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Diversity, not the economy decides US presidential elections
The US presidential election gives out a subtle message to the world that you cannot ignore the minorities and under privileged groups and hope to succeed. Diversity is the mantra not only for the political success, but it is an indication of a country's socio-economical status and the overall nation development.

PRESIDENT BARACK Obama was elected for a second term amid highest unemployment rate at 7.9%. And he won comfortably by winning 332 of the 538 electoral college votes – including the razor thin margin in Florida.

So how did the incumbent counter the impact of failing economy – albeit on the path of recovery – high joblessness rate and a widespread perception evident in the pre-polls that his Republican opponent Mitt Romney would be the better person to handle economy.

The answer came from the losing Republican Party member Newt Gingrich. “We misunderstood what was happening in the country. We thought with about 8% unemployment, gasoline prizes etc, it will be difficult for Obama to get re-elected… Republican party has to recognise that if you are not going to be competitive with African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans, we’re not going to be a successful party!”

CNN reported that White voters population fell in the last 20 years from 87% to 72%. In the same period however, the Latino population grew from 2% to a whopping 10%. Now, take a look at the support Obama gets across the ever changing different demographics of America. An African American Obama, despite getting only 39% of white men’s votes, won 71% of the Hispanics and 93% of the African American votes – enough for him to sail through most of the battle ground states. Anti incumbency did cost him some votes. NBC News exit poll confirmed that While Obama got 7% less votes than Romney from the white men, he increased his lead in women voters to 11%. Obama was also boosted by young voters who voted overwhelmingly in favour of the President – 6 out of 10.

And Obama did not forget to mention his grand coalition. He retorted in his victory speech conclusion. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight.  You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

This is not to belittle the success stories of the President in his first stint – his personal charisma and appeal resonant in his oratory, killing of Osama Bin Laden, federal bailing out of the auto industry in the Ohio region and the sensible handling of the hurricane Sandy days before the election. But without the diversified coalition, Obama would have found it difficult to sail through the tough election campaign.

The Republican Party – known as the Grand Old Party – on the other hand stuck to their age-old conservative stance on various social issues like immigration – which is directly related to Latinos; abortion rights for women and general indifference towards African American population.

The US Election does give out a subtle message to the world. That you cannot ignore the minorities and the under privileged groups and hope to succeed. Diversity is the mantra not only for the political success but it is an indication of a country’s socio-economical status and the overall nation development. In an Indian context there is no reason to believe that the BJP is going to get anywhere near the majority unless they shed their antipathy towards the religious minority and Dalits.

The Indian companies too need to realise that equal opportunity employment doesn’t just mean having employees from different states or having one third of women workforce. Under-represented social groups should also be given space in the new global economy. It is also more important since the companies' outsourcing jobs are expecting diversity from their suppliers too.

It is high time votaries of anti-reservation campaign in India accept this truth and stop invoking merit and equality. For reservation is simply the current way of representation for all social groups.

It’s now clear that the postmortem of the Republican Party defeat is going to continue for few more months in the United States. And it augurs well. 20 years ago, Bill Clinton’s campaign popularized the now famous quote, “It’s the Economy, Stupid!” However looking at the successful campaign that Obama ran in two consecutive terms – it could be easily said, “It’s the Diversity, Stupid!”

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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