COMMENTARY | India, the world’s largest democracy, has finished a marathon election process that that has led to the fall of the ruling Congress Party and the election of a free market supporter named Narendra Modi.
According to the Daily Caller:
“Modi bears striking similarities to a celebrated American president: one Ronald Wilson Reagan. Both men rose from humble origins. Modi, in particular, worked from childhood hawking tea in railway stations. Both were popular and successful state governors: Modi is the chief minister (equivalent to a governor) of Gujarat, an Indian state whose gift to the world was Mahatma Gandhi. Modi, like Reagan, is an unabashed proponent of free market economics: ‘Modinomics,’ the term coined to describe Modi’s free market and anti-corruption reforms, is of course a nod to ‘Reaganomics’; it has unleashed an economic boom in Gujarat.”
Modi is also in favor of a tough stand against Pakistan and Islamist terrorists. And he is hated by the same sorts of people who hated Reagan, including the American State Department.
The reason Modi election makes a difference is that it may be a foreshadowing of things to come, just as Margaret Thatcher’s election as prime minister of Great Britain was a foreshadowing of the election of Ronald Reagan as president of the United States. It will not make a difference in the short term; President Obama is as far away from a Reagan or a Thatcher as one can get and still be a democratically elected politician. But if, as many hope and expect, the next president is more in the mode of a Reagan or even George W. Bush (a man who is still enormously popular in India) a great new partnership will become possible.
India, while it still has problems of a huge underclass, is also increasingly modern country with a large middle class, a technology industry, its own nuclear arsenal, and even its own space program. The establishment of a “special relationship” between the United States and India, which would resemble the similar one that once existed between the United States and Great Britain before Obama blew it up, would have profound implications for geopolitics in Asia and the efforts to contain not only Islamic terror, but a rising China.
Now we have to elect our own Reagan clone to make that happen.