Second, please remember that my pieces on the Huffington Post are also open to comments. In fact, despite the generous feedback I have received there, I have yet to see any truly deranged comments, so somebody out there is falling down on the job. Let’s get with it, people!
Speaking of Huffington, I want to address the odd linking that my post “Loving the Latino Voter” received there. Some organization named the Illinois Review excerpted the piece with the tagline “Liberal argues that Hispanics vote for whichever candidate panders to them the most.”
I’m not sure that was my argument, and the tone is definitely bitchy. But let’s look at that pandering charge anyway. It stems from my point that, so far, the Democratic platform has appealed to Hispanic voters more than the Republican platform has.
The Democrats’ approach, ergo, is pandering. How this is much different than candidates promising the moon and sun to Soccer Moms or Nascar Dads or blue-collar unionists or anti-tax small-business owners or NRA members or ACLU activists is beyond me.
The difference between pandering and “good campaign skills” looks to be negligible. Specifically, McCain reneging on his criticisms of the Religious Right is not pandering to Christian conservatives. Obama refraining from the smallest criticism of the Israeli government is not pandering to Jewish voters.
But addressing some issues that Latinos tend to value is pandering of the highest degree.
Now we’re all clear.
Sorry, but it seems that many people are uncomfortable with the fact that Hispanics (long the also-ran demographic of the voting population) are finally exercising some clout. This charge is especially prevalent among conservatives because they are – and there is no delicate way to put this – losing.
So if Democrats continue to win over Latinos, expect to see a lot more of that self-righteous j’accuse tone flying around. The fact, however, is that the attention Latinos are enjoying is no different from what majority-culture voters have demanded and received for decades. Indeed, Juan Carlos Lopez has argued that pandering to Hispanics is inevitable and long overdue.
So to my friends at the Illinois Review, I would say, “Yeah, Hispanics are indeed more likely to vote for the guy who panders to them the most… just like everybody else.”