What Explains the Rise of the Desi Right in America?

South Asians are the top minority in the Trump White House- with Ajit Pai, Seema Verma, and Nikki Haley among the most prominent.
Shalabh Kumar was one of Trump’s “mega donors” – donating almost $1 million to Trump, getting Trump to mimic Modi’s famous “Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkaar” line.
And finally, there were a number of well publicized Hindu rallies/ceremonies in Trump’s honor in India and at least 1 in America.

This is true even as roughly 75-80% of South Asians vote Democrat.

Salas and Ragz give brainstorm some ideas as to why this might be the case.

Our initial show outline was as follows, though we took a pretty circuitous route:

Why are most desis Democrat?
– is there a generational divide? ABD v DBD?
– overwhelming majority of South Asians are Dems

What issues do desis care about most?
– top issues: Jobs, National Security, + Racism

Hindu nationalism a factor?
– shared fear of Muslims among Hindu nationalists+white nationalists
– racists aren’t that thoughtful. Do white nationalists even distinguish btw Muslims and other brown people (ie Sikhs)? Does Hindu nationalism in American context make any sense?
– Trump saying : ” I love the Hindu”

Mega donor Shalabh Kumar
– What’s his background?
– What role did he play?
– community pushback / protest

Trump administration picks: Pai, Verma, Haley
– How do they fit in to the larger story
– Bobby Jindal also ran in ’16 what traits does he share w the new folks

Links :
“Nearly 80 Percent of Indian Americans Voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election, Reports New Survey”
http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/nearly-percent-of-indian-americans-voted-for-hillary-clinton-in/article_55377a68-40c1-11e7-b539-73def1afeba6.html

“Indians lean left, so why are there so many in the Trump administration”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/indian-americans-trump-administration_us_59723f83e4b09e5f6ccf1517

“Exclusive: The Untold Story How Hindu-Americans Put Trump in the White House”
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/31/exclusive-untold-story-hindu-americans-put-trump-white-house/

“Being Indian in Trump’s America”
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/being-indian-in-trumps-america

“Meet the Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus Supporting Trump”
http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-35758156

“Hotelier in Chief. Here are Trump’s New Hotels”
https://www.propublica.org/article/hotelier-in-chief-here-are-the-trumps-new-hotels

“How Some Indians Made Trump Look Good”
https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-02-15/how-indian-americans-made-trump-look-good

“Trump is Scaring Indian Americans into Finding Their Political Voice”
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/indian-americans/520053/

“Among Trump’s Biggest Fans: Indian Americans”

“Indian Americans voted for Trump in Significant Numbers”
http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Indian-Americans-voted-for-Trump-in-significant-numbers/article16442952.ece

“Asian American Voters are Diverse but Unified Against Trump”
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/asian-american-voters-are-diverse-but-unified-against-donald-trump/

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