LatinaLista — Though the 2008 presidential election is four months gone, it’s surprising that all the talk of Latinos as the proverbial “sleeping giant” has vanished as well.
While the Latino community did rise to expectations during the election, the community is still continuing to make strides that either are not registering with people or some are failing to see what it actually means to the bigger picture of this nation.
The most impressive news is that nearly half of the one million new citizens sworn in last year were Latinos.
Nationally, Latino naturalizations jumped 95 percent from about 237,000 in 2007 to 461,000 in 2008, according to the analysis released Tuesday by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
This increase in the Latino electorate means that the political potential for the Latino community is enormous. So, it’s a little strange that Sen. John McCain would fail to see this potential and instead risk insulting the Latino electorate by referring to Latinos who chose Obama over him as “you people.”
The National Journal reported last weekend that on March 11, 2009 three Republican leaders â€” McCain, John Thune of South Dakota, and Mel Martinez of Florida â€” wanted to reach out to Hispanic business leaders and met with them in Washington.
However, it seems McCain still carried a grudge for losing the Latino vote to Obama. The article quoted several sources, who spoke anonymously because they feared someone would try to retaliate against them, that McCain became very angry during the meet-and-greet and was rolling his eyes and visibly and audibly angry telling participants, who were complaining that the Obama administration was taking their time to address immigration reform, “You people â€” you people made your choice.”
There was a choice made and with the increasing push by Republican politicians to oppose the DREAM Act, support immigration worksite and home raids and introduce and pass English Only bills, it’s not hard to see that McCain would have been prevented to effect any kind of meaningful change regarding policies directed at undocumented immigrants and/or the Latino community.
McCain’s anger is misplaced. Instead of faulting Latino voters for him losing the presidential election, he needs to look at his own party and their agenda.
He may like to think he’s a maverick, and bucking his party on immigration was a good start, but right now, he looks like a sore loser who doesn’t understand times have changed and with it a Latino electorate that is growing, educating itself and strengthening its political power to the point that politicians who roll their eyes may find themselves just rolling out of office.