He wants Muslim voters in TX-CD22 to be fearful of Trump victory if Kulkarni does not win the election. It’s a silly argument that goes against all logic and common sense.
DR ASLAM ABDULLAH
Dr. Muqdetar Khan, a political science professor at the University of Delaware and self-declared expert on Indian Muslims, has initiated a personal crusade against all those opposed to Sri Preston Kulkarni. He believes any opposition to Kulkarni in Texas Congressional District 22 would lead to a Trump victory in the US Presidential election. He makes such Muslims guilty in the court of the Democratic party for Biden’s defeat.
He wants Muslim voters in TX-CD22 to be fearful of Trump victory if Kulkarni does not win the election.
It’s a silly argument that goes against all logic and common sense. As a political scientist, he must understand that there is a difference between Presidential race and powers and a Congressional race. They are two separate races and no voter is under any obligation to vote to the same party in the election of difference races. In 2018, two Republican electoral college members voted against Trump, one each for Ron Paul and John Kasich.
The Tx-22 voters understand this distinction. They know where their conscience would lead them, and they would decide the best as they are not the blind followers of any party.
Let us look at the claim that Muslim votes against Kulkarni would hand over a victory to Trump.
Texas became a state in 1845, and its first presidential election took place in 1848. Thirteen years later it seceded from the Union in 1861 and did not participate in the 1864 and 1868 elections. From 1872 through 1976, Texans voted Democrats except in 1928, 1952, 1956, and 1972 when they elected a Republican. It changed in 1980, and Texans elected Republicans until 2016.
In 2016, Donald Trump won the state by a 52 per cent margin to 43 per cent over Hillary Clinton. In 2020, according to https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/texas/, Trump holds over a one-point lead over Biden. The state now has 16.4 million voters, 2.1 million more than it had just over four years ago — a 15 percent increase. Texas doesn’t register voters by party affiliation, making it unclear exactly how many Republican or Democratic voters are in the state. But 200,000 Latinos turn 18 every year.
A one per cent difference if all 16.4 million voters cast their ballot would be 164,000 votes.
Now let us look at the TX-22 population. 935,386 is the total population of the District. Seventy-eight per cent are over 18. In 2018, the total number of votes cast for the Congressional race was 297,405.
The Republican Olson won 152, 750 and the Democratic Kulkarni won 138, 153. In the last presidential elections in Texas, 42.64 voters cast their votes. If we assume that 50 per cent of voters cast their ballots in District-22 in 2018, the District’s total ballot number is about 600,000.
Let us take that in 2020, 60 per cent of people would vote. The total votes expected to be in would be 360,000. The total number of Muslim voters in the District is about 24,000. With a seventy percent turn out, their total votes would be 16,800. Out of the 16,800 votes, suppose, Kulkarni gets between 40 to 60 per cent or between 6400 to 9600 votes. And the remaining, between 10,600 and 5,400 , go to the Republican candidate and President Trump. Still that would be insufficient to give Biden a victory in the state even if the margin of Trump victory is half a percent.
Even if all the Muslim votes in Texas go to Biden, they will not make any dent in Trump’s victory if the current poll numbers stay the same until November 3.
According to the 2018 US Census Bureau estimates, the population of Texas is 73.5% White (41.4% Non-Hispanic White and 32.1% Hispanic White), 12.3% Black or African American, 5.0% Asian, 0.5% Native American and Alaskan Native, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.0% Some Other race, and 2.7% from two or more races.
Among the Latinos, only 41.2 per cent are eligible voter. In 2016, some 30 per cent Latinos voted Trump. Texas might turn blue if there is a significant shift in Latino votes.
In 2020, Trump votes are likely to increase as there would be a significant shift in Hindu votes. Most Texan Hindus are supporting President Trump as per Modi’s instructions, who in 2019 urged his followers during the Howdy Modi event in Houston to vote Republican. Khan conveniently ignored this fact completely
Khan’s idea that Muslim votes to Kulkarni’s would give Trump a victory is as absurd as the argument that Muslim votes decided Obama’s election as President.
Khan claims that he supports Kulkarni because he has a progressive philosophy. Kulkarni has the financial and ideological backing of three groups, Hindu Vishwa Parishad (VHP), Hindu Federation of American (HAF), and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS). All three trace their origin to an organisation, RSS, that takes pride in Nathu Ram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, and that promotes a fascist ideology. How can a sane person declare the candidate backed by terrorist outfits progressive? Since when identification with fascists has become a sign of decency.
Khan also claims that a vote for the Republican candidate is a vote for the Muslim ban and Islamophobes and concludes that voting for Kulkarni is harmless. A Republican candidate would be another Republican candidate in a Democratic majority Congress. But Kulkarni would be far more dangerous as he would allow Hindutva fascists to US his presence in various committees to increase their influence and promote policies that serve RSS more than this country. The voters dissatisfied by the performance of the Republican candidate can switch to his opponent in 2022. Still, it would be hard to remove Kulkarni in 2022 because of the District’s changing demographics.
The Muslims of TX-22 understand the difference between a Congressional candidate and a Presidential candidate. They are politically mature, and they do know whom to vote for Congress and President. Khan will not dictate the Muslim conscience.
Opposing Kulkarni is a moral stand. Through its agents in the US, a foreign country should not interfere in the US election. If Democrats oppose the Russian intervention, they should also resist the Hindutva intervention. But the political scientist probably thinks that ISIS, al-Qaeda, and RSS have a justification for their electoral interference through proxies.
Voters should reject this thinking and disassociate with people who mislead them. Khan is trying to promote fear among Muslims and to create a guilt feeling. He is accusing them in advance that their votes against his favourite Congressional candidate would re-elect Trump. He does not know that voters can choose a candidate of their choice belonging to different political parties. If Trump wins, it would be due to these myopic political commentators who dare to insult voters and their right to make independent decisions.