Blogs

The Return of the Native

Thoughts on The Return of the Native A British immigrant reluctantly decides to escape the tumult of Trump’s America By Rebecca Mead The New Yorker, August 20, 2018...

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Opinion Pieces at the News International Pakistan

The war within – published on November 24, 2020

The US presidential election is mostly over and in a couple of weeks the results will be certified by each state and submitted to Congress. While outgoing President Trump refuses to acknowledge his defeat, most serious observers have accepted the results and are looking forward to the new Biden administration which will be sworn in on January 20. Almost all lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign have been dismissed for lack of merit.

The vote count shows Joe Biden with almost 80 million votes while Trump has received about 74 million. Both are the highest vote counts ever received by a winning candidate as well as by the losing one. The Electoral College similarly shows a clear win by Biden of 306 votes, versus a minimum of 270 needed to win. Read more…

Will he go peacefully? Published on November 11, 2020

Four tense days of tabulating results followed the November 3 elections in the US. Finally, all major networks announced that Joe Biden had achieved an insurmountable lead over Donald Trump and Biden was anointed ‘president-elect’.

Counting of votes continues, and in all but four states the vote count has reached a point where the winner is clear. The official result will be certified on December 8. Trump will remain president till noon on January 20, when Biden is sworn in. Read more…

Voter Suppression – Published on October 22, 2020

The US has helped spread democratic values across many parts of the world. However, in recent times, as politics within the US has become more and more contentious, many of the key pillars of democracy within the country itself have started to be scrutinized.

We are finding out that the US constitution did not envision a representative democracy as we understand it today. In other words, it does not allow for a system in which each citizen’s vote counts equally. Nor does it guarantee every citizen the right to vote. It also does not allow for direct election of the president by all citizens. Read More…

Alternate Facts – Published October 8, 2020

In the early hours of Friday, October 2, US President Trump tweeted that he and Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The very next day Donald Trump was moved to the Walter Reed Medical Center just outside of Washington DC. Statements coming out of the White House about Trump’s health, including from the president’s personal physician, continue to be confusing at best. Read more …

Democracy in Crisis – Published on September 24, 2020

The United States continues to move with trepidation towards national elections on November 3, while the country continues to bounce from one crisis to the next. Over 200,000 Americans are dead from Covid-19 and over 6.5 million have been infected. Tens of millions are unemployed and several universities had to move to online teaching only within a week of reopening as Covid cases spiked.

Messages from the Trump administration about the pandemic are confusing at best. He continues to contradict his own science experts on a daily basis. Read more…

The worst yet to come – Published on September 10, 2020

Both parties’ political conventions have now concluded. The Democratic Party convention was followed by the Republican convention last week.

It turned out to be a very Trump-family focused four days. All members of his family including his children spoke, as did Melania. Needless to say, all of them recounted how good the president has been for the country.

There was hardly any mention of the pandemic the country is suffering through or the economic collapse that has followed. Vice president Mike Pence set a new standard in ‘smoke and mirrors’ politics. He talked about the 8-10 million jobs that had been gained in the last four months, failing to mention that more than 20 million jobs had disappeared immediately before this weak recovery. Read more …

Election Season – Published on August 27, 2010

US political party conventions have now concluded, and campaigns are in full swing. The country nervously moves towards November 3. Kamala Harris, senator from California and former presidential candidate herself was chosen by Joe Biden to be his running mate.

Harris with her biracial background broke many firsts – first woman of colour to be on a presidential ticket, and first child of immigrants to be selected for this position. Daughter of an immigrant mother from India and father from Jamaica, she rose in politics in California over the years, being elected attorney general of the largest state and then as US senator. Read more …

Law and Order President? – Published on August 13, 2020

In the wake of recent protests in the US, Donald Trump has declared himself to be the ‘law and order’ president.

This term comes with many layers of meaning for Americans. Richard Nixon had declared himself to be the same when he ran for office in 1968 — a time of much turmoil in America. There were wide-scale protests against the Vietnam War, and three prominent leaders — John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy — had all been assassinated. There had been major race riots in several large cities in the aftermath of the King assassination in April 1968 and most white Americans had fled urban areas in fear. The country was in turmoil and Nixon promised to smack down any protests. Read more …

Dereliction of Duty – Published on July 30, 2020

Five months into the coronavirus pandemic, the US continues to be one of the worst affected countries. With five percent of the world’s population, it has 25 percent of all coronavirus deaths. There is still a battle raging in the country as to whether this is a real threat, or not. Or whether face masks really help or not. And even whether the reported numbers of infections and fatalities mean anything.

One would think dead bodies piling up, and ICU wards filled beyond capacity wouldn’t be a matter of debate. Yet this is where America stands today. Over four million confirmed infections, deaths closing in on 150,000, and no end in sight. Read more…

US Elections and Muslims – Published on July 14, 2020

The Democratic candidate for president, Joe Biden, has recently appointed Farooq Mitha, an American of South Asian heritage, as his director of outreach to the American Muslim community. The election is less than four months away. Normally, campaigning would have been in full swing at this time, but the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on it.