There is a contagious rumor spreading which goes something like this: Latinos are closed-minded organisms who hopelessly and helplessly yearn for the candidate who chants a few poorly pronounced words in Spanish.
If this is so, then it could be a fork in the road decision to make when it comes down to McCain and Obama.
I often end up being on the liberal side of the tracks in debates when it comes down to immigration or healthcare.
When Dr. Juan Hernandez, a former advisor to the former Mexican President, came to UVU, I wasn’t the only one relieved to see someone in a suit and tie speaking my language and using words like amnesty. I already looked up to this man who had debated antagonist warmongers on Fox and CNN. He knew the circumstances; he understood the people — Mr. Hernandez was the perfect candidate in my book.
I assumed that Dr. Hernandez might tell us why Latinos should vote Democrat. His advice: “Vote for McCain”.
I was shocked that my hero was rooting for the team that I considered too stubborn and out of touch when it came to grassroots issues. I later found out that Dr. Juan Hernandez was actually working for John McCain.
Since then I’ve been on the fringe of political party schizophrenia.
Obama voted to build a 700-mile long fence along the border, but wasn’t it McCain who brought true change as a maverick when it came to his big immigration reform that would provide a path for legalization for undocumented residents?
For many Latinos and non-Latinos as well, the marches of the past couple of years have been an uplifting experience and testament to the power of a ticked-off people.
It looked like a win-win situation for immigrant sympathizers. Either an immigration reformist or a liberal democrat would be elected, but unfortunately, pressure from the GOP led McCain astray.
When asked whether he would vote for his own immigration bill if revived again he replied calmly “no”.
When it comes to immigration, McCain had plenty going for him but refused to vote for the Dream Act, which would allow undocumented students to carry a driver’s license.
Obama is in favor of the Dream Act, an idea that may not be perfect, but does have the basis of reform that the U.S. needs. This bill would reward well-behaved undocumented students who are accepted to an institute of higher education or who join the armed forces. These students came at a young age by no choice of their own and shouldn’t be punished in a land they consider home.
In this conundrum of an issue we must always dig deeper. Remember Dr. Hernandez working for McCain? Sure, I was torn knowing that my immigration idol was republican, but I recently found out Dr. Hernandez hasn’t accepted a paycheck because he says that money clouds judgment. When told that he should be a democrat because of his views, Hernandez replied, sating, “it’s the republicans who need a change of heart.” Genius. Muy bien, Hernandez. Muy bien.