• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Youth and minorities lack enthusiasm in party, says Indian American Democrat

Swadesh Chatterjee said that the party’s younger base lacks the enthusiasm and energy seen during the 2020 election cycle.

Swadesh Chatterjee

By: Pramod Thomas

AGE has become an important factor in the 2024 general elections in the US, an eminent Indian-American Democrat has said, signalling that youths and minorities who were a strong pillar of support for President Joe Biden in 2020, seem to lack enthusiasm and energy about the ruling party in the current election cycle.

Biden, 81, is the oldest president in American history. Former president Donald Trump, 77, is likely to be his main rival from the opposition Republican Party in the November presidential elections.

Indian American Democrat leader Swadesh Chatterjee, who has been part of the Democratic Party for several decades, said that the party’s younger base lacks the enthusiasm and energy seen during the 2020 election cycle.

The older generation of the Democrats are not giving enough opportunities to the talented and aspiring younger generation, said Chatterjee, adding that age is a factor in the coming elections for the young, minority, and Latino.

Chatterjee, who has been a close friend of Biden for decades, going back to when he was a Senator, said the president and senior members of the Democratic Party should bring new blood: the young, energetic, and educated.

“There are a number of those people, and they are doing a good job in the United States Senate and Congress, and we should try to support those people and should bring new leaders like Barack Obama that will get the Democratic Party on a different level,” said Chatterjee, who lives in Cary, North Carolina.

“If you look at the Democratic Party as a whole, their base was mostly African American, young voters and the people who really are successful, but they want this country and maintain democracy around the world and in the US,” he said.

Asserting that voters, especially the younger ones, are not as excited about the 2024 election cycle, he said, “That has something to do with age and something to do with the way the Israel-Palestine war is handled. It has something to do with the way the migration is handled.”

“It was okay that we withdrew from Afghanistan, but the way we withdrew because that is really overriding,” Chatterjee, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2001 for his role in the India-US relationship post-nuclear tests, said.

Acknowledging that many good things happened under president Biden, including the infrastructure bill, waiving of student debt and developments on the science front, Chatterjee said, “That has not been thought of well with the minority people and the student community in this country.”

“As you know, in every university and college in this country, the Democratic Party got the maximum vote percentage than the Republican; I don’t think that’s going to happen (in the November elections).”

“My concern is if we don’t have this majority, just like we got (in 2020), if we don’t have the same 80 plus per cent of minority (votes), then I’m concerned what will happen (in 2024),” he said in response to a question.

Describing the 2024 elections as one of the most important elections for the US, Chatterjee said he thinks democracy in the country is in danger.

“That’s why it is a historic election. We have two candidates, all close to 80 and 80 plus. The younger generation is not that excited about either outcome. Having said that, though the present administration, particularly President Biden, did a lot of good for the country, but that is not marketed properly and looks like as a country, we are going backwards,” he said.

“Certain important issues have not been addressed during the last four years; one is migration. The second issue is the Israel-Palestine War and then Ukraine. …So in this crucial juncture, this election is the most important.”

Chatterjee added, “I have never thought that America would be a country where a running president has 91 indictments. It could have happened in other parts of the world. I never thought it could ever happen in the US. But it is happening. And I strongly believe that if Donald Trump comes to power, this country will go backwards.”

(PTI)

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