U.S. President Donald Trump isn’t exactly a beloved figure in American politics, but he received a hero’s welcome in India this week.
There are those in the U.S. who support the president, of course. And quite a few more than there used to be, as evidenced by the Republican lawmakers who voted- almost unanimously- in solidarity with Trump during his latest impeachment hearings.
There are even some Americans who love this president, as evidenced by the massive Trump campaign rallies which have been taking place across the country for the past year as Trump ramps up his re-election efforts in the run-up to the November 2020 election.
But not everyone likes President Donald Trump. And although few- if any- of the direst predictions surrounding Trump’s administration have come to pass, hatred of Trump has hardly diminished in some circles.
True, Trump never crashed the stock market- as predicted- or started World War III- as predicted. Nor has he deployed nuclear weapons against America’s enemies or engaged in mass deportations.
Yet Trump is hardly hailed as a national hero at home.
The U.S. press doesn’t love him. Reporters aren’t lining up to breathlessly ask Trump about his picks for March Madness, as they once did for former President Barack Obama.
But in spite of almost unmitigated negative news coverage of this president, Trump has managed to raise his approval rating to mirror Obama’s at this same point during the latter’s reelection campaign in 2012.
The U.S. economy is clipping along at a smart pace and the current historically low unemployment numbers are the envy of the world. The U.S. hasn’t entered into any new wars and is getting out of some old ones.
And even some of Trump’s most heavily criticized foreign policy decisions- like the strike that killed Iranian terror general Soleimani- his critics have grudgingly admitted might have been correct.
Still, these wins for the Trump administration are hardly music to the ears of U.S. Democrats determined to unseat him in November.
Nor are Trump’s political opponents likely to take much pleasure from the Trump administration’s state trip to India; by most accounts it was an unmitigated success.
While his Democratic rivals were busy duking it out back home- and preparing to do so again tonight- and the Democratic Party has been grappling with the implications of an impending Bernie Sanders primary victory; U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife First Lady Melania Trump have been embraced and celebrated at every turn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India.
Immense in antiquity, steeped in a rich cultural heritage, India is the world’s largest Democracy and that common Democratic ground is fertile for the sort of mutually beneficial trading relationship that could greatly benefit the citizens of both nations.
Indeed, the two leaders have already unveiled agreements between the two nations shaped around U.S. exports of natural gas and military helicopters. At the conclusion of Trump’s visit, both men also expressed optimism that a comprehensive and lucrative trade deal would soon be forthcoming.
India almost certainly made a positive impression on President Trump, who spoke at a massive “Namaste, Trump!” rally to over 100,000 cheering guests, visited the home of Mohandas Gandhi with Prime Minister Modi and toured the world-famous Taj Mahal.
Trump was effusive in his praise of the nation, of its people and of Prime Minister Modi in particular, who received Trump warmly with one of his signature bear-hugs.
While it may not be music to the ears of U.S. Democrats running against Trump in the upcoming election, the citizens of the U.S. and India have a great deal to gain from a closer U.S./India trade partnership.
Especially as China grapples with controlling the novel Coronavirus and Chinese/U.S. supply-chains have become of increasing concern.
If Trump’s recent state visit to India is any indication, the friendship between the two leaders bodes well for future relations between India and the U.S.
“You have done a great honor to the American people. Melania, my family, we will always remember this remarkable hospitality.” — U.S. President Donald Trump
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)