Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Deserve" Has Got Nothing To Do With It: Who Deserves the Latino Vote

Ruben Naverette is a good guy, and one of the few genuine moderates in public life...unless the topic is illegal immigration, and then he becomes a finger-pointing scold operating at the same Olympian level as Nancy Pelosi or the President of Mexico. Case in point: he thinks American politicians need to have a ready answer to the question "Who Deserves the Latino Vote?"
Democrats and Republicansseem to be trying to outdo each other in terms of mistreating, neglecting and scapegoating America's largest minority. Both parties are eager to appeal to the mainstream, and they think one way to do it is to declare their independence from Latino voters — especially in the immigration debate.


Latinos have the right to be disillusioned by the failure of both parties to address the immigration issue. The choice they face in November is between the party that harassed them and the one that abandoned them. And that's no choice at all.

"Deserve's" got nothing to do with it, bud. America has already been very welcoming to Hispanic immigration. According to the Census Bureau, the Latino population has more than doubled in the last 20 years from 22 million in 1990 to nearly 50 million as of mid-2008. Not one Latino immigrant has been turned away from a public school, a government office, or any other public institution because of his race or his immigration status. The US has the second largest Latino population in the world, after Mexico. And speaking of Mexico, nearly two-thirds of the US Latino population is of Mexican origin. That's not what I would call a rousing endorsement of life South of the Border.

I would ask Ruben Naverette why he thinks it's a good thing that there might be a Latino "vote" that is presently choosing between two political parties like a sorority girl at a Sadie Hawkins Dance. Has racial block voting helped the black community, at all? Not really. They vote 90+% for Democrats, and then wrestle with the same issues of poverty, drugs, crime and welfare dependency that have beset the black community ever since they started voting Democratic back in the Sixties. And, that "GOP=racist" formulation that undergirds the Democrats' stranglehold on blacks is as much a result of fear, demagoguery, and historic illiteracy as it is due to policy. You really want Latinos to get stuck in that sort of political con game?

The Democrats talk a good game about "equality" but what they really want is to find more wards of the state who they can toss just enough dollars at to gain their dependence and then scare the bejeesus out of them come election time with tales of cruel Republican "cuts in services."

The GOP actually has standards: we want you to come to the country legally; we want you to work and be productive when you get here; we want you to (shudder) speak English; and we want you to vote in elections like a free thinking person, and not part of a "block" that can be delivered to the candidate with the most walking around money. Also, there's something about Latino immigrants coming to the US and then going on welfare...or sending billions of untaxed remittances back home...or marching through downtown waving Mexican flags...or committing crimes and then becoming offended when asked about your immigration status...that strikes us as being more than a little offensive. Like I say, we have standards. Do you?

Anyway, I have to wonder about the power supposedly at the ready when the Latino voting block is ready to deploy. According to the Census Bureau, just 9 million Latinos voted in the last election, with the vast majority going to Barack Obama (despite John McCain's career-long immigration advocacy). That's not much when you're talking about a population of approximately 50 million in a country with 300 million people in it. And, right now, those other 250 million think that the seemingly endless calls for sanctuary cities, drivers licenses for illegals and all the rest are a sign that a little law and order needs to be restored.

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