The two words I most associate with the Republican platform are "immoral" and "unpatriotic."
An example of immorality is their stance on gay marriage—the denial of basic civil rights to people for no other reason than religious prejudice. They drape it in a smokescreen of an antique sort of religion, as an attempt to obscure its immorality. But fewer and fewer people are fooled.
And the best example of their lack of patriotism is their stand on immigration.
Immigrants, particularly Hispanic immigrants, add to the strength, vitality and economy of the United States. Countries that severely curtail immigration, like Japan, are utterly fucked, demographically, with whole towns emptying out and a dwindling workforce that can't support its burgeoning population of retirees.
The United States has accepted, and been changed by, wave after wave of immigration: from Ireland, from Italy, from Eastern Europe. The Hispanic immigration has already happened, has already changed this country, for the better, unless you consider finding a bottle of salsa on a restaurant table an earthquake, or a whisper of Spanish a personal affront. Overblown concern for legality is a fig leaf, the same as religion and gay marriage, an attempt to hide something objectionable. Anyone who cared about America would recognize that we need to both fix our immigration system so that workers can come to this country safely and legally, and put a path to citizenship for those who came to this country and contributed to it despite our broken immigration policy.
The Republicans, who let their bigotry trump—pun intended—their concern for the United States, would endanger our future strength in order to indulge their current fears. They use Hispanics as so many bogeymen to whip up their base, and it's always been a mystery to my why the actual Latinos don't push back harder, and exert their political power. It's not a question of if, it's a question of when.
Maybe that moment is finally arriving.
Like most responsible Americans, I view the advent of Donald Trump as a symptom of Republican pathology and dysfunction. But there was an engaging column in Monday's New York Times today by Ernesto Londono explaining why Trump, counterintuitively, might be just the motivation needed to wake the sleeping political might of our country's Hispanic population.
It's a question I've long pondered, and I've never seen the potential laid out in such a lucent way before. So while regular readers of my blog know this is not my habit — in fact, I have never done it before — I'm going to break tradition, and present the first few paragraph's of Londono's excellent article, with a link to the rest. I think what he has to say is that important, and hope you take the time to read it.
I am rooting for Donald Trump. Not because I want to see him attempt to build an impenetrable wall along the border with Mexico nor because I’ve been following his grotesque campaign with the kind of guilty gusto that got me hooked on the reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” I’m rooting for Donald Trump because he could unlock the potential of America’s Latino electorate. Hispanics, among the fastest-growing of all segments of eligible voters, played a crucial role in President Obama’s two elections. Yet, over the past couple of decades, pollsters and political operatives have regarded the Latino vote as a sleeping giant waiting for the right jolt....To continue reading, click here.