The curious case of ‘motormouth’ Trump

What goes in President Donald Trump’s favour is the healthy state of the US Economy.

President Trump is the only Head of State in history to call another Head of State a fool. The exact words were, “Don’t be fool”. He wrote this in a letter to the President of Turkey.

The US President withdraw American forces from Syria, abandoning the brave Kurds to be butchered by the Turks. The Kurds have been allies of the US Trump’s attention time is as short it can be. The other day one of his main rivals, former Democrat vice-President Joe Biden called him crazy. Others have used stronger words of condemnation against the occupant of the White House Mr Trump has dismissed more than thirty very senior officials in the White House. Each one personally selected by him. He has dismissed several Secretaries of State on twitter. His administration is in worrying disarray. It does seem to bother him. But it bothers the world.

His appalling conduct in asking the Government of Ukraine to probe the business dealings of his main rival- Joe Biden’s son leaves decent people aghast. His legal adviser, Mr. Rudy Giuliani’s, a former Mayor of New York is a well-known wheeler-dealer. One is known by the company one keeps.

No other US President has ever publically insulted the Speaker of the House of Representative. This he did to Nancy Pelosi, who is leading the campaign to impeach the President.

This is easier said than done. The House of Representatives could pass a resolution recommending impeachment. This will not lead to impeachment. It will defame Trump, but it will be like throwing water on a duck’s back. Besides Mr Trump will brazen it out.

He can be impeached only if the Senate turns against him. This, the President knows will not happen, unless a majority of Senators turns against him. So far his support in the Senate has not been eroded. Republican Senators could dump the President if they saw that he was becoming a liability and would be impeached. If I am not mistaken the votes of 67 senators are required for impeachment.

The case of Richard Nixon comes to mind. The senior most Republican Senators, lead by Barry Goldwater told Nixon that a majority of Senators would vote for his impeachment. Nixon hesitated for a few days before resigning. His successor Gerald Ford exercised his constitutional right to grant Nixon a Presidential pardon, which ensured that Nixon could not face any legal problems.

What goes in President Donald Trump’s favour is the healthy state of the US Economy. For the average American and they are in a vast majority, this is a major factor in Trump’s popularity. He knows this only too well. How long can the economy sustain its growth rate will become clear soon. The economies of major countries are in a serious trouble, including India and China. The U.S cannot avoid an economic slowdown indefinitely.

The Mughals were the undisputed paramount power in India for nearly three hundred years. Real authority began to slip away after Emperor Aurangzeb’s death in 1707 at the age of eighty nine. At his death the Mughal Empire extended from Kabul in Afghanistan to Nagapatam in South India. But cracks began to appear twenty five years earlier. The Marathas under Shivaji were the first to revolt, followed by Jats, Sikhs, Bundelas and the Satnamies.

Aurangzeb undid the great achievements of his great-grandfather Akbar, a benevolent wise, farsighted ruler, with enlightened ideas and sound judgment. His closest advisers were men of the highest calibre.

Aurangzeb’s Alamgir was a bigoted Sunni. To become emperor, he imprisoned his father Shah Jahan and killed his three brothers.

Aurangzeb was a self-educated man, who probably knew the Koran by heart. The other day I come across a most remarkable letter he wrote to his boyhood teacher Mullah Sahe, who came before his former pupil to ask for a favour. I quote the last two paragraphs:

“Should you not, instead of your flattery taught me somewhat of that point so important to a King, which is, what the reciprocal duties are of a sovereign to his subjects and those of subjects to their sovereigns; and ought not you have considered that one day I should be obliged with my sword to dispute my life and my crown with my brothers?

“Have you ever taken any care to make me learn what it’s to besiege a town or set an army in array? For these things I am obliged to others, not at ll to you. Go, return to the village where you come from, and let nobody know who you are, or what is become of you”.

-K Natwar Singh, Former Minister of External Affairs of India