A major issue within Southeast Asian American communities relevant to this reading is the generational gap in thinking and politics. The problems faced by Madison Nguyen that plagued her political career were entrenched in anticommunist sentiment from an older generation that held on tightly to their conservative beliefs. Valverde notes several potential sources for her opposition, namely fundamental differences in thinking, projection of Confucian hierarchy, and resentment at her achieving power instead of former South Vietnamese officials in exile.
|Madison Nguyen, Vietnamese American Politician who was the subject of one of Valverde's case studies. Image taken from @madisonnguyen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/madisonnguyen|
This seemingly avoidable conflict spurs my thoughtful question: What stops a rival faction (e.g. the older generation) from recognizing the need to adapt, compromise, and peacefully overcome ideological tensions? Perhaps the reflexive retribution exemplified by the anticommunists provides such a barrier to entry for discourse that it instigates complacency in the way of thinking from the vocal minority? Or, in the presence of free discourse, is it simply the 'us versus them' psychological phenomenon that prevents true listening and synthesis of material across the isle? Whatever the case may be, it seems that both the flowing of ideas and the synthesis and hybridization of ideas must be achieved in order to prevent conflict within.
- Patrick Camarador