LatinaLista — For many of us in the Latino community, who have been disgusted by the inflammatory political rhetoric and mean-spirited state and national legislation/policies targeting undocumented immigrants, it's not surprising that we saw today the defection of one more Hispanic Republican.
The surprising thing is that more aren't doing it.
Former Rhode Island chairman of Republican Hispanic Assembly, Ivan Marte.
Rhode Island's chairman of the Republican Hispanic Assembly, Ivan G Marte, called it quits with the GOP after he said he felt embarrassed by Rep. Wilson's heckle of President Obama.
Marte called Wilson's behavior rude and attributed it as the last straw in his growing disenchantment with the GOP.
Marte became "disenchanted" with Governor Carcieri after the Republican governor sought his advice -- and then ignored it, Marte said -- concerning the 2008 executive order cracking down on illegal immigration. Carcieri's order angered many in the Hispanic community.
(Marte has supplied Latina Lista with his original resignation letter which is printed at the end of this post.)
However, come to find out, Marte isn't the first prominent Latino Republican in Rhode Island to quit the party. Marte's successor, David A. Quiroa, also quit in frustration with the governor's executive order on illegal immigration.
Yet, while the customary press statements were released saying all the usual stuff -- "Sorry to see you go. Come back anytime" -- No one said, "Don't go!"
Not from the state GOP or the national GOP.
In fact, Marte has been surprised by the backlash from the public triggered by his resignation. He writes to Latina Lista that he is "perplexed" and understands why this Nation is bound for the worst crisis a Nation could possibly face.
So all the more reason why it's a sad commentary on the Rhode Island GOP and the national headquarters for them to keep mum about Marte's resignation.
It's an understatement to say that it's a mistake. Not just because it sends a bad message to Latino Republicans -- "We want your membership, just don't want to hear you." -- but for the fact that something else is happening in Rhode Island that could prove to be the field experiment for Latinos, and others, who are fed up with the direction of the GOP.
There is a new political party in Rhode Island.
It's called the Moderate Party of Rhode Island. It's members believe that the government must be fixed in order to fix the state of Rhode Island and that the focus should be on four issues: Economy, Ethics, Education and the Environment -- issues that take precedence over all others.
The Moderate Party of Rhode Island is a grass roots movement. To succeed, many individuals need to coalesce around the idea of legislating from the middle, forging consensus via compromise and pragmatism. The hot button social topics of our times (abortion, illegal immigration, etc) necessarily must take a legislative back seat while our economy is repaired and the erosion of the tax base reversed.
While it's true that third-wheel political parties have sprung up in the past, and just as quickly faded, the times are ripe for more parties like the Moderate Party of Rhode Island.
If Marte and his successor, and other politically disenchanted Latinos, were to join this party or create their own, it would be because their voices would be heard, their services utilized and their opinions valued.
That is the recipe for any political party to be successful -- if the Latino vote really mattered to them.
Resignation letter of Ivan G. Marte
September 16, 2009
Chairman of the Rhode Island
Dear Mr. Cicione,
Endurance, tolerance and courage must be part of our daily life, there are others virtues to be considered to fulfill some of our daily task and responsibilities to our family, our neighbors and our community but when those duties are to be accomplish through a political machinery with an uneven and inequality system fill with peoples locking the basic understanding of human values, seduced by power, money and an illusion of glory and fame than those duties are to be attended through others venues.
It's with sorrow that I' am morally obligated to resign my position as the Chairman of the RI Republican Hispanic Assembly, my post as a member of the Republican Central Committee and my City registration to this party.
I would also like to point out that during my tenure of my position I came to realized that I was underutilized and marginalized by the same peoples that we help reached public office through our support, commitment and hard work.
I do hope that my resignation served as a sign, that the Republican Party in this Nation need to reevaluate their position in a Society that it strength and sovereignty depend on the unification of our peoples and not the division that we had build and that we should concentrate our efforts on our similarity and not on our differences.
That we out to follow the lesson that our Armed Forces has learned while defending our Freedom, our Democracy and our way of life through forces made out of an array of soldiers from every corner of the world who like any American swore to defend our Nation with the same commitment as our fore father before them.
We must prepared our peoples to adjust and adapt to our current time, that our survivorship will be in the hands of the very same peoples whom at one time or another we found it hard to deal with it because of Color, Religion, Race, Ethnic or National Origin; for our children will be a witness to this.
Ivan G. Marte