An easy test of rhetoric to prove the sincerity of one presidential contender

LatinaLista — As the presidential candidates stumped their way across the country from LULAC to NCLR, delivering a slightly altered version of a speech they gave the week before, Latino voters, as all voters, are faced with an interesting dilemma.
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The dilemma is trying to decide who is more sincere when delivering canned rhetoric. Though one of the candidates probably didn’t see this coming, there is now an easy way to test one man’s sincerity.


Candidates’ speeches are always filled with things they’ll do IF they’re elected into office.
Raise taxes, cut taxes, address immigration in the first year, secure the border first, on and on and on. It’s hard to hold anyone currently accountable for what they say because, regardless of their track record, these new promises are based on if they’re sitting in the Oval Office come the night of January 20, 2009.
For the time being, they’re just promesas.
Yet, Senator McCain included an extraordinary passage in his speech to the NCLR that he had not earlier told his other audience. He said:

I know many of you are Democrats, and many of you would usually vote for the presidential candidate of that party. I know I must work hard to win your votes, but you have always given me a respectful hearing, and I appreciate it. I know many of you were disappointed and hurt by those who used the debate on immigration last year, not to respectfully debate the issue, as most did, but to denigrate the contributions of Hispanics to our great country. I denounced those insults then, and I denounce them today.

As a Latina writer/blogger who has been subjected to these insults, Sen. McCain’s gesture is appreciated. And while it took courage to go against the most vocal of his party and extend his apologies, it’s one thing to offer an apology to an appreciative group and quite another to make the same plea to his colleagues.
It would be a true test of merit for Sen. McCain if he repeated this same denunciation of insults to other non-Latino groups and among his own party members.
It would be a measurable way to know that he’s not just saying he’s sorry to get the Latino vote but it’s as heartfelt as he claims it to be, not to mention, he’s willing to stand up before a not so appreciative audience to say so.
Otherwise, the Latino electorate is left to wonder how sincere McCain really is and just how much he speaks for his own Party.

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11 Comments

  1. Frank said:

    McCain is lying by saying that non-Hispanic Americans denigrate the Hispanic contributions to this country. The Hispanic-American contributions to this country have nothing to do with illegal immigration. Is this yet another attempt to blur the lines between legal immigrants/citizens and illegal aliens?

  2. laura said:

    Excellent point, Marisa!
    One further suggestion: shall we apply the same test to Senator Barack Obama?
    Sad to say, there are Democrats too, who think that fanning the flames of scapegoating and racism is a convenient way to get votes. For example, Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina comes to mind, one of the sponsors of the ugly so-called “Save Act.”
    I would like to hear Senator Obama speak out against blaming immigrants, and particularly out-of-status migrants, for our woes like crowded emergency rooms, impoverished schools, and unemployment. These woes are due to Republican policies, where vast sums of taxpayer money is shunted through Iraq directly into the pockets of the biggest Bush donors – as just one example.
    I would like to hear Senator Obama speak out in front of non-Latina/o audiences.

  3. Frank said:

    We aren’t blaming all of the woes of this country on illegal aliens (not immigrants). But you are really sticking your head in the sand if you are denying that they do play a role.
    I agree that our tax dollars are being ill spent on this war in Iraq but if kept here instead are you claiming we should spend them on illegal aliens instead?
    Again, for the most part racism does not play a role in the enforcement of our immigration laws. You know that but you won’t admit it because the race card is all you have to support your idiotic arguments for disrespecting our laws and the soveriegnty of our nation and to hide your own ethnocentric racism in this issue. The fact that you don’t back the SAVE ACT pretty much proves it.

