América’s true diversity emerged victorious as another color to the rainbow magically transcended voting machines demonstrating the strength of an organized group. Latinos strutted in half-step onto the political football field to demonstrate their prowess. They are on the move and cannot even fathom the power they can amass as the demographic wars continue. Eventually, they are paving the way for a brown Spanish speaking President of the United States of America; perhaps bien pocho, and maybe not in my lifetime, but it will happen.
Republicans on the other hand learned some tough political lessons as they made continuous verbal gaffes about the bronze people of the earth on a fast track towards achieving social justice. To hang your hat on self-deportation as a response to comprehensive immigration policy lacks insight into the nature of immigration. To imagine that groups of people who place their lives on the line crossing fronteras seeking work to moonwalk back home is ludicrous. Immigrants from Third World countries are forced by the sprouting tentacles of global imperialism in their countries, many times caused by inadequate foreign policy, to leave. Perhaps, GOP analysts and policy wonks will step back to the drawing board to sketch out alternative strategies in dealing with this contentious issue.
The 700 mile wall currently being constructed that divides the USA and our neighbors to the south pales in comparison to the psychological wall that stands between the GOP and the immigrant community. That wall is longer, less brittle, and difficult to penetrate because it is about an attitude. An attitude about human beings rooted in polluted soil called racism. Because of the verbal blunders made, a deep sense of alienation exists between Republicans and the brown horde—a feeling of collective estrangement that no human being should be subjected to.
The problem is that there are no political surgeons that can mend deep historical wounds. Attitude adjustments are even more difficult. The other problem is that broken spirits rise to the occasion because they have nothing to lose.
For the Democrats, the political war will move into its second phase as the resistors of change from the GOP party will dig in their heels. Plutocracy will continue as tons of cash, gathering interest in banks and high yielding investments will be pulled out to foster yet another congressional session of political stalemate. The same issues remain on the table; unemployment, affordable health care, energy policy, immigration and tax policies to name a few—they will be debated again. It appears that common ground is difficult to create when man’s egos interfere with the common good.
Obama also faces tremendous challenges. His leadership skills will be tested again simply because the two-party dynamics that were created during his administration persist. The difference is that he doesn’t have to prime himself to run again under the rules of term limits. However, he does have to lay the ground work for another Democrat to fill his shoes once he vamooses from the presidential suite. Party sustainability is always on the radar screen following elections. Obama has nothing to lose and a lot to gain as he makes tough decisions about litigious issues. In the process he may lose support from his own party; but he can leave a legacy. As all presidents, he will eventually become a lame duck forced to find balance between party politics and moral decision making. His true leadership will emerge. Let’s hope that he works at fulfilling his promises that will determine the future of immigrants in American society. Obama needs to put substance into his national healthcare package. Probably the most challenging issue is repairing a broken economy through the creation of jobs. His infusion of capital into the economy, although criticized by the right, was a courageous move.
So what did the Latino community learn? We learned that we are not powerless groups, especially when we are organized. We learned how as individuals we can realize our own voting power to make a difference. Our destiny is no longer tied to broken production instruments; it is tied to higher aspirations that place us on the map. In the process, we should not sacrifice those values such as humility and cultural pride that make us who we are. ¡Que viva el nuevo arco iris!
Dr. Ramón Del Castillo is an independent journalist.
©2012 The Weekly Issue/El Semanario, Inc.
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