Many Indo-Caribbean and other Indian Americans cheered for Trump. The incumbent received some 25% Indo-Caribbean votes and 28% Indian Americans. He received a smaller percentage of Black Americans (12%) and probably a much smaller percentage of Afro-Caribbean Americans. What was astonishing was the relatively large percentage of minorities, immigrant Americans, who voted for Trump even though his rhetoric was anti-immigrant. As some immigration lawyers said, if it were up to Trump, many immigrants, including legal ones, would be returned to their home country. But immigrants gravitated to the President.
The minorities who voted for Trump are disappointed that he lost. Almost everyone who was a Trump supporter claimed there was fraud. They inundated me with queries why Trump lost while also citing fraud. There was hardly any fraud in the elections. No evidence has been cited although Trump claimed fraud and has refused to concede. Even the authorities in Republican controlled states said there were not reported incidents of electoral fraud. Biden won fair and square. The voters turned against Trump. He lost the popular vote by some four millions.
Since Wednesday, I told friends and published articles that Trump lost because of voting trends for Democrats in swing states that normally would go Republican. The fact that that contests in safe Republican states was so close meant Democrats made gains and would pick up states. There was a swing factor of 2% to 5% against Trump, comparable to the swing factor against David Granger in Guyana. That essentially sealed Trump’s fate as it did against the coalition.
As I consistently maintained for months prior to the election, Biden would win the Presidency because of the serious errors Donald Trump made during his tenure. Guyanese Trumpites said Trump would win without offering data to back their claim. Polls put Biden ahead. Trumpites said the polls were wrong in 2016. They were wrong in 2016 but were relatively right in 2020 though they were somewhat off.
Trump lost because he made some of the same kind of errors that the APNU+AFC coalition made in Guyana, and it was not surprising that the voters deservedly kicked out both. Trump and David Granger turned off voters by not adhering to common sense basic policies and for pursuing racist policies. Neither one was prepared to heed good advice (not from me as I was no advisor to them) or was given bad advice. Had they pursued simple commonsensical policies that endeared themselves to swing voters, they would have won. Instead, they alienated the swing voters who turned against them.
Trump, like the Guyana coalition, promised to drain the swamp of alligators (or was it sharks?). Instead, they added more alligators into the swamp to eat out the hourie. Some of those greedy ones associated with the coalition even clean out the hassa and patwa and even drained kakabelly, leaving almost nothing for others. The “lil man” had very little chance for survival, and in fact in Guyana ‘the lil man’ had virtually no chance of making it because all opportunities were closed. The coalition even took away avenues for struggling people to even make a living; the market vendor could not make a living as even ‘jhumpa shrimps’ were cleaned out by the coalition. And worse, coalition officials saw nothing wrong with their policy.
The coalition fired tens of thousands of workers and did not even offer them a decent job separation package. There were no jobs to be had. Indians and Amerindians were dismissed on account of race or political affiliation in the government sector (civil service). In the meanwhile, friends and families of the coalition lived a high life while the poor were denied the good life that was promised. Some were paid about $1M a month for doing nothing and some did not even live in Guyana but were on payroll not even tendering any advice; they were paid for service for which they had no qualification. Meanwhile those of us who were qualified and skilled to be advisors or consultants or even to work at job sites were not even offered or even asked if we wanted a position. The policy of ignoring the base and those that supported the coalition made things worse for the coalition. It was bound to turn off voters as did broken promises to sugar workers, rice farmers, and other agricultural producers. The tax burden was unbearable for the working class. Angry voters came out to vote out the coalition and some who voted for it in 2015 stayed home. Nevertheless, the coalition did well getting 31 seats.
In the US, Trump ran a racist, anti-immigrant campaign in 2016 and got away with it. He won because he promised to clamp down on corruption and fix the broken immigration system. He failed on both counts. He had hoped the same campaign message would resonate and he would win with it. But it would not work – you can only cash the same check one. It will bounce a second time if you try to cash it.
There are many factors that led to Trump’s defeat. I will focus only on immigration. America is an immigrant nation. Trump’s policy inflamed many voters, surprisingly not all Guyanese. Trump had the support of Congress to make sweeping immigration reforms. Instead, he focused on deporting all the illegals and shut down the border to legal residents. He took away the rights of undocumented college educated students to work. Hundreds of thousands of Indian professionals (engineers, doctors, and IT experts) waiting for their green cards were put in limbo. He did not show compassion for refugees and asylum seekers. He raised the fee of a professional visa from US$5K to US$50K. He instructed foreign Consulates to reduce visitors’ visas. The immigration policy turned off voters. Every illegal and immigrants in limbo had families who were citizens, many of whom were not interested in voting. They came out to vote out Trump in swing states like Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arizona, Virginia, Nevada, among others.
Had Trump pursued a moderate immigration policy and toned down his anti-minority rhetoric, he may have been able to convince ‘immigrant citizens’ to vote for him and survived the Biden/Harris brigade in the swing states to serve another term.