I have been trying to follow the US Presidential elections, which is due in two days, because the outcome will have a bearing not only on the USA, but on the entire world. Donald Trump’s victory – which is still possible – will be a great fillip to the forces of lack of reason, illiteracy, and bigotry. A lot of countries in the world including the land of “Bharat Mata” are being ruled by such people, let’s not have any illusion about that. On a day when 1700 schools in Delhi have been shut down because children cannot breathe in the toxic Delhi air any more, our wonderful Urban Development minister, who looks and talks like a mawali, is busy defending shutting down NDTV’s Hindi Channel for a day. What sense of priorities! (Don’t know who a mawali is? You must, if you are an Indian. Please google for the word.)
The American election has been one of the nastiest political battles which would put even our Mamtas, Mulayams, and Mayavatis to shame. In a way, it’s good. It has removed the façade of the so-called “liberal democracy” of the West. When the times are bad and the chips are down, most preachers show their teeth and claws.
Another aspect, which has been generally overlooked by the commentators on both either of the Atlantic, is that this election has been singularly devoid of humour. Lack of humour is a bad thing, it indicates something is seriously wrong somewhere. But no problem, the world is fine!
Stephen Hawking, said to be the greatest theoretical physicist of our time, did the job. Please read this hilarious New Yorker report (31 May 2016).
LONDON … Stephen Hawking angered supporters of Donald J. Trump on Monday by responding to a question about the billionaire with a baffling array of long words.
Speaking to a television interviewer in London, Hawking called Trump “a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator,” a statement that many Trump supporters believed was intentionally designed to confuse them.
Moments after Hawking made the remark, Google reported a sharp increase in searches for the terms “demagogue,” “denominator,” and “Stephen Hawking.”
“For a so-called genius, this was an epic fail,” Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said. “If Professor Hawking wants to do some damage, maybe he should try talking in English next time.”
Later in the day, Hawking attempted to clarify his remark about the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, telling a reporter, “Trump bad man. Real bad man.”
In case you have missed the point, the USA is a land of native speakers of English. Political illiterates of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your ignorance.
Bengaluru / 6 November 2016