Once upon a time Donald Trump was a Democrat, and wasn’t making much progress with his political career. In 2009, he realized the problem wasn’t him – the problem was the political party he was associated with. Therefore, he switched sides.
Fast forward to 2011, during the White House correspondents’ dinner, Barack Obama teases Trump for his role in the ‘birther conspiracy theory’, demeaning the latter’s intellectual capacity in a certain way, which many believe triggered Trump to want the Presidency more than ever.
Till today, when people tell me ‘Trump is stupid’, I dismiss their theory – in fact he is one of the smartest persons. Not because of his knowledge about the world and its affairs – no, it’s not that – it is because he knows how people work.
During his eight-year term, Obama was a popular president –Trump, along with several other conservatives had to do something, something that would appeal to the millions of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASP).
What did he do? He saw an opportunity with the birther theory – a conspiracy theory which alleged Barack Obama was not born in America, and therefore ineligible to be president. The theory gained notoriety primarily because to a WASP there lied a probability – the black man could have possibly been born in Africa, or not be a Christian even.
Coming back to Donald Trump, the entire episode was like a revelation – he understood what the people (voters) of America wanted.
All this while, another man was watching, and learning, a particular watchmaker. The watchmaker, hustling his way through life, during his time in Nepal realized there was one thing Nepalis passionately hated – India. He kept that trick up his sleeve – it could come handy, and went about his habits.
In 2012, Trump was laughed at during the correspondents’ dinner and in 2018, a Nepali national daily reported that the watchmaker was a fraud – both were embarrassed beyond their wits.
Both then decided to fight back – for Trump, his slogan was MAGA (Make America Great Again) and for the watchmaker, his slogan was Un-fuck Nepal.
For Trump, the political agenda was to tell people the problem was immigrants and for the watchmaker, it was Indians. Couple them with national elements such as the flag (notice that on the watchmaker’s story, which he uses to censor users) appeals directly to the people – the masses.
Both had believers – an immense lot of it, and that’s what extreme nationalism does – it inhibits your ability to think critically.
For example, when Trump pins the blame of COVID-19 on China, he deflects several questions. For most Americans, liberty is of the highest value – its symbol being equal to their national flag. What is the exact opposite of liberty? China, or communism to be exact. Now, when one puts the blame on China, Americans forget to ask the important questions:
- Okay, then why does the US have the highest numbers of infections despite Chinese travelers reaching Australia and New Zealand in similar numbers?
- Why so many casualties- is there a problem with our healthcare system?
Similarly, when an ambiguous bill gets passedfrom the parliament at a time when Nepal is protecting its national sovereignty against India, we assume it probably is in our national interests – we assume it is for the protection of our sovereignty. Should a person, like the watchmaker does, say ‘India has informants’ – no one is going to question the source of the news, or we aren’t even going to think about its ramifications.
For the believers, it does not matter what information we push out – however, that does not mean we are going to discontinue even trying. Has the mainstream media stopped even though Trump has convinced his followers they are fake?No, the media continue to try because they believe in the power offactual information.So, even if with this article one person believes us – or even questions intentions critically, then our purpose is done.
Go ahead try – you can even ask why Aawaaj is covering this topic? We bet you the watchmaker is going to say we are under the Indian Embassy’s payroll – but are you going to believe that without facts?
And for those who believe us, realise the importance of correct information – let us try to rise above India, and China, and not be pitted against them.
Do this exercise: sit back and think, how we can be fighting against India on the 20th, and then receiving 30,000 PCR test kits from the Indian Embassy on the 17th?
— IndiaInNepal (@IndiaInNepal) May 17, 2020
How can India donate, and we cannot even purchase?
Think about it, the kits before that were donated by Switzerland, and before that by China, meanwhile our Ministry of Health was embroiled in a ridiculous corruption scandal.