Conversation with an Indian American on UA862

By Jennifer Tang

During Flight UA862 from Hong Kong to San Francisco on October 27, I met an Indian-American businessman. He and his family are immigrants. He has been living in San Francisco for over 17 years, and his brother is living in New Jersey.

We started chatting for a bit. It was quite interesting to get his viewpoints on the U.S. presidential election.

“Two of my colleagues are Democrats, and one ended up voting for President Obama while the other one voted for Romney,” he said.

“Why would your colleague who is a Democrat vote for Romney?” I asked.

“You know what? Sometimes people participate in those party activities, and during the activities  the party people ask you to do so and so, or not to do so and so. However, in this kind of situation, it will upset their supporters as well. My colleague participated in these kind of activities, and what the people in the Democratic Party asked him to do upset him. That’s why he didn’t vote for President Obama,” he explained.

As our conversation went on, I asked who is he going to vote for, and why would he make such a choice. He said he is still undecided, and he will have to go through all the news on the presidential election to acquire more knowledge and updates.

“In the U.S. the media has their own stance. It is somewhat clear that some media lean Republican and some media are Democratic.Therefore, I wouldn’t just read the news from a particular media. I will try to Google the news, and try to read as many as possible. The news there are from different media, so I would have a better idea on what’s going on,” he said.

“Especially if you look into those reviews or comments below the news articles. Some of them support the Republicans, and some of them support the Democrats. It would then be easier for me to identify what side the media supports as well,” he said.

It was interesting to have such a conversation even before we started the trip, which gave me a glimpse of how Americans view this presidential election. I am certainly looking forward to have more conversations with ordinary Americans as a way of cultural exchange.

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