When I say that I don’t mean to diminish any Latino or Hispanic, I just meant they are not what Americans think of them… by Americans I meant ‘American politicians”.
In this country there are three classes of Latinos: the illegal ones, the ones that have found it very difficult to get integrated to this society and the ones that have been assimilated. Which ones of these three are they talking about when they talk about the Latino Vote?
Let’s see. Giuliani idea of winning the Latino vote was flooding Florida with advertising in Spanish, Ted Kennedy was singing in Spanish, George Bush brought some Mexican singers to his campaign in LA mumbled some words in Spanish “como esta amigou?” I think (by the way Vicente Fernandez the singer at that event need the singing crash course… three hours would do) and his nephew (Jeff’s son) gave an speech in Spanish.
All that reminds me of the old times (or maybe actual times) when the Mexican politician brought thousands of people to their political rallies with the promise of giving them lunch (a torta, a soda and an orange)… over time it became a tradition and a symbol of political campaigning in Mexico. Those were the famous “acarreados” or the “carried ones” and many of them voted for that politician because they felt they have to pay that way for the lunch that they received.
When it comes to romancing the Latino vote in America seems like they have read the same book than their Mexican counterparts. They show to those events surrounded by a bunch of mariachis and bark couple words in Spanish and then talk about immigration and farm labor … but all those things are of importance only for the illegal immigrants, and they don’t vote.
The are some other issues that are important like the low education levels in the Spanish population, deserting school, teen pregnancy, early marriage, woman abuse, religious intolerance, etc. those are the things the politician should be talking about when campaigning the Latino populated areas, but they don’t because they are afraid of offending sensitivities. This group of people doesn’t care really. They display his apathy by not voting or voting for whomever brings more mariachis or calls tem “amigous”… most of them have no interest in participating in the American politics.
The third group is crowded with educated people, business people, students, activists, celebrities, and Mexican descendants from the time when Texas belonged to Mexico or newer generations. This people have made their mind base on their own analysis of the American politics, the economy, their values and they vote either Republican or Democrat… Look at Bill Richardson… a democrat with an American agenda or Mel Martinez… a Republican with an American agenda too.