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The Divided State Of The Union - An Immigrant's Perspective By Shantanu Kamat

Where there's a will there's a way. When I was working in Silicon Valley, my company had a meticulously and proactively maintained information section available to our customers. It was called "known problems and solutions" and it gave customers the information about the known problems, and the solutions to address those problems. Every group in the company worked in harmony, to provide these solutions to the customers. We were a united front because all the groups had a common interest - the betterment and success of the company.

Today, the U.S. is aware of the problems it is facing and also knows what the solutions are. Unlike any other country in the world, the U.S. is still that imperial force, which can easily solve these problems on its own. This nation has some of the brightest and most capable people in government coupled with the most productive brains in almost every part of industry. It also has a strong legal system and a very powerful media that can keep the politicians on their toes. All America needs is the will in their politicians and the media, to really fix the problems.

In the 2012 Presidential election, it became clear that the division among Republicans and Democrats, was also a division of race. Romney was polling with about 60% of support from whites and Obama only 37%, where as among nonwhites, Obama was polling with 80% support (Source). Similar party line division can be seen between women and men voters, young versus older voters, and married versus unmarried voters. This electoral polarization is actually taking America back in time and has put America on a dangerous path.


Division hurts every community, no matter how invincible it might appear. When the British arrived to colonize my home country, India, they made the neighboring kingdoms fight against each other through their technique of divide and rule. The Indian people were divided along regional, racial, and religious lines. As a result, a few hundred thousand Brits were able to rule over millions of people in India. India was able to regain their independence, only when the entire nation united behind Mahatma Gandhi.

Currently, we see that the Republican Party is divided between the right wing, non-compromising extremists and the moderates. This division, done quite deliberately, by a handful of few, has left the Republican Party in peril. At the same time, the venomous hatred is being spewed towards the liberal America and the Democratic President, by these same extremist individuals, causing the unprecedented division between the liberal and conservative America.

This division has reached such precarious levels in 2012, that in the Republican primaries, almost 50% of Republican voters voted against Mitt Romney. In the Presidential elections, many Republicans supported Romney only because they wanted to vote against Barack Obama. The Democratic voter base was also not very enthusiastic about Obama and his record, but they came out to vote because they could not possibly see the right wing extremism and hostility in power. Such disdain for the other side is counterproductive to the progress of the nation as a whole.

This division is hurting America, a lot more than any external force and it's being exacerbated by a few very vocal members of the conservative media. Because of these polarizing, conservative mouthpieces, many minority groups are now actively voting, not only for the Democratic Party, but also with an additional impetus of voting against the Republican Party.

In reality, these talking heads neither represent the majority of GOP politicians, nor the majority of the GOP voter base. However, FOX news, talk radio, and the Tea Party bullies, have managed to give their vitriolic image to the entire Party, making Republican leaders look anemic.

Today, I don't think any GOP candidate has the courage to disagree with FOX News or the conservative media openly, let alone denounce it altogether. This is how the GOP has continued to capitulate to the conservative media, causing severe damage to their national appeal and strength. As a result, the Republican Primaries were essentially an embarrassing reality show.

All of this has conspired to help Barack Obama and the Democrats enormously, and it played a huge role in his 2012 reelection. The most ingenious part about this damage is that it's intentional, well planned-out and extremely well executed by FOX News and the conservative talk radio shows.

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Shantanu Kamat is the author of America's Internal Enemy: The Dividers. He's an Indian-born immigrant who came to America to pursue higher education at a state university in California, where he was also granted a teacher assistantship. He was eventually able to get a job in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley, California where he had the privilege of working with some of the brightest technical and business people in the world. Despite being an average student from a poor foreign country, he has benefited tremendously from the opportunities offered by America's government and Capitalism.
America's Internal Enemy: The Dividers is available at and Barnes&
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  • The Divided State Of The Union - An Immigrant's Perspective by DMN Editorial at Feb. 13, 2013 8:23 pm gmt

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