On November 8, 2016, against all odds, Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. Even on Election Day itself, this was something that most people thought was unfathomable. Defying the entire mainstream liberal media and overcoming all opinion polls, Trump won the election with 306 electoral votes, and in the process, ending up swinging deeply blue states such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania from Democratic to Republican for the first time in decades. Now whether you agree or disagree with his opinions, you can’t deny the fact that what he registered was a spectacular victory, one that defied all odds and made everyone reassess what they were initially thinking about politics. Now initially, even I was a little surprised by how Trump could have possibly won. But after recently visiting the United States (Chicago in particular) for some work, I can understand exactly how and why Trump ended up winning this election.
For the longest time one can remember, America has always been known as the global leader in a variety of fields including, but not limited to, infrastructure. Well, if you were to visit Chicago and were to travel to Downtown Chicago from Hyatt regency, you’d come across a bridge that would say otherwise. The bridge is rusting, shoddily maintained and even shows alarming cracks. When I first laid eyes on this bridge, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Is this the infrastructure of a city as modern and urban as Chicago? Our own Mumbai Bridge, that was initiated by Nitin Gadkari in 1995, stands majestic and beautifully maintained in 2017, whereas bridges in Chicago are rusting, breaking and, for lack of a better word, dying.
And no, that bridge isn’t the only thing that bewildered me during this trip. Detroit (situated in the all too important state of Michigan), that once used to be the hub of industrial America, now lays barren and empty, it’s vacant factories rusting and dying. This America seems less like the one mentioned by all in the proverbial ‘American Dream’ and more like the one that constitutes an ‘American Nightmare’. Noticing how far the Rust Belt of America has been left behind owning to globalization and outsourcing, one can see exactly why Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania voted for Trump.
Now during my stay in Chicago, there was another thing I noticed that, once again, made me understand exactly why people elected Trump in 2016. Not too far from where I was staying, was the Trump Tower. Standing 1,388 feet tall with 98 floors, it stood like a majestic beauty and was, without a doubt, a sight to behold. Adjacent to the Trump Tower was another innovative infrastructural creation the like of which I had never seen before – an elevated parking structure, standing higher than even most buildings we’ve got back home.
Seeing Trump’s own personal infrastructural creations, and contrasting them with the dying bridges of Chicago or the barren factories in Detroit, one can start to understand why, when he ran on the pitch of ‘Making America Great Again’, he ended up being successful. Whether Trump’s liberal haters would like to believe it or not, but the USA is crumbling down and many cities, especially those located in and near the Rust Belt, are slowly dying. Just having two cities located on the coasts (New York, Los Angeles) developing and thriving isn’t enough to make up for those cities that are rusting and falling apart. And so the need of the hour for the United States is to have someone leading them who, not only understands that this problem exists, but also is aware of the necessary that need to be taken to fix it. And if the majestic Trump Tower in Chicago is anything to go by, then I can confidently say that America truly made the right choice in 2017.
उद्यमेनैव सिध्यन्ति कार्याणि न मनोरथै
न हि सुप्तस्य सिंहस्य प्रविशन्ति मुखे मृगा
Only with industry and effort is work done,
Animals never themselves dare enter a lion’s mouth.