  4. Evelyn said:

    I know, I know, call me an American hater for printing the truth instead of sweeping it under the rug like you. LOL!
    Chris Satullo: A not-so-glorious Fourth
    U.S. atrocities are unworthy of our heritage.
    By Chris Satullo
    Inquirer Columnist
    Put the fireworks in storage.
    Cancel the parade.
    Tuck the soaring speeches in a drawer for another time.
    This year, America doesn’t deserve to celebrate its birthday. This Fourth of July should be a day of quiet and atonement.
    For we have sinned.
    We have failed to pay attention. We’ve settled for lame excuses. We’ve spit on the memory of those who did that brave, brave thing in Philadelphia 232 years ago.
    The America those men founded should never torture a prisoner.
    The America they founded should never imprison people for years without charge or hearing.
    The America they founded should never ship prisoners to foreign lands, knowing their new jailers might torture them.
    Such abuses once were committed by the arrogant crowns of Europe, spawning rebellion.
    Today, our nation does such things in the name of our safety. Petrified, unwilling to take the risks that love of liberty demands, we close our eyes.
    We have done such things, on orders from the Oval Office. We have done them, without general outrage or shame.
    Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo. CIA secret prisons. “Rendition” of prisoners to foreign torture chambers.
    It’s not enough that we had good reason to be scared.
    The men huddled long ago in Philadelphia had better reason. A British fleet floated off the Jersey coast, full of hands eager to hang them from the nearest lampposts.
    Yet they pledged their lives and sacred honor – no idle vow – to defend the “inalienable rights” of men. Inalienable – what does that signify? It means rights that belong to each person, simply by virtue of being human. Rights that can never be taken away, no matter what evil a person might do or might intend.
    Surely one of those is the right not to be tortured. Surely that is a piece of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
    This is the creed of July 4: No matter what it costs us, no matter how it scares us, no matter how foolish it seems to a cynical world, America should stand up for human rights.
    No, not even the brave men who picked up a quill, dipped it in ink and signed the parchment that summer day in Philadelphia lived up perfectly to the creed. But they did something extraordinary, founding a new nation upon a vow to oppose all the evil habits of tyranny.
    That is why history still honors them.
    But what will history think of us, of how we responded to our great challenge? Sept. 11 was a hideous evil, a grievous wound. Yet, truth told, it has not summoned our better angels as often as our worst.
    We have betrayed the July 4 creed. We trample the vows we make, hand to heart.
    Don’t imagine that only the torturer’s hand bears the guilt. The guilt reaches deep inside our Capitol, and beyond that – to us.
    Our silence is complicit. In our name, innocents were jailed, humans tortured, our Constitution mangled. And we said so little.
    We can’t claim not to have known. The best among us raised the alarm. Heroes in uniform, judges in robes, they opposed the perverse logic of an administration drenched in fear, drunk on power.
    But did we heed them? Hardly. Barely . . .
    We were so busy. Soccer practice at 6. A credit card balance to fret. The final vote on Idol.
    We left it to those in power to keep our precious selves from harm. Whatever it took.
    We took the coward’s way.
    The world sees this, even if we are too dim to grasp it. We’ve lost respect. We’ve shamed the memory of Jefferson, Adams and Franklin.
    And all for a scam. The waterboarding, the snarling dogs, the theft of sleep – all the diabolical tricks haven’t made us safer. They may have averted this plot or that. But they’ve spawned new enemies by the thousands, made the jihadist rants ring true to so many ears.
    So put out no flags.
    Sing no patriotic hymns.
    We deserve no Fourth this year.
    Let us atone, in quiet and humility. Let us spend the day truly studying the example of our Founders. May we earn a new birth of courage before our nation’s birthday next rolls around.
    http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20080701_Chris_Satullo__A_not-so-glorious_Fourth.html

  5. txmom said:

    Laura,
    Senator Obama has spoken out against blaming everything on the immigrants regardless of their status. I have heard him say it several times and it has been in mixed audiences. If I come across the actual date and speeches I will inform you of where to find it.
    But be assured that he has spoken out against it.

  6. Txmom said:

    Laura,
    You can go to youtube and see the past Democratic Debates and see that Senator Obama discussing Immigration and he does discuss the scapegoating of immigrants.
    But I haven’t heard him speak of all the issues you brought up emergency rooms, schools, etc just on employment.
    I guess we’ll see what he says in September when the debates start again.

