Majority of everyday Indians, and no one else , should decide their government

What was chilling for me were particularly two sets of evidence supporting the contention that Washington is really no longer democratic. Or at the very least, it is suffering a serious democratic deficit. All of this will further remind and reinforce who Indians should best listen to and vote for in the coming national elections. […]

What was chilling for me were particularly two sets of evidence supporting the contention that Washington is really no longer democratic. Or at the very least, it is suffering a serious democratic deficit.

All of this will further remind and reinforce who Indians should best listen to and vote for in the coming national elections.

First, there is the academic study written and researched by US Princeton and Northwestern universities professors and peer reviewed. Its conclusion using extensive surveys, “Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.” (cambridge.org) This is shocking. It is what one would expect more in a dictatorship or possibly, an authoritarian state. Yet US interests self-righteously and falsely accuse the Narendra Modi-led government as being undemocratic.That is really, too rich.
Even from the Huffpost, a main US media outlet is a piece by an investigative historian titled, “Jimmy Carter Is Correct That the U.S. Is No Longer a Democracy.” Carter was a former US president and Nobel peace laureate. In fact what did he state as relayed from a Hartmann Report programme interview, by way of the Intercept is the US is “an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery,” leading to “nominations for president or to elect the president.” More recently, Carter fears for a major insurrection in the US (again?). Even President Joe Biden strongly worries about the future of US democracy.

But the problem is Biden would like in a highly politically partisan way, to pin so much blame for the trend on decreased democracy on former Republican President Donald Trump and his minions. A group for most of whom the former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton used to disgustingly call and in a sneering way “deplorables” and a politician who worked closely with Biden when he was vice president. When I see such attitudes, I sometimes wonder what so many of such members of the globalist elite really think of humble Indian farmers or tea stand owners, for example. That is towards the vast majority of Indians who like the Prime Minister, all have humble, honest backgrounds or roots.
The current White House should consider this, though. The Princeton/Northwestern universities comprehensive study was published in 2O14, well before Trump announced he first was running for president. It also did not concede that the primary threat to democracy was from far-right populism as Biden and his people try to continuously underline and that the US Justice department seems to worry exceedingly about and attach to the Trump movement.

Without discounting this view altogether, might America’s current president and especially his White House team, ever influential to guide him, look at themselves more in the mirror as possibly to share blame for the state of American democracy. Or at least not having tried hard to work enough structurally at reinvigorating it by limiting outside lobby money, including under the laws that allow Political Action Committees (PACs) to raise unlimited amounts of money that can be leveraged to decide which candidates can even get to the election front doors through winning primaries.

It is well known in Washington that because of often the two year term limits of Congressional representatives and the crucial role of campaign funds to getting reelected, that these reps spend a considerably disproportionate time raising funds and playing to big money interests.

Democracy, by mostly big money interests and for big money interests, is indeed what Carter rightfully protested and was clearly aware of first hand. And even the Indian court ruled they would not permit a bond money raising approach to give big money interests, a theoretical and perceived advantage.

But in America, the courts’ apparently twisted idea of freedom, post-modern version ruled that PACs were legitimate. A very interesting contrast in democracy between the two countries with India looking on this as much better under the Modi administration.

So, when the US president and Congress talk, who are they talking for frequently. That is not for large chunks or even, the overall will of the public. Not getting both humanitarian aid much faster and facilitating peace in Gaza what do the American people say? “Voters broadly disapprove of the way President Biden is handling the bloody strife between Israelis and Palestinians, a New York Times/Siena College poll has found…”(New York Times) And what about the Ukraine war, seemingly overly supported by Biden’s people (and certainly by well-funded lobbies?) to be continued until the impossibility, apparently of Kyiv winning? That is even if hundreds of billions of dollars of hard-earned taxpayer dollars, or trillions of dollars of dangerous mounting debt is significantly added to, not good for interest rates in India, as well.

In fact in a November 2023 Gallup poll, a majority of Americans thought the US government was doing too much to help Ukraine – likely worse results, now? In a more recent poll reported on by responsiblestatecraft.org, “Roughly 70% of Americans want the Biden administration to push Ukraine toward a negotiated peace with Russia as soon as possible.” But be it in Gaza, Ukraine or the overextension of so-called liberal interventionism, it seems the overall will of the American people is well discounted by insider Washington. Some democracy, that Washington wants Indians to copy and generally see as exceptional?

Then, there is Donald Trump, no angel but Biden’s Department of Justice seems to have a “political death wish” against the former president with it seems, 100s of charges laid against him by US prosecutors, apparently to keep him out of the presidential race by even putting him in jail – not very democratic at all.

Interestingly, some of these prosecutors campaigns to get reelected are funded by George Soros and friends who openly ridiculously refer to Prime Minister Modi as undemocratic and want him removed.

And broadly speaking the same prosecutors influenced at conveniently making charges that some Indian officials tried to organize the “knocking off” of an Indian citizen living in the US, designated as a terrorist by Delhi. So much for democracy and fairness to India, indeed in too much of the US system?
Putting all this together, what can one conclude? America, especially much of the Congress and the aligned US media have little credibility in giving lessons to Indian voters on democracy.

And there is no acceptable reason for Washington to have it or its agents to push to replace the current Indian government with certain Oppositions, including ones with a preference for western culture and malleability to turning over India to big western financial and other interests.

In other words, it would be a travesty to replace India’s hard fought independence, first led to by Mahatma Gandhi, then with the building on that holistic legacy of anti-colonialism mindset and practices by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One providing a re-energized and more workable framework of democracy for Indians as well, for the Global South. It is also arguably a better model for much of the world even than what Washington presents as exceptional. Simply to continue real India, relevant democracy,  it can be well  argued that Indians should vote Modi. And no to those supporting a “dying” form of US democracy seemingly too embraced by the Opposition. Whatever the outcome, it is the majority of everyday Indians who should decide their government and no one else.

Peter Dash lives in the Global South, writes extensively on geopolitics and has lived in Asia for about 20 years. He specialized on political participation at Harvard.