Living History

During the run-up to the US elections, we had asked authors and artists about their opinion of the two Presidential candidates. Here’s what they had had to say:

Written by Paromita Chakrabarti , Amrita Dutta | Published:November 10, 2016 12:12 am
donald trump, trump, us elections, trump win, hillary clinton, clinton lose, clinton trump, presidential elections, indian express talk Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump (Source: AP/PTI)

With Hillary Clinton contesting as a Presidential candidate this year, do you think the country is ready for a woman at the helm?

I think that a part of the country is. The other part, however, will have a chance to reach the darkest depths of misogyny. The United States is hurling towards a conflict. Hillary will not be a leader to the whole nation. I fully expect widespread right-wing terrorism to be the consequence of Hillary’s running for President.

# Aleksandar Hemon, author.

How do you perceive Donald Trump as the President of the United States of America?

I don’t.

# Paul Beatty, author, Booker Prize winner, 2016.

What do you think of America’s Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump?

Donald Trump is extremely scary, because he looks like a man people are laughing at. But he is like all extremists. They take some numbers and glue it to some facts that don’t have anything to do with each other and they talk. For the masses, it is galvanising. I don’t think Donald Trump will ever be elected, but if he is, it’s going to be really, really bad. But I don’t like the way the media treats him as a clown. Because even if I don’t like the clown and he scares me, a clown is still a spectacle and he doesn’t harm anyone. A clown that becomes the leader of the biggest country in the world is a big problem. So we should not call him a clown, we should call him a dangerous clown.

#Marjane Satrapi, comic artist and filmmaker.

Has it been worrying for New Yorkers to see the rise of Donald Trump?

This election is very much a New York election. (Bernie) Sanders was born in Brooklyn, (Donald) Trump was born in Queens, (Hillary) Clinton moved to New York to run for the Senate and her headquarter is in Brooklyn. It’s a contest between very different views of New York city. I went to high school with guys like Donald Trump. He lived in an all-white enclave called Jamaica Estates, but Queens itself is statistically the most diverse county of the US. There is still a section of New York which is very fearful, very nativist, very racist — and Trump appeals to them… Today, he hates on Mexicans, tomorrow he hates on Muslims, day after he will hate on the Chinese. When he says ‘Make America great again’, he actually is going back to a vision of America which was much more white. I think it is the last stand of the white [man] in this country which will very soon become a majority minority country. That is, the white non-Hispanic part of the US will be a minority in the next few years.

#Suketu Mehta, author