  7. Horace said:

    Citizens do not have to invent things like blaming illegal immigrants for every problem under the sun to invoke their right to see that their immigration laws are enforced. The law exists, and none of you have given any rational reason why the laws are unjust, except to say that it punishes them for their actions and inconveniences their families, all of which they accepted as a risk when they entered this country. All other nations have such laws, many of which are far more harsh, further weakening your arguments that the U.S is exceptional in its actions against illegal immigrants. Everyone else can’t be wrong while you remain sane, but this is the position you whackos repeat over and over.
    Evelyn repeatedly invokes nonsense by questioning the citizen’s right to make such laws. It doesn’t matter how you perceive things, Evelyn, as our legal system will always side with our Constitutionally enacted laws before nullifying them to suit your purposes. Every point you make concerning “unjust laws” is moot, as you’d be laughed out of court in a heartbeat if you presented such arguments as you’ve done in this blog. I would hope that the fact that no advocacy lawyer in the country has submitted any of your lunacy as argument before a judge would give you a hint as to their lack of merit. You are what is know as a fantasizer, someone so far removed from reality as to have her sanity subject to questioning.

  8. laura said:

    Dear Txmom,
    thank you for this information. I am very glad to hear that Senator Obama has spoken out against the scapegoating of immigrants in front of mixed audiences.
    I agree with you – we will see how he sounds in September.
    Plus Marisa and other Latina/o bloggers have asked him some very specific questions (see her previous post with regards to the questionnaire) and I am waiting for a response to a few of these questions. One of the excellent ideas behind this questionnaire was to get so specific that after the election, a candidate cannot simply wiggle away from a position they took as a vote-getter before the election.
    I am also waiting to see how the rest of the Democratic Party talks and acts on immigration. More Heath Shulers, more Democratic candidates supporting the ugly so-called “Save Act”, and we will have to wonder how serious the Democratic leadership is in wanting to support fairness and decency towards immigrants, especially out-of-status migrants.
    For now, I appreciate your information and take it as a good step by Senator Obama going in the right direction.

  9. laura said:

    I just saw a superb interview on youtube, which Kety Esquivel gave on CNN with respect to gauging both presidential candidate’s true stance toward the Latina/o community, by their response to specific questions posed by “The Questionnaire”.
    She is wonderful – crisp, well-spoken, and to the point.
    We do have outstanding Latina/o leaders – just not at the top of NCLR.

  10. Evelyn Chavez said:

    Horace :
    Citizens do not have to invent things like blaming illegal immigrants for every problem under the sun to invoke their right to see that their immigration laws are enforced. The law exists, and none of you have given any rational reason why the laws are unjust, except to say that it punishes them for their actions and inconveniences their families, all of which they accepted as a risk when they entered this country. All other nations have such laws, many of which are far more harsh, further weakening your arguments that the U.S is exceptional in its actions against illegal immigrants. Everyone else can’t be wrong while you remain sane, but this is the position you whackos repeat over and over.
    Evelyn repeatedly invokes nonsense by questioning the citizen’s right to make such laws. It doesn’t matter how you perceive things, Evelyn, as our legal system will always side with our Constitutionally enacted laws before nullifying them to suit your purposes. Every point you make concerning “unjust laws” is moot, as you’d be laughed out of court in a heartbeat if you presented such arguments as you’ve done in this blog. I would hope that the fact that no advocacy lawyer in the country has submitted any of your lunacy as argument before a judge would give you a hint as to their lack of merit. You are what is know as a fantasizer, someone so far removed from reality as to have her sanity subject to questioning.
    E
    Gee, you act like I am the only one advocating justice and equality.
    Lawyers every day are using the same unjust laws you claim dont exist to win million dollar payouts for their clients. That is all the proof needed to knock your fantasy clear out the window. LMAO!
    A word of advise, instead of using all your time
    ‘fantasizing’ how to demonize me for telling the truth. Why dont you study the truth. That way you wouldent make a fool of yourself every time you post.

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