What's the matter with Indian-Americans?

It's an interesting political question.  Why do 69% of Indian-Americans identify as Democrats (second only to blacks)? On one hand, they are a minority, and minorities in the US tend to support the party that keeps talking about tolerance and fairness. But on the other hand, Indians are the richest minority in the United States, with a median income nearly twice the national median income. We have one of the fastest assimilation rates. More than 90% of our children live in two-parent households. Large numbers of us are entrepreneurs and small business owners. For us, America has been the land of opportunity. We do not like it when the Democrats take potshots at outsourcing low-skill service jobs to Bangalore. George W. Bush, for all his faults, really improved the US-India relationship bringing it back from the disastrous state it was during the Cold War. All these should argue for at least half of Indian Americans plumping for the Republicans. But no ... 84% of Indian Americans voted for Obama the last time around.

Two articles, one from the right and another from the left, examine this conundrum. Both articles identify one key factor: encounters with any proselytizing faith creeps Hindus out. We are just not used to people who assume their religion is better than ours, and tell us we are going to burn for eternity if we don't come around to their beliefs. So:
when the Republican Party loudly touts its allegiance to “Christian values” and insists that Christianity is inextricably interwoven into the DNA of this country, it doesn’t anger Indians, it nonplusses them. It effectively signals to them that they don’t fully belong in America or their party. And the sight of Haley and Jindal on the Republican convention stage, both of whom rejected their faith and embraced Christianity, doesn’t reassure Indians -- it creeps them out!
So, yes, religious intolerance is a key factor.  As far as I am concerned, the GOP can not shake off the extreme right wing intolerant faction soon enough.

But both articles leave out two other factors. A group consisting of highly educated engineers and doctors does not react well to fact-free, expertise-dissing rhetoric, and the Republicans increasingly do this on climate change, evolution, efficacy of tax cuts and other matters that most Indian-Americans would consider purely empirical, non-ideological matters.

To understand the third factor, take the minority community that was, until recently, the richest minority in the United States. Jews also vote overwhelmingly Democratic, and the reason is that views of social justice are part of the fabric of that community's makeup. In spite of intermarriage, in spite of reduced observance of Kosher and other religious laws, that tendency has not changed. Similarly, the cultural makeup of Indians arcs towards non-violence.  No matter how much we assimilate into America, that affinity towards non-violence defines Indian-American culture. When one of the parties in America is excessively militaristic, it drives us towards the other party.

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