Time for Ivanka Trump to step in

Geopo­lit­i­cal notes notes from from India India

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIAL & COMMENTS - M D Nala­pat

dia, for ex­am­ple, the grow­ing mid­dle class has jumped over sev­eral of the cul­tural dif­fer­ences that were glar­ing dur­ing the pe­riod when av­er­age in­come lev­els were much lower. In­deed, al­though this will be dis­puted by many, the re­al­ity is that the mid­dle class is an im­por­tant rea­son why India re­mains united de­spite a mul­ti­tude of ehnic­i­ties and faiths.

Those from a group that is near­ing in num­bers the 300 mil­lion mark (of course in a coun­try of 1.26 bil­lion) are now in­creas­ingly in­ter­mar­ry­ing with each other. They eat the same food, read the same magazines ,watch the same movies and gen­er­ally share an out­look that is in­de­pen­dent of the re­gion, caste or faith to which each be­longs. In like fash­ion, to any more re­gard African Amer­i­cans and Lati­nos as groups sep­a­rate from Cau­casian Amer­i­cans ( ie US cit­i­zens of Euro­pean de­scent) is to be less and less teth­ered to 21st cen­tury re­al­ity. The as­cent of Barack Obama to the Pres­i­dency of the US or the grow­ing num­ber of doc­tors, en­gi­neers and man­agers from the African Amer­i­can com­mu­nity prove that noth­ing can hold back this group,once they are given the ed­u­ca­tion and the en­vi­ron­ment needed for suc­cess, some­thing that is still avail­able in the US, though in much less a de­gree than was the case in the 1970s, be­fore Mar­garet Thatcher, Ron­ald Rea­gan and Deng Xiaop­ing glo­ri­fied the wealthy and be­gan creating a se­ries of poli­cies that en­sured grow­ing in­come in­equal­ity in the US and in many other coun­tries.

As for the Latino com­mu­nity, this colum­nist has met sev­eral from among them in vis­its, in­clud­ing in lo­ca­tions such as Mi­ami. Whether their par­ents came over from Cuba or from Mex­ico, the Latino com­mu­nity in the US has Email: mg­nala­pat@gmail.com dis­tin­guished it­self by its suc­cess. Among the bright­est of US cit­i­zens, as well as the most charm­ing, be­long to the Latino com­mu­nity. In­deed,in his work and al­most cer­tainly in his per­sonal life, Don­ald Trump must have rec­og­nized this, for he has built a busi­ness em­pore across con­ti­nents that would not have been pos­si­ble had he a toxic re­la­tion­ship - or view - of those of dif­fer­ent faiths and eth­nic­i­ties. What seems to have hap­pened to the Trump cam­paign is that the vac­uum in his po­lit­i­cal and pol­icy team has been filled with a mot­ley crowd of peo­ple who have moved in not for ideals but to get a slice of the cake of po­lit­i­cal suc­cess.

Some of the causes that key op­er­a­tives in the Trump cam­paign have backed in the past are such that they ought to have re­sulted in their ex­clu­sion from the in­ner cir­cle. Should the present rag­tag team con­tinue to wield power sim­ply by nod­ding in agree­ment to the pri­vate im­pulses of Don­ald Trump, even Hillary Clin­ton may be able to pull off an up­set,d es­pite her neg­a­tives and as­sum­ing she sur­vives the con­tro­ver­sies the Clin­tons are filled with. A gen­uine leader lis­tens to views - ex­pressed behind closed doors - that may be hugely dis­agree­able to him or her, and show no hes­i­ta­tion in chang­ing course where needed. Im­prob­a­ble as this mat sound, the best chance for Trump to oc­cupy the Oval Of­fice would be to be the uni­fier he needs to be. Trump needs to show­case the di­ver­sity within his busi­ness team, and to rec­og­nize that some in his core team need to be sent pack­ing. The best in­di­vid­ual to bring the Trump cam­paign to the 21st cen­tury and free it of the whiff of the 19th cen­tury that it is ex­ud­ing now is Ivanka Trump,the el­dest child of the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for the Pres­i­den­tial race.

De­spite her youth, Ivanka has shown that she is un­af­fected by the in­tense celebrity that sur­rounds the pow­er­ful any­where, and has re­fused to utilise her fa­ther’s climb to the top for her own ben­e­fit. She is clearly of the 21st cen­tury, and can there­fore be ex­pected to see peo­ple as peo­ple, US cit­i­zens as US cit­i­zens, rather than chop them up into dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties. Don­ald Trump needs to make bet­ter use of Ben Car­son, the bril­liant African Amer­i­can neu­ro­sur­geon who took a shot at his coun­try’s top job. He needs to en­sure greater di­ver­sity in his core team than has been the case in a sit­u­a­tion where a vac­uum got filled willy nilly by those who had no choice but to flock to a ban­ner that oth­ers were stay­ing away from. Cer­tainly it is an ad­van­tage that Trump is so de­nuded of es­tab­lish­ment faces, as these are the very peo­ple who have cre­ated the mess that is mak­ing the US voter so an­gry at those who run the gov­ern­ment.

In India, the skil­ful use in the 2009 na­tional polls of im­ages of the youth­ful chil­dren of So­nia Gandhi ( Rahul and Priyanka) to show­case the Congress Party as be­ing dif­fer­ent from the faded visage of its top lead­er­ship, So­nia and Man­mo­han, to show party as be­ing rel­e­vant to young, a con­stituency won by Naren­dra Modi five years later by his call for a new way of gov­ern­ing India than “Lu­tyens Colo­nial Model” fol­lowed thus far. Ivanka Trump can do same for in­di­vid­ual who can,in case he shows his in­ner lib­eral spirit over his crusty ex­te­rior, be­come elected leader of world’s most pow­er­ful coun­try. His not very se­cret weapon is Ivanka Trump, and he needs to make bet­ter use of her than has been case thus far. —The writer is Vice-Chair, Ma­ni­pal Ad­vanced Re­search Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Pro­fes­sor of Geopol­i­tics, Ma­ni­pal Univer­sity, Haryana State, India.

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