Not a surprise that more ‘Sturm und Drang’ tops four years of turbulence with the maddest, baddest crescendo to the finale. And the finale promises to drag on.
Why isn’t 3 November already over? Why isn’t the world already in the summer of 2021 and the next US president, whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden, confidently taking care of business?
Well, 3 November is still two weeks away. In the meantime, one must make sure that ears don’t start bleeding from the loud echo chambers of Fox News and CNN.
Appreciate if you can the completely different worlds your columnist must simultaneously occupy. Both are “pataal lok” in different ways. Only way out: go into survival mode.
Covering the Trump versus Biden War
If you tried to watch the two town halls last week when Trump and Biden were on at exactly the same time because their astrologers had so decreed, you would understand the dilemma. No, American networks were not conducting a ratings ‘war’ because they “embed” in real ones.
It was one of the toughest assignments of Washington DC. Granted, it wasn’t Mogadishu or Kabul but on the American scale of difficulty, it was up there.
Before you knew it, Trump had emptied a carbine on NBC while you were watching Biden hunt for his questioner in the bleachers on ABC. Flip-flopping and vertigo were inevitable.
But the state of mind is everything, right? Here’s mine after a few intense weeks on the job: Covid, third wave, Hunter Biden, laptop, New York Post, FBI, Russians, fake news, Facebook, left-wing, Antifa, police shootings, Trump taxes, $750, Kamaa-la Harris dancing in the rain, Biden speaking over cars honking, Trump wanting to kiss every woman and man at rallies because he is “immune,” Dexamethasone, red sea of MAGA hats, lock her up, clown, shut-up man, idiots, Fauci and CHINA.
China Gets Attention from Parents
Any mention of China, and all antennae are up. Indian Americans are totally clued in, especially the uncles and aunties. The young not so much—they are busy fighting for social justice. China is a distraction for them.
But their moms and pops are trying hard to make sure Biden gets the message on China. He must be tough and tougher. But the Democratic Party bureaucracy can be cumbersome—hand your request in triplicate. The Republican camp followers are a little better off. They can brag about meeting Don Trump Jr. in New York two days ago when they heard the first son deliver a well-tailored message on China to meet the local demand.
America Goes the Goddess Way
Micro targeting is through the roof. Biden and Harris are busy wishing Hindu Americans “a Happy Navratri” after a happy Ganesh Chaturthi. Harris’ niece got into trouble for tweeting an image of her VP candidate aunt as Goddess Durga and Trump at the end of a trishul as Mahishasur. The worst was Biden as Harris’ “vehicle.”
But coming back to the echo chambers we currently inhabit and can’t escape. Meet CNN’s “virtuous” Jake Tapper who won’t let Lara Trump speak, and cross over to Fox’s “evil” Sean Hannity who won’t let anyone speak unless they parrot him.
Even our very own big name Fareed Zakaria succumbs to the party line and won’t let a former Trump national security official explain what Trump’s foreign policy might actually mean. They all know better than the ones they interview.
Trump or Biden? Battle Lines Are Drawn Everywhere
Being non-partisan in this atmosphere is rough. Snarky messages can come from both sides if you stray from their line on Twitter. Do I dare disturb the universe?
Every morning, the mailbox is filled with frantic Trump “questions of the day for Biden” on one hand and Biden invitations to restore decency via a virtual bus tour with Asian Americans on the other.
The question, my friend, is how many virtual events must you attend before you can say they are “real?”
(The writer is a senior Washington-based journalist. She can be reached at @seemasirohi. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)
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