When a Filipina friend told me that her relatives and friends were voting for Donald Trump, I was dumbstruck. I knew they voted for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. The rationale then was that the Republicans would strengthen the military, which their family members belonged to. That was a flimsy enough excuse, but now the Filipinos are voting for Trump. In fact, Gel Santos Relos, the anchor of The Filipino Channel’s “Balitang America” published an article last year titled “Donald Trump Gains Votes Among Conservative Filipinos” in the Asian Journal. But I still can’t believe that they are voting for Trump the ignoramus! Trump the racist! Trump the misogynist! Trump the white supremacist! Trump the narcissist! Trump the bully! Trump the fascist!
Most often you hear Trump supporters give cliched excuses, like, “He tells it like it is,” or “He will run government like a business.” Or worse yet, “Republicans oppose gay marriage.”
Recently, an Indian-American PAC was formed to support Trump. The backers of this PAC see similarities between Donald Trump and Narendra Modi.
That is why, when so many liberals tell me that “The Donald only got votes from middle aged white men,” that “he has no chance in the general election,” that “he got very few votes in the primaries,” I laugh. I cannot believe the ability of liberals for such wishful thinking.
All along, I have been saying, “Watch my words, the Republican Party is going to get behind Trump.” But liberals have been fantasizing, first about a contested convention, and then about the Republican leadership’s abandonment of Trump.
The truth is, Republicans hate Hillary more than they dislike Donald Trump; they will do anything to destroy her. She is a weak candidate in any case; her unfavorability rating is almost as high as that of the Donald; 55% versus 65%. And as for the skeletons in her closet, she can perhaps outdo Trump who doesn’t get defensive about his past.
Which makes me wish that the Democratic Party hadn’t let the Clintons control it. That the party establishment had the courage to go against the political dynasty and come up with a candidate like Elizabeth Warren or Kirsten Gillibrand. That it had chosen a fresh face, someone who could inspire, who didn’t have so much baggage, who was not seen as corrupt or hawkish or hypocritical, who could take the Democratic Party in a new direction. Most of all, I wish it had selected someone who was a real feminist, as opposed to an alleged one.
Of course Bernie is still running. But he is not getting the nomination, nor does he have a realistic chance of winning the general election.
So what now?
It is clearly too late to pick a better candidate. But it is not too late to do what we can to help Hillary win. Yes, I know, I am making an about-face here. But I would rather have Hillary in the White House than a psychopath.
And the only way we can win the presidency is by uniting all the minorities in a coalition against the Donald. If all the ethnic groups really listened to the Donald’s words, if, instead of putting their faith in his promise to lower their taxes, like the Indian-American group is doing, they scrutinized what he really is—a dangerous man who cannot be allowed to put his finger on the trigger—we will perhaps save not only America but all of humanity.
And what should Hillary do to improve her chances in the general election? She should find her soul; discover her true voice. She should get in touch with her convictions. Jon Stewart suggested as much in a recent interview. I will go one step further and say that Hillary should admit her past mistakes.
A good way to begin will be by facing the Donald’s latest accusations, namely, that Hillary was an enabler of Bill’s infidelities. She might not have been an enabler, but she was certainly a defender of her husband, first labeling the rumors about Monica Lewinsky as “a vast right wing conspiracy,” and later telling a friend that “Lewinsky was a narcissistic loony tunes.”
Even as recently as 2014, when Diane Sawyer asked her about Lewinsky, Hillary’s tone was unforgiving and defensive.
Some words of sympathy for Monica’s youthful indiscretion are in order. As are some gestures of derision of Bill’s exploitation of the young woman’s naiveté.
The media will no doubt continue to offer Donald Trump free coverage. All we minorities can do is remember that Hitler, too, came to power in Germany under not too dissimilar circumstances.
We must therefore unite to defeat Trump. We must believe that America’s strength lies in its ethnic diversity. If the Indian-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans joined with the African-Americans in a coalition, Donald Trump will have no chance of winning the general election.
I will contribute to any movement which aims to do just that.
Sarita Sarvate (www.saritasarvate.com) has published commentaries for New America Media, KQED FM, San Jose Mercury News, the Oakland Tribune, and many nationwide publications.