Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ted Cruz’ Iowa caucus “victory” not a boost for Latino political empowerment

There are those people trying to make something of the fact that a man of Latin American ethnic origins (Cuban, to be exact) came out the “winner” of the caucuses held this week in Iowa.

CRUZ: The Latino leader, for now
There also are those who find it intriguing that the two Cuban-American types who were in the field of candidates running for president finished first and third in the caucuses – with their combined level of support totaling 51 percent.

THINK ABOUT IT, if you will.

A majority of people choosing to identify with the Grand Old Party whose alleged front-runner was that nitwit New York real estate developer who started off his campaigning with a rant bad-mouthing Mexicans wound up having no problem picking someone from Latin America to be their party’s presidential nominee.

Of course, there’s also that 24 percent of Iowans who actually thought that Donald Trump was fit to be president. Then again, some people are just terminally silly, if not outright stupid. Particularly since Trump's response to losing the caucus was to demand a do-over -- as though he were some sort of third-world dictator.

Now I’ll be honest. I don’t expect Cruz to wind up as the Republican nominee for president when the GOP has its convention in Cleveland.

IF ANYTHING I think the same people who were willing to listen to Donald Trump’s nonsense talk about Mexicans and who live in other states will wind up thinking twice before following the lead of Iowans – who come from a place whose total Latino population is just under 6 percent (or about one-third the percent of the nation’s Latino population).

Cruz may well have experienced the highlight of his political career Monday night. It will never get better for the senator from Texas than this.

RUBIO: Putting Latinos into Iowa majority
As for the fact that his 28 percent support in Iowa and the 23 percent support garnered by the senator from Florida combines to a slight majority overall, that really is a political fluke.

I can’t help but want to respond to people bringing that “51 percent” figure up in a way similar to how Charlie Brown once responded to Lucy when she rattled off statistics about how bad their baseball team was.

“LUCY, TELL YOUR statistics to shut up!” Just as how I think the people spewing that stat are merely trying to divert attention from the fact their political party wants to use hostility toward Latinos to its benefit.

The fact is that even if Cruz or Marco Rubio were to somehow win the Republican nomination for president, the Democratic Party’s nominee would still take the bulk of the Latino vote come the November general election.

CLINTON: The REAL Latino voter preference
Both Cruz and Rubio have too many issues in their political records that make them appear to Latino voters to be politicians more interested in gaining white people voter support than anything else.

Let’s also be honest in acknowledging that both Cruz’ and Rubio’s ethnic origins are specifically to Cuba. Whose segment of the Latino population in the United States is dwarfed by those from Mexico or Puerto Rico.

IF REPUBLICANS REALLY think they’d take the Latino vote with either Rubio or Cruz (but Cruz in particular), they’ll learn pretty quickly how Mexican-Americans will dis them both as a couple of Caribbean-oriented fools too out-of-touch with REAL Latinos.

So the idea that 51 percent of Iowans participating in Republican caucuses found it in themselves to support a Cuban-American (which is what Cruz really is, despite all those fools who want to tag the label “Canadian!!!” on him) will find that they will be remembered in the political history books as some sort of aberration.

CASTRO: The ultimate Latino winner?
If there was a Latino political empowerment story to be found in this week’s caucuses, it may well be the efforts of Julian Castro – the one-time mayor of San Antonio, Texas, who has tossed out hints of wanting to be the vice-president and made an effort to campaign in Iowa on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

Her narrow victory puts him on the “right side” of the Democratic Party’s nomination process, and could put the name “Castro” closer to someday becoming U.S. president than either Cruz or Rubio will ever be – a thought that I’m sure appalls all who have ties to Cuba.


No comments: