How a polarised United States benefits Donald Trump

The quarter or third of Americans who steadfastly support Trump’s administration are unlikely to be upset by his behaviour. His incitement helps polarise Americans and strengthen his base of support

Far & Near column in the Hindustan Times, 7 December, 2017

Living in New York, I’ve attempted to remove myself from the cycle of indignation, outrage, and resignation that seems to greet every action of United States President Donald Trump. The American president’s routine conduct has been, at best, embarrassing and, at worst, unprecedented in its incompetence and cruelty. It can be taxing constantly feeling this furious. Why let an insensitive or hypocritical tweet get you hot under the collar when you know another one is probably working its way through the rusting pipes of Trump’s brain? Why let yourself be provoked by the provoker-in-chief?

But it’s hard to tune out the most powerful person in the world.

Just take these examples from recent weeks. Trump grotesquely insulted Native Americans in the midst of a ceremony meant to honour their role during World War II. He brazenly attacked public figures toppled by accusations of sexual misconduct, even though he faces numerous credible accusations of similar behaviour. His childish salvos at North Korea have amplified the possibility of war, his carte blanche support for Saudi Arabia may make West Asia more volatile, and his claims to stand for the “forgotten man” have been comprehensively betrayed by a tax reform plan that promises to redistribute wealth upwards to the very richest Americans.

Read the rest of this piece on the Hindustan Times

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