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.
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.