A little while ago, I was interviewed for a segment on Young Latinos and the Presidential Election for Current TV, the channel started by Al Gore.
(I know, how cool right?!)
Carlos Aguilar, the producer of the segment, asked me why I thought Latinos gravitated toward the Republican Party, and my response was that maybe it had to do with a desire to assimilate and feel accepted; in essence, be everything that is anti-Latino, to be American – an issue which is another blog altogether. Take a look:
As I thought about it further, I realized that even if I wanted to join the Republican Party, they are so far to the right in their rhetoric that I’m literally disgusted.
Where is the Republican Party that once fought for civil justice and equality? Some of our nation’s most civil justice minded leaders were Republican: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglas, and Ronald Regan to name a few.
In fact, Ronal Regan once said, “Hispanics are Republican, they just don’t know it yet” and he went on to pass amazing bi-partisan immigration reform laws that allowed so many Latinos to become fully engaged citizens.
But those days are long and gone. The Republican Party today is falling apart and they really only have themselves to blame. In recent rallies, Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential hopeful has called Senator Obama a Communist, a Muslim liberal elitist who pals around with terrorists and the crowds cheer and yell out things like “kill him!” and “traitor!” all the while not acknowledging a single remark. Senator McCain was celebrated for co-authoring a comprehensive immigration reform bill with Senator Ted Kennedy in response to the obviously racist HR4437, which brought out millions of people to the streets in protest, but now, he has literally refuse to support his own bill because he is afraid his base wont like it and it would cost him the Presidency.
So what is this base? Extreme right wing ideologies, whose supporters trump the bible at their convenience, hate gays, want to repeal Roe vs. Wade and have no regard for the constitution or basic human and civil rights? How did the GOP go from a leader in reform to such a hate and fear mongering group?
Pop Culture Moment: I was watching the show “Family Ties” online a few weeks ago. I was so moved with the show, the family conversations, the need and urgency for dialogue and cultural awareness, but I was most taken aback by Michael J. Fox’s character, Alex P. Keaton, who was the staunch Republican of the otherwise liberal family. Alex believed the Republican Party stood for morals, values and economic principles. I wonder if Alex would be happy with the way the GOP is acting lately. I wonder if his heroes, Ronald Regan or Milton Friedman would be happy.
I understand that both candidates have done little to address immigration reform, and I have said many times over that immigration reform is not the biggest issue on the table for Hispanic voters or the American people. It’s only one of the many platforms. But what worries me is that there are obvious signs of intentional racism that exist within “the base” of the party, and I don’t understand how the Republican Party has allowed for this group to become so powerful.
I worry that Republicans have become the party of the CANT’s. You can’t get married if you’re gay. You can’t have a right to privacy. You can’t have the right to choose. You can’t have legal rights as an undocumented person. You can’t obtain sex education. You can’t be against the war and for the troops. You can’t get financial aid if you’re an undocumented student. You can’t get any help if you’re in a mortgage crisis. You can’t, you can’t, you can’t. It’s you’re fault if you fail to be successful; circumstance, environment, culture, economic and social disparities are YOUR fault or your parents fault. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. Either your pro-American or against it. Either you love God and Christian values or you’re a terrorist.
Even if I wanted to, I don’t understand why the Republican Party can’t be more like this guy or why the GOP has gravitated so far from what they once were.
I mean, really? Why would anyone want to associate with the Republican party after their party leader makes this guy the spokesperson of his campaign? What a shame.