us job and security. Sure, he will have some vested interests”. And as always media, which itself is part of top 1%, was called out on hypocrisy.

It’s always good to have right enemies than no having enemies at all.

Written by arpitgarg

February 12, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Posted in General/Society

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