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Tell It Like It Is

An Extended Silly Season and the Hispanic Vote

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Thomas Segel is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or
August 4, 2011 | 1,659 views | 1 comment

Harlingen, Texas, August 4, 2011: It is still 14 months until the next general election. That does not mean the political elite of this country are at rest. Both major parties are already busy at attempting to woo citizens into their respective camps.

The Republicans are making a very tepid attempt to cultivate the Hispanic vote by seeking to find 100 candidates for office. Considering the fact there are perhaps thousands of elected offices around the United States, an attempt to find only 100 qualified candidates is a very pathetic effort. Now if they would modify that plan to find these candidates to run for the United States Senate or House of Representatives, the idea would be far more respectful.

The Democrats are even worse in their attempts to insure Hispanics remain loyal to the donkey brand. They have already launched political advertising in both English and Spanish to remind the Hispanic population of all the promises they have made to that specific ethnic group. These ads also remind them the world, as they know it, will end if any of them vote for someone wearing the GOP label. In reality, most people already know those promises made by politicians to Hispanics have never been kept...and the world will not explode if a Republican wins office. Regardless, those ads will continue for months.

For some strange reason both of the major political parties treat Hispanics as if they were a monolithic population. With that narrow logic they are really off target. My next-door neighbors are Hispanic. The president, president-elect, secretary and treasurer of my Rotary club are Hispanic. The woman I report to, as a media consultant is Hispanic. Ninety percent of the people in my county are Hispanic...and they are all markedly different in their outlook, their attitudes, their beliefs and their lives. I could never place one of them in the same category as another. But, the political leaders of this country seem to think they can place specific labels on this segment of our national population.

For decades the Democrats have attempted to subjugate the immigrants from south of our border and mold them into faithful followers of the party line. With those of less education, there is the continuing practice of instilling fear of the rival political body. Rewards from the public purse have also been promised to those who faithfully pull the correct party lever in the voting booth. A silent system of patronage is also prevalent in those areas where Hispanics were voted into public offices.

Republicans usually were found wanting due to their sins of omission. They just pretended Hispanics did not exist. It was better to just keep looking in another direction. Why? They did not want to interfere with the flow of low cost labor to the farms and factories, the construction projects and the domestic markets that helped to fund the GOP. Republicans also had a negative faction work its way into the party. Sadly, the leadership failed to remove or silence the race baiters and secure border extremists from their ranks until it was a problem almost too difficult to resolve.

So now the Silly Season is starting to rev up its engines and get ready for the big race. Will the Democrats address the Hispanic population in a mature and honest manner...and for once keep old the pledges and promises made during the campaign? There is not one chance in a million!

Will the Republicans start treating Hispanics as a very important constituency and get rid of those kooky fringe elements we have seen in every election. It is a very improbable possibility.

The Hispanic voter will once again need to figure our how he or she wants this country to move. Since only 14% of our population now believes we are heading in the right direction, perhaps they can help with a course correction.

Semper Fidelis
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Elaine K.  
August 4, 2011 4:26pm
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