MUMBAI — Democracies around the world, including the U.S. and India, are at a crossroads and need to be protected from the current state of chaos, Hillary Rodham Clinton said.
Speaking at the concluding session of the India Today Conclave 2018, the former U.S. Secretary of State said that, now more than ever, the world needs India's energy to fight sexism, racism and stand up against the forces that threaten democracy.
"Don't give way to anger, resentment and disappointment. Stay engaged, speak out," Clinton said.
Both the U.S. and India are facing serious undercurrents that threaten the very roots of democracy, she said, further warning that U.S. President Donald Trump "will damage it."
Talking at length about the state of affairs in the U.S. since the 2016 presidential elections, which she lost to real-estate tycoon Trump, Clinton said she did not have a problem with power differences, but worried that there were fewer debates on pertinent issues, which could move the country towards one-party dominance.
"That is the situation in Washington at present."
She said it was "the first-ever reality TV election" in U.S. history.
"Reality TV because a person who is the most outrageous and prone to say incorrect things gets away with it, drawing big rankings. Many people were, unfortunately, attracted to such diatribes."
Clinton counted the reaction against immigrants as one of the reasons for Trump's win.
She said the U.S. was home to hard-working, law-abiding immigrants from around the world, including Latin America, India and China, and that Trump's campaign of ‘Make America Great Again’ was backward.
"I won from the places which has two-thirds share in the gross domestic product."
She also said a smear campaign and threats from Trump to put her in jail damaged her chances. "That stopped my momentum and decreased my votes."
The Associated Press adds that Clinton told her audience at the India Today Conclave 2018 that the U.S. did not “deserve” Donald Trump’s presidency and these are “perilous times.”
Clinton said the Republican president has “quite an affinity for dictators” and said Trump “really likes their authoritarian posturing and behavior.” But she said she thinks it’s “more than that” with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia.
Clinton was critical of Trump’s reality campaign tactics and questioned whether she should have provided more entertainment to voters who responded to Trump’s brash style.
She also believes former FBI director James Comey’s Oct. 28, 2016, letter to Congress about her private email server cost her support from white women voters.
Clinton had difficulty navigating some stone steps at the Jahaz Mahal palace in Mandu. A viral video was shared widely showing her tripping twice and requiring the aid of two men before kicking off her shoes.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Clinton Foundation didn’t return a call or email asking about the circumstances.