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Postmaster: Send address change to News India Times, 1655 Oak Tree Toad, Suite 155 Edison, NJ 08820-2843 Annual Subscription: United States: $28 Disclaimer: Parikh Worldwide Media assumes no liability for claims/ assumptions made in advertisements and advertorials. www.newsindiatimes.com – that’s all you need to know Opinion News India Times October 15, 2021 3 - Continued On Page 4 Mike Pence And Nikki Haley Struggle To Escape The Pull Of The Trump Vortex T hose who would succeed Donald Trump as the leader of the GOP find themselves in an eternally awkward position. The profound ways Trump changed their party, and the hold he continues to exert on its base, make it difficult to impossible for them to do the very things necessary to stake a plausible claim to party leadership and assemble an electoral majority in 2024. Above all, they must pledge fealty to some basic propositions with near-messi- anic intensity: Trump’s most consequen- tial failures were glorious triumphs. The problems he created for the GOP actually make the party monumentally great. And rather than hamstringing their ability to win votes, he is the only hope they have. Some new moves by would-be Trump successors Mike Pence and Nikki Haley illustrate the depth of the problem. Let’s start with the former vice president, who is desperate to show that he’s a man of strength, yet can’t help but demonstrate that his service for Trump has rendered him a craven weakling. In a Monday interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Pence tried to minimize his one moment in office when he showed something resembling fortitude and cour- age. In Pence’s telling, the violent Jan. 6 ef- fort to overthrow the election was reduced to “one day in January.” The media talks about it only to “demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans” who voted for Trump, Pence declared. Pence might have portrayed this as a fateful moment when he demonstrated the (somewhat qualified) courage to rebuff Trump’s pleas to declare him the winner. But he cannot: All Republicans are required to characterize Jan. 6 as either a justified (if overenthusiastic) response to a stolen or suspect election, or an inconse- quential episode only being hyped by the Trump-hating media. You’d think it would still loom large for Pence that rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” after Trump inspired them to go terrorize him. But precisely because it was Pence’s most courageous moment - when he finally stood up to Trump - he must beg for it to be ignored. Indeed, Trump still tells audiences Pence lacked the “courage” to participate in Trump’s coup, com- pounding the humiliation. As much as any other GOP figure, Pence enabled one of Trump’s most transforma- tive legacies, the elevating of anxious mas- culinity to new heights. While Republicans have long fetishized performative displays of manhood, Trump ratcheted this up into a drama of dominance that requires oth- ers to submit to abject degradation. No one volunteered more enthusiasti- cally than Pence. He was always there to offer embarrassingly obsequious praise (of Trump’s shoulder width) and even flattering mimicry (remember those water bottles?). Which is fine for a second banana, but it doesn’t mark you for leadership. Pence’s dilemma now is that, after four years of unrivaled lickspittlery, his one moment of courage is the very thing he must memo- ry-hole. Or take Haley, the former U.N. ambas- sador under Trump. Haley has given a new interview to theWall Street Journal that indicates how she’ll work around Trump while exploring a presidential run herself. Above all, what emerges is this: It is absolutely essential to continue pledging fealty to the idea that Trump’s impact on the GOP was gloriously transformative, in an overwhelmingly if not uniformly sublime way. But Haley also wants distance from some of the depraved and destructive things Trump actually did, to preserve the option of becoming a post-Trump figure with broad appeal. How to square this circle? Easy: Con- demn all the negatives in our politics that Trump unleashed or exacerbated, but only in abstract, general terms, while erasing the fact that Trump himself was the author of them. So Haley praises Trump’s general im- pact on the GOP, claiming: “We need him in the Republican Party. I don’t want us to go back to the days before Trump.” This is similar to Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, who have called on other Republicans to mute criti- cism of Trump’s effort to overturn democ- racy, ostensibly to avoid disturbing the hallowed process by which he continues to bring “working class” voters into the GOP. Yet Haley does want to distance herself from those efforts to subvert democracy. So she also declares “there was fraud in the election” but stresses there was not enough to impact the outcome. There wasn’t significant fraud, but beyond that, note that Haley won’t say Trump is respon- sible for spreading the poisonous lie that fraud was decisive. And Haley does want distance from Trump’s ferocious stoking of racial con- flict. So she declares Republicans must affirm that people should be “judged by actions, not color,” and that discrimina- tion should be “ended.” But Haley depicts the left as the real enemy of those prin- ciples, and says nothing about Trump’s remaking of the GOP in his own racist and white nationalist image. Magically, in both cases, Trump’s own role - in subverting democracy, and em- boldening racist and white nationalist im- pulses inside the GOP - is simply erased. Thus Haley can continue hewing to the idea that Trump’s impact on the GOP has been something worthy of awe and praise. Even after Trump lost badly in 2020, not only does he still have the party in his grip, his very transformation of it makes it impossible for successors to correct the things he did. Even if Trump doesn’t run in 2024, he’ll con- tinue making life miserable for GOP politi- cians - and all of us. Paul Wald- man is an opinion writer for the Plum Line blog. Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog. He joined The Post in 2010, after stints at Talking Points Memo, New York Magazine and the New York Observer. -TheWashington Post By PaulWaldman, Greg Sargent TheWashington Post TheWashington Post Fear Sells. It’s Our Job Not To Give In To It S ixty years ago, Oct. 6, 1961, the condition of the world had reached such a point that President John F. Kennedy advised Americans nationwide to prepare fortified shelters, ideally underground, and stock them with everything needed to live for weeks. The existential menace embodied by fallout shelters has been defanged by time. Now, the little cells are part of a gauzy mid-century nostalgia, much like tail fins on cars and dancing the twist. With a little effort, though, one might imagine the dread that must have permeated a society upon learning that its preeminent leader felt nuclear war could be near. Kennedy said, in effect: Make it a prior- ity to have a blast-protected hole in the ground, close enough to reach in a matter of minutes, where you can wait out a le- thal dose of radiation before surfacing into a hellscape where hundreds of millions of people are dead. It is fashionable to say that the United States is at its low point, and that the rest of the world is going to blazes, too. We are more divided, more demoralized, more deceived than ever before. Our problems are too large for our leaders, who are too small for their jobs. There is a lot of truth in that diagnosis. We have allowed ourselves to become deeply divided, living in politically homo- geneous enclaves, feeding on information that reinforces our biases, waging culture wars for fun and profit. We magnify small differences even as we deny common purposes. The resulting erosion of trust cripples the nation’s ability to meet both internal and external challenges. What the diagnosis gets wrong is the historical dimension. Little is happen- ing now that has not happened before, in some shape or form. Today’s climate crisis, for example, only appears more menacing than the potential nuclear holocaust of the Kennedy years because one is in the foreground while the other has receded. By David Von Drehle

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