Immigrants in Houston react to presidential politics in US

This being from the NY Times, it has been edited to present those who think we are on the road to becoming Syria first, but there are some real insights from some of the more optimistic people interviewed and I will focus on what they said.
Steve Le was born in South Vietnam and was 7 years old when he boarded a ship the day before the fall of Saigon in 1975 with his family and other refugees. They resettled in Houston, and Mr. Le became a family physician and the third consecutive Vietnamese-American to represent District F on the Houston City Council. Mr. Le, a Republican who speaks with a subtle Texas twang, said he has never seen America more deeply divided, but added that nothing happening now compares to the world his parents knew in Vietnam. Watching the testimony of James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, was but one example, he said.

“In how many other countries can you call the top elected official in the country a liar and get away with it?” said Mr. Le, 50. “Although our democratic process looks dirty to some people, in the end it all comes out clean. We continue to be the longest-standing constitutional nation in the entire history of Earth, and it is because our forefathers designed that constitution so uniquely in balancing out the powers.”
Still, although Mr. Tesfagibir said he was worried about the direction of the country and called Mr. Trump “a bully,” he said he never loses perspective.

“The reason I’m talking to you now is because I’m free,” he said.
But M. J. Khan, a Pakistani-American businessman, Republican and former councilman who became the first Muslim-American to win a seat on the city council in 2003, said there was no comparison politically or culturally between Trump-era America and the Middle East. Having the simple freedom to speak your mind and to pray, shop and live as you wish made any comparison moot.

“We used to get something called a ration card,” Mr. Khan said of growing up in Pakistan. “Food was rationed off, so every family would get a ration card based on how many people you have in the family, and you can only get that much food. There’s no freedom of any kind. You cannot go and talk against any person in authority at all. Over here, I can go to the city council next Tuesday and blast out the mayor.”

Mr. Khan, 67, the president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, said he is as outraged as anyone else on Capitol Hill over Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“It makes me angry as an American,” Mr. Khan said. “The beauty of America was, and still is, fair and impartial elections. I’ve lived in a society where that was not the case. In spite of all the challenges we have, this is still by far the best system, the best society, the best country, you name it. Maybe because we have had it so good we are spoiled and we expect better.”

The political pulse of Houston’s global village is, if nothing else, intricately nuanced. With Russia dominating the headlines and drawing the ire of many Americans, the executive director of Houston’s Russian Cultural Center had a clear point to make: She was appalled at the unrestrained hostility toward Mr. Trump on display in popular culture and in the news media.
There is much more.

One of the things I have always liked about Houston and its welcoming attitude is that it attracts so many smart people looking for an opportunity and most of them realize how fortunate they are to get it.  People with a positive attitude also tend to be more successful.  They look for opportunities and don't dwell on the perceived negatives.


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