Not too long ago Ruben Navarette wrote a most revealing column entitled “Democrats should worry about up-and-comer Cruz.” The column goes on to extol Cruz’s conservative values and how they perfectly matched those of the Hispanic community. The end result is the implication that Hispanics are going to switch their presidential vote because of Republican Hispanic “rock stars” like Cruz.
The column is revealing because it shows how “out of touch” with reality Ruben is. He came to his conclusions after eating dinner with an “Ivy League-educated lawyer” (Cruz) in a Washington restaurant and listening to this lawyer speak his mind about things political. Ruben! That conversation and restaurant are about as far away from the national Latino community as Timbuktu is! Let me tell you why this is so.
Latinos have always supported Democratic presidential candidates by large margins regardless of the politician because it’s not who the candidate is that drives the Latino vote but the Republican Party’s policies that drive Latino voters away.
In order to make his point Ruben repeats the GOP’s mantra that Hispanic’s are “profoundly conservative” and the Republican Party’s values resonate with those of Latinos. We are a “community of faith, family and patriotism.” I’m glad to hear that and we have remained so since I can remember but this does not make us Republicans. These values make us plain and simply, Americans!
One of the main reasons we underwhelmingly support Republican Party candidates is because this particular party has supported every effort to subvert our right to vote. And, one of the reasons Ted Cruz is not acceptable to Latinos is he is one of the operatives who played a significant role in voter dilution in the infamous 2000 presidential election. Ted was in on the fix to disenfranchise thousands of voters just so George Bush, Number 43, could be installed as president by the Supreme Court.
Sure Ted has a great immigrant story. So, stand in line Ted! Your story is our story but that doesn’t encourage me to vote for you. Sure you speak Spanish. Bueno! Y esta es la razón que puedes ganar mi voto? Por favor, Ruben! Placing pressure on Democrats to support policies unique and important to the Latino community is much easier because we have influential persons close to that party’s leadership. The GOP doesn’t want us anywhere close to their policymaking apparatus as evidenced in the private emails uncovered during the 2011 Texas redistricting lawsuit. Frankly, we have a better chance with Democrats than we have with Republicans.
Nevertheless, Ted Cruz’s position on the newly proposed bipartisan immigration bill sets him clearly on the side of extremist prohibitionists who simply want to prevent the creation of rational policy for a population who are mostly Latinos. At least, Senator McCain (R-AZ) understands that even if Republicans are against the policy they have to support it to insure the viability of their party in the future. As the good senator from Arizona put it “Elections. Elections. The Republican Party is losing support of our Hispanic citizens” meaning that the GOP must support this legislation because to not do so will alienate Latinos further which will bode poorly for the party in future presidential and senatorial elections. As Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) pointed out to party stalwarts, they have to stop being “stupid” if they wish the party to be viable.
I think immigration reform will happen but not because of the support of Ted Cruz and his Tea Party compatriots but because of the bipartisan efforts of his rational colleagues. Frankly, I also think that Ruben’s vision is befogged by his Ivy-League prose colored anteojos. He like his dinner partner in DC just doesn’t understand. It’s not the color of the candidate’s skin, the language he or she speaks, and their ethnicity or race that counts to Latino voters. What counts is the substance of who they are, what they stand for and what these politicians are saying.
The Democratic Party has nothing to worry about from the likes of Ted Cruz or those like him, Marco, because they don’t speak the same language as Latinos.
[Photo by Gage Skidmore]