LatinaLista — Until the Tea Party came along, I can’t recall any political candidate making it a point to directly appeal to one group above others, especially during a nationwide televised debate. Yet, a couple of the GOP candidates, during the last debate, specifically mentioned the Tea Party.
There was a time if specific groups, like Latino voters, would make a request/demand of politicians, it was met with a scolding rebuke that a politician’s job was to represent everybody and not just one group. It was an easy way for them to justify their lack of support/endorsement and to appear to be fair to the “larger” community. Some of us, who were too naive to know better, bought it.
Just as today some Latinos buy the line that immigration reform can’t be tackled until there’s border security to keep out those who would sneak in. It doesn’t matter to these Latinos that immigration experts now say that Mexican migration has hit “net zero” and politicians are continuing to regurgitate the same old tired line because they want to avoid a vote on immigration reform.
Hearing the candidates, especially Texas Gov. Perry, refer to the Tea Party like they were their paid spokesmen, brought home just how unfairly treated Latino voters have historically been in the past during elections.
Love him or hate him, Gingrich seems to be the only one among the current crop of GOP hopefuls who is willing to balance the wants of both Latino and Tea Party voters.
While the majority of the front runners in the GOP candidate pool are too busy trying to get their party’s nomination, and so will say and do whatever it takes to get the support of their voter base, the time will come when one of these politicians will have to face Latino voters alongside President Obama.
At that time, Latino voters must stop asking/demanding promises from the candidates and ask ourselves one important question: Who will fairly represent Latinos?
Fair representation is half the battle.