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(Non) Racial Politics

29 July 2008

I know that religion and politics are the topics you don’t bring up in polite conversation, but…

Today in the news is Sen. Barack Obama’s multi-million dollar drive to recruit LAtino voters. The same Latino voters that overwhelmingly voted for Sen Clinton in the primaries. Now, I’ve heard many theories about why so many Latinos didn’t vote for Obama – and the worst reason was a conspiracy/theory about Latinos not trusting African-Americans. Yes, racism exists and there may have been an aggrieved sense that African-Americans shouldn’t get into the White House before Latinos. I don’t believe that. I do believe that amongst Sen Clinton’s supporters, there was a sense that she would do more for the Latino community – although there’s little evidence to support this.

Sen Obama is walking a fine line on the racial issue – his appeal is his “post-racial” status. In other words, he’s a black guy not running as a black guy, yet not running away from his blackness. Compare him to another successful minority politician, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: he didn’t run as a Latino pol either, yet he didn’t shy away from chumming up with his East-side supporters and labor background. Which is smart politics.

Which brings me to a point I’ve heard made long ago: that Latinos are, on the whole and on the issues, more conservative ideologically and should be voting Republican:

 

  • anti abortion
  • pro family
  • anti tax
  • pro small business
But then you get into other issues that the Republicans have completely fucked up on:
  • immigration
  • public education
  • public transit
It’ll be interesting to see how many Latino votes Obama actually gets.
Not Pandering At All

Not Pandering At All

*Caveat* I suppose younger Latino voters are probably a lot more liberal than their older, more conservative counterparts.
Politico article here
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