Kumar says he first got involved in politics to support Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s, along with other Indian-American families he knew in Illinois, as part of former New York Rep. Jack Kemp’s outreach program to minority communities. But Kumar says his activism didn’t last into the 1990s and he and his coalition went largely inactive until 2010, when he said he saw the country heading in the wrong direction.
“In a way we were excited to see the first non-white become a president of the country,” he said. “It was a matter of a little bit of a pride for us. We were not quite sure what his policies will be. And then eventually his policies became clearer and clearer and clearer with even the card check legislation he was proposing, so we decided to become active again.”
Kumar said it’s ultimately up to Republicans to court the Indian-American vote and coax them away from the Democratic Party.
“It really depends on the Republicans,” he said.
“When they get educated about this, that there is this group, they have, you know, just general impression that Indian-Americans are smart. They are doctors. That’s sort of the impression they have. But they do not know the demographics. If the Republican Party — and that is what my agenda is, the Republican Party — if the Republican Party goes out and has a really solid outreach program just like Jack Kemp had in ’80, then there will be a match-up because our values system is completely aligned on the conservative side.”