Where do I sign up?
Tucson, AZ. – Simmering frustration among Latino voters has prompted a tea party-style endeavor that’s intended to boost the political influence of America’s fastest-growing minority group.
“We want to motivate Latinos to vote,” says Belinda “DeeDee” Blase, spokeswoman for the fledgling National Tequila Party Movement, which has adopted a nonpartisan stance. “[Democrats and Republicans] don’t take us seriously because we don’t vote consistently.”
Through rallies and concerts in at least 20 states, the group wants to mobilize Latinos to vote in record-breaking numbers in the 2012 election. The idea is to issue a wake-up call to both parties — Democrats for taking the Latino vote for granted and Republicans for pushing policies that adversely affect the Hispanic community. — Yahoo News
Aaaah. The smell of disillusioned minorities in the air, this time flavored with cilantro and blue agave. The brotherhood of the pissed off and fed up. It’s Us against Them, if only we could unify Us as solidly as the way Them thinks about Us.
Taken at face value, a national get-out-the-vote effort aimed at, well, anybody (or everybody) sounds harmless enough. It is axiomatic that in a democracy, the government depends on the support of the governed, and that support is made manifest by the electorate’s voting. So we want people to vote, right? The more the better, as a heavy voter turnout more clearly and definitively expresses the will of the people.
You and Toto really miss, Kansas, don’t you Dorothy
Iin the real world, political operatives understand that most voters are malleable ignoramuses, prone to emotional impulses, poorly informed, and potentially dangerous. H.L. Mencken used to marvel at the glories of a system where a professor’s vote counts the same as a flat earther’s, and the uneducated outnumber the educated 10:1. Today, the votes of nimrods carrying signs with slogans like “God Loves Dead Soldiers” and “Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare” count exactly the same as yours and mine. Sure, it’s their right to vote, but do you want them to? As my mother used to say when us kids didn’t clean up after lunch: “Flies gotta eat, but don’t feed ‘em!”
It’s nice to talk about Latino Power, but how cohesive a voting block is this, really? Do the Miami Cubans share the same world view, values, and interests as, say, California Mexicans? New York Puerto Ricans? Do recent poverty-level immigrants fleeing narco-terrorism in Mexico and South America have much in common with middle class, 4th generation establishment Latinos who barely know Guyana from Ghana? Wouldn’t they find themselves on the opposite ends of many issues, and vote against one another’s candidates?
Of course they would. So why would one side encourage the other to vote at all? Because of some idealistic equation summed up by the expression “Latin Power”? Some ethnic appeal that barely runs skin deep?
But set the details aside. “The Tequila Party” — NOW we’re talking. At least they got the marketing and slogans lined up. Content will follow, followed by fights. Meanwhile, count me in, amigos! Wait, let me grab some lime.