Thursday, November 8, 2012

Not all positive on Election Night

It depends whose Election Day survey you want to trust. Did Barack Obama take 69 percent of the Latino vote on Tuesday, or was it 71 percent (as I heard PBS report)?

Not that it matters much. It means that the president was the overwhelming favorite of Latinos -- and Latinas, in particular.
EXIT POLLS HAD 75 percent of them preferring Obama to Mitt Romney, compared to 63 percent for Latinos specifically male.

Yes, it means there’s a Latino “gender gap.” Although when both figures are solid majorities, it doesn’t mean as much.

It means there’s a lot of cheap talk going about on Wednesday about how much my ethnic brethren did for Obama’s re-election bid. I’m sure there are even those who figure we “own” his behind, and that he had better produce.

Yes, it’s true he had better be sympathetic to our concerns.

BUT LET’S BE honest. We were voting against Romney because we didn’t want the ideologues to have a chief executive in place whom they would expect to rubber-stamp their nativist intents.

And those people didn’t exactly wither away on Tuesday.

The Tea Party types who got so many ideologues all excited back in 2010 by and large managed to keep their positions. Only six of the 60 “Tea Party Caucus” members are on the way out. The defeat in Illinois of Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., is truly an aberration.

Those people are still going to be a vocal, and influential, segment of the House of Representatives who twist and distort a historic image to fit their own warped ideals of what this nation should be.

WHICH MEANS WE have an obstacle that remains to any serious change that needs to be brought about. Anybody who thinks government is supposed to be about radical change is either addled, or clueless!

Let’s also not forget that the increased Latino political representation in the Senate (from two members to three) has its own kick in the pantalones.

For the new senator is Ted Cruz of Texas, who will be sitting in the Republican Caucus and is willing to make his amends with the Tea Party types.

Perhaps it will be good that the Tea Party Types will be exposed to one of our ethnic brethren. Then again, maybe many of our concerns aren’t going to be among his top interests.

LET’S ALSO NOT forget Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who got himself elected to a sixth term – despite the fact that many Latinos in the greater Phoenix area were eager to see him dumped.

He still faces the lawsuits that contend his law enforcement agency is singling out Latinos for abuse.

But he told the Fox television affiliate in Phoenix on Tuesday, “I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.” While also claiming that he’d like to get closer to Latinos, “if that could ever happen.”

In short, Arpaio isn’t about to lose any sleep over the current situation – and in fact is already boasting about how he’d like to serve a seventh term as sheriff (for which he’d run in 2016).

SOME THINGS JUST aren’t changing fast enough for the comfort levels of us alive and thriving today.

Yet the reality is that change is going to come – even if it seems to be advancing at a glacial pace.

Look at the exit poll of Latinos who cast ballots in Nevada (enough voters that the one-time state dominated by cowboy-types and casino interests went for Obama over Romney).

Some 76 percent of Latinos under 45 went for Obama (compared to 56 percent of Latinos over 45).

CONSIDERING THE NUMBER of Latinos who are constantly turning 18 (50,000 per month, across the country), that’s going to be even more and more people in our voter bloc and siding with whomever Obama tries to make as his successor in ’16.

Perhaps that official will advance our society further along than we are now?

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