State of The Union – Post Election 2012

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Philadelphia – Finally, the Presidential campaign has seen a fresh morning on the horizon with a brand new term of four years. Most Americans are divided along party lines by the win of incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and the loss of GOP contender Mitt Romney. It seems we are living in a polarized society, showing such a sharp division in a time of crisis, instead of a complete blend of rainbow colors.

Political pundits have had a field day in the postmortem analysis of Mitt Romney’s loss and how the incumbent won the final lap. No one can ignore the fact that there is a very large segment in American society which remains completely skeptical on the significant improvement in the financial state of US citizens, irrespective of the win of either candidate.

There were many reasons, large and small, that Mitt Romney was defeated. Some found him less than honest in handling issues like the degree of his participation in Bain capital and the disclosure of his personal finances as public records. Constant flip-flopping in his positions on many issues, like healthcare, abortion, Roe versus Wade, and issues regarding women and minorities, did not give the momentum which he needed for a win.

The biggest hurdle for him was set by his own Republican Party, which took  non-compromising positions on issues from the economy, healthcare, defense, immigration and taxes on higher income brackets, to the view of minorities as contributing citizens, rather than projecting them as communities living on state aid and welfare. Romney’s negative campaign could not sway public opinion on his candidacy as an option for replacement.

In President Obama’s case, he did not make many mistakes during the campaign, but it was a less assuring win this time, as it is a long way for him to ride through the dark tunnel before seeing the light for a successful conclusion of his second term.

The platter is full with all kinds of problems with the  nation’s ailing health, as his second term begins in January of 2013. His major problems do not include just the healthcare dilemma or high unemployment figures. He will have to skillfully juggle various issues in education, foreign policy, the defense budget, tax code tuning,and immigration,  because they are linked to the nation’s economy, even in the future.

Hopefully, Obama will stand tall to the legislative body in Congress as a visionary leader and eventually be able to implement what he started in his first term, which he will finish with an incomplete grade.

Education needs to be a top priority as the Obama administration, which has mostly talked about its virtues without really touching the core problems of the new generation of college graduates of the 21st century or even trying to arrest the decline in the quality and  leadership in American education.

A dollar invested in student aid today will grow exponentially in productivity over the years. If college institutions take away that dollar with escalating costs from the student’s pocket before any return on the dollar and the lending institutions are still allowed to go wild on charging the loans as usual, then the administration is equally responsible in neglecting the future of this generation of students. Time is running out for our government to take any action, because many nations in the race for a global future are already moving ahead.

The home mortgage lending industry faces a similar indictment. Billions of dollars were distributed at an astonishingly fast pace to failed financial institutions, in return for providing relief to qualified owners of home mortgage loans. But in reality they chose an elite class of millionaires in society to grant their wishes of much lower preferential rates on big loans and kept the qualified middle class at bay, still struggling without much relief, even after years in recession.

The administration in its second term is about to lose many competent senior members like Hillary Clinton and it will be a tough job for Obama to find replacements, while keeping the pace on resolving tough problems at home and around the globe.

Some issues have adversely affected the GOP side in this election, so it is not the time for Republicans to rejoice until the next election. They chose to abandon the idea of an emerging America which consists of Latinos, Asians, blacks and women beside a white male population and it has only increased polarization in voting patterns among urban areas of the nation, rural America, the east and west coasts, and southern states.

As the minority population approaches a ratio of 1 in 3 in America, the GOP must appeal to all segments of society if it wants to be a part of the solution, rather than the problem. They should search their soul and ask why thriving communities of Indian, Chinese, Japanese origin and many more with a very high rate of literacy and great economic contributions are not aligned to a like-minded segment of the Republican Party. 

The American people have believed in reassuring lies from our political and business leaders for a long time instead of accepting the inconvenient truth of a nation going in the wrong direction for the past four decades.

It is time for all of us, “white, black, Latino, Asian, man, woman, gay or disabled” to come to terms that it is a duty for everyone to contribute, share, care and benefit for mutual interests, fairly and squarely. No one should be able to claim it as a sole ownership using a grandfathering rule, if we want to build a great democratic society in this melting pot.

If we respect and honor our country’s fellow diverse citizens, we would be looked up to by so many nations around the world not just for our strength, but for our humility as a true role model for their own communities.

Obama might have won a battle on election day, but a war-like scenario is still looming large on many fronts of the national arena during his second term. He cannot accomplish all these goals alone and he will need a strong will of the whole nation. Work will begin anew with this second historic term. 

Kirit Desai
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Kirit Desai  had post graduate degrees from India & USA both - in multiple disciplines. After spending almost 30 years in R & D (as Research Scientist) and research management at a prestigeous Ivy League University, moved into Financial field for past decade & enjoys reading/writing in international business, politics, sports and science/technology. He lives in Delaware valley near Philadelphia.

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