NEW YORK – President Donald Trump ends the year 2017 on a remarkable high, with the heavily Republican-skewed Rasmussen Reports poll concluding that his approval rating going into 2018 is the same as that of Barack Obama, at the end of the year 2009, his first year in office. There’s plenty to cheer for Trump on this frigid New Year’s Eve, what with the historic tax cuts and the zooming Dow, which fell just short of breaking through 25K on the final business day of the year.
Here’s a list – mind you, some fanciful, and in no particular order – that Trump should do in the new year, 2018, to further boost his approval rating, in the United States and overseas.
- Visit not just a church on New Year’s Day, but also a temple, mosque, and synagogue. Tax cuts are done, a huge bet laid out for a prosperous, economically booming America. It’s the right time to sow healing, show people of all faith are respected and welcomed.
- Tweet at least one tweet every week praising Democrats for what they do on Capitol Hill. This will build bipartisanship, which in 2017 was hiding in a graveyard, waiting for a burial spot.
- Remove the country cap on those waiting for a Green Card, which will benefit skilled Indian workers, who languish in the pipeline for several decades waiting for permanent residency, while individuals from most other nations sometimes get it the next day after a petition is filed. Or, pass an executive order to make it mandatory for skilled workers who have been waiting for minimum 8-10 years, to get a Green Card.
- Increase the quality standard for an H-1B visa aspirant, with an increase in minimum salary, and educational qualifications. Some proposed bills in Congress want the minimum threshold to be $100,00-$135,000. However, make the playing field even for foreign students who graduate from accredited US universities. Most of them will not get a job in the US, starting out. Make that minimum ceiling lower for entry level jobs for foreign students, at par with domestic students vying for similar jobs. Mind you Mr. Trump, by getting the crème de la crème of talent from overseas at higher salaries, you are also thumbing your nose at your former friend-turned-foe Steve Bannon, who disliked having Asian-origin tech CEOs in Silicon Valley. After the new H-1B visa rule goes into effect, in just a decade, or under, forget Silicon Valley companies, all American companies are going to be led by either an Indian or a Chinese man or woman. Those brilliant Indian and Chinese high school kids don’t know it as yet. You are their biggest secret friend, Santa Claus in disguise.
- Visit India, and pose wearing a Nehru jacket with Melania Trump in a saree, at the Taj Mahal. You may not realize it Mr. President, the Taj Mahal needs you desperately, what with all the negative publicity around it fomented by the UP government.
- Declare your tax returns. You are anyway going for a physical checkup after a slurred speech; the results of which will be made public in early 2018. Make that a double bonanza for those waiting fervently to see how wealthy you really are. Anyway, after being President, who wants mere money anymore?
- Institute an annual Model Minority Awards. It doesn’t mean only pretty young models from Russia will win the awards – who of course, would be eligible too, but will primarily go to model legal immigrants who contribute to society and high achievers. Kill the Diversity Visa Lottery, but create a new immigration lottery where every year 10 model immigrants will get a Green Card.
- Ban the words ‘Golden Shower’ from all dictionaries and public domain. I’ve had a hard time explaining to my two pre-tween kids that the word ‘Covfefe’ you invented is actually you making fun of a man from Kerala with a stammer who tried to say ‘coffee’. I really don’t want to tell my sons that ‘Golden Shower’ means a tree or a comet emitting fire, when some months or years down the road they will find out to their dismay that the word has more of a connotation with water than fire. Help me here, Mr. President.
- Take the most eligible worker in America, Barack Obama, to dinner, and unlike the way you ditched poor Mitt Romney, actually give the job of Secretary of State to Obama. He will be exemplary in his new role. You would shock the entire political establishment, which you love to do anyway.
- Read News India Times every week. Reports say you like to watch TV for 5 hours daily. Well, for most working couples that’s daily binge watching. But hey, if being the President you cannot do what you want to do, what’s the point of living in the White House? But, please take some time out for a humble Indian American community newspaper too.
(Sujeet Rajan is Executive Editor, Parikh Worldwide Media. Email him email@example.com Follow him on Twitter @SujeetRajan1)