What Explains the Rise of the Desi Right in America?

Samosa Caucus
Samosa Caucus
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”

“Indians lean left, so why are there so many in the Trump administration”

“Exclusive: The Untold Story How Hindu-Americans Put Trump in the White House”

“Being Indian in Trump’s America”

“Meet the Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus Supporting Trump”

“Hotelier in Chief. Here are Trump’s New Hotels”

“How Some Indians Made Trump Look Good”

“Trump is Scaring Indian Americans into Finding Their Political Voice”

“Among Trump’s Biggest Fans: Indian Americans”

“Indian Americans voted for Trump in Significant Numbers”

“Asian American Voters are Diverse but Unified Against Trump”

Asian-American Voters Are Diverse But Unified Against Donald Trump

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