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Miguel Perez
Miguel Perez
2 Sep 2014
A Hidden Latina Role Model

Long after "Remember the Alamo" no longer needed to be used as a battle cry against Mexico, it was used once … Read More.

26 Aug 2014
There Was Compassion on the Spanish Mission Trail

When we think of the Spanish conquistadors, most of us see images of the ruthless explorers who committed … Read More.

19 Aug 2014
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'Locos' About Obama?

Comment

He never has traveled to Latin America. He opposes free trade with Colombia, turning his back on one of the only U.S. allies in the region. He wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. He insists on meeting "without preconditions" with tyrants such as Cuba's Fidel and Raul Castro and anti-American zealots such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. He has cowardly run away from the immigration issue during his campaign against Sen. John McCain.

And yet an overwhelming majority of U.S. Latinos are getting ready to vote for Sen. Barack Obama.

Estamos locos? (Are we crazy?)

Not really. Most Latinos will not be voting for Obama because of Obama. They will not be voting against McCain because of McCain. They will be voting for Obama and against McCain because of the anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic measures and attitudes of many Republican lawmakers during the past eight years.

This will not be a vote for the Democrats. We know they have done nothing to deserve it. This will be a backlash against Republicans, who have done a lot to earn it.

Let's face it: Nowadays in the Hispanic community, Republicans often are seen as the boogeymen. When they look at McCain, many Latinos still see and hear the angry faces and mean-spirited statements of Republican race baiters, such as Reps. Tom Tancredo of Colorado and James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin.

Eight years ago, when GOP nominee George W. Bush promised that he would be a compassionate conservative, many Latinos went along for the ride, and they gave him the margin of victory in several swing states. They could have done the same for McCain this year.

But Bush's inability to persuade Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation and his unwillingness to take on and muffle the immigrant bashers in his own party have turned many Latino voters into cynics.

If Bush couldn't do it, they are asking, why should they think that McCain could do better?

If McCain wanted Latino voters to know that he is really different from

Bush, from the very beginning of his presidential campaign, he needed to distance himself from the Republicans who practice the politics of xenophobia — with very strong language, in very clear terms.

And he needed to do it when he was talking to all Americans, not just when he was addressing Latino audiences.

McCain needed to teach tolerance to his own GOP colleagues, and he needed to convince his fellow Republicans that their party's own survival this year depended on their willingness to accept and embrace their fellow Latino-Americans.

He didn't do that. Instead, he was uncharacteristically cautious — not the maverick he claims to be — because he feared alienating the GOP's so-called "base" of right-wing extremists.

It may have been hard to get those people to stop seeing Latinos as a threat and to feel some compassion for illegal immigrants, but it was the only way McCain was going to get Latino voters to swing the election in his favor.

That's not going to happen now. If McCain defies the polls and wins the presidency, it won't be because Latinos gave him the margin of victory.

In the last presidential debate, McCain tried to raise some Latino issues. But it was too little, too late. If he had dealt with these issues earlier, if he had not been so clearly afraid of a backlash from those who fear the growth of the Latino population, perhaps Latinos would have taken McCain more seriously and Obama would not be enjoying a free ride.

After all, what has Obama done or promised that makes him deserve overwhelming support from Latinos? Nada!

On Election Day, don't expect a huge voter turnout among Latinos. Many will remain as invisible as the candidates treated them.

To find out more about Miguel Perez and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.



Comments

5 Comments | Post Comment
miguel estas en el timer, este escrito refleja la realidad

silvio acosta
Comment: #1
Posted by: silvio acosta
Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:41 AM
In my opinion, you are denigrating the individuality of millions of the people you blithely lump into the cätegories of "hispanics"and/or "latinos." There is no such entity as a "hispanic community" or a "latino community." We're discussing people of various cultures whose only alleged unity is that their native dialect is a derivative of the Spanish language. The assertion isn't any more valid than one of unity between the francophone people of such diverse places as Quebec, Haiti, Senegal and Bora-Bora. I realize that you are making a living out of writing your riiculous column and I dearly regret that such tripe sells.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Serge Helfer
Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:41 PM
I believe Mr. Obama will make the Latinos without papers lives very bad. He has done nothing for the Latinos in four years as a Senator. Mr. McCain put everything including his future with republican. Therefore in any an all communication I have with other American I will never support legaling of Latinos without papers.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Bob Bearce
Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:01 PM
If you are the mouth piece for Latinos, you have just lost any support for legalizing Latinos without papers. Mr Bush gave up his standing in the poll to support Latinos. Mr McCain was will to suffer his Republican support for Latinos. But Mr Obama has given the Latino community nothing.

Therefore I believe you will gain nothing with the election of Mr. Obama. American Blacks do not want competition for minority status.
Nothing is what Latinos will deserve if they help elect Mr. Obama

No, I am not a racist. I have three Mexican American children and am currently living in Mexico with people I love.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Bob Bearce
Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:17 PM
Dear Mr. Perez:

I am a six term Republican State Representative in Texas. I read your columns and I wonder where in the world do you do your research or do you just arbitrarily spout out numbers that the federal government has used for the past five years to downplay the problem with illegal aliens in the U.S. You mention 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. How I wish that were true. There are almost 30 million illegal aliens in the U.S. In Texas alone, we are supporting 2 million at a cost of $4 billion/year to provide free healthcare, schools and to incarcerate more than 25,000 illegal aliens who have committed felony crimes. You used the term anti-immigrant Republican zealots. Ridiculous! Both my parents were immigrants who came here legally. They received nothing from the federal or state government. They learned our language, adopted our culture, paid our taxes and then pledged allegiance to our nation when they became citizens of the united States. An immigrant is someone who comes here legally, willingly adapts our culture, willingly learns and uses our language, willingly pays all of our taxes and then willingly pledges allegiance to their adopted country. Illegal aliens come mainly from a culture of corruption in Mexico, Central and South America. They continue their lifestyle in our country where we are now supporting more than 1/5 the population of Mexico. They drive without license, without insurance and they are involved in far more than their share of drunk driving arrests and sex crimes. In Texas, they send $6 billion/year to Mexico while enjoying free health care privileges in all of our hospitals. At Parkland Hospital in Dallas, 70% of the new births are of illegal aliens. At John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, the number is 75%. This situation has come to a head! Illegal aliens have better health benefits than many of my middle income constituents! You paint a rosy picture of nice undocumented immigrants here only to work. What if these illegal aliens had Russian last names. Would ylou be defending them as well? I doubt it!

Leo Berman
Comment: #5
Posted by: leo berman
Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:54 PM
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