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Senator Marco Rubio: Tio Tomas or Free Thinker?

posted: July 13, 2011 • Categories: PersonalComments: 0

I must give kudos to Ruben Navarette for being an equal-opportunity anti-amnesty basher. He goes after Democrats and Republicans who vote against amnesty and has done a good job of documenting (no pun intended) the lengths that Democrats have gone to vote against amnesty despite the overall perception that only Republicans vote against amnesty.

That said, in “Has Marco Rubio Sold Out?" the liberal Ruben Navarette exposes just how far the Left has yet to go in race relations. We can only hope that one day, the Left will allow Latinos to have minds of our own.

In his critique of Rubio’s “pandering” on immigration reform, Navarette writes, “This self-proclaimed ‘son of exiles’ has it all wrong. It’s fine to be tough on immigration, but you don’t have to be predictable and shallow. When that happens, people assume you’re not really thinking through this issue but simply following the herd and pandering to the special interests controlling your party.”

If the Left does assume that Rubio is simply pandering, it’s because they are not yet able to believe that Latinos actually have our own thoughts, opinions and feelings. Perhaps it’s because it’s easier for the “special interest controlling” the Democrat Party to “manage” us if we’re assumed to all think, act and believe the same way.

Newsflash: Like snowflakes and every other ethnic group on earth, no two Latinos are alike. We don’t cook our beans the same way—let alone vote the same way. We are not the same—culturally or individually.

It’s ridiculous that this point has to be brought up—just as it would be ridiculous to assume all Caucasians feel the same on any one issue. I doubt anyone would ever accuse a Caucasian who is “easy” on immigration of selling out her people.

It’s time the Left allows for some diversity within the Latino community. They need to see and acknowledge that we are a large group of separate-minded individuals—and that Latinos disagree on many things. But this is what many people on the Left—like Navarette—seem to fear. Rubio effectively communicates Conservative principles and he is able to speak fearlessly of how the Democrats’ big-government agenda hinders Hispanics by limiting freedom and opportunity.

Politicians need to see that many Latinos actually oppose amnesty and support existing immigration laws and securing our border. We support it not because we are heartless, not because we are panderers, and not because we are selling out anybody. We support it because we believe we need a fair and smart way to allow people from all over the world to enter this country legally.

Navarette claims that Rubio “has squandered the one thing that made him unique, interesting and valuable to his party: the potential that he could help mend fences with disaffected Latino voters alienated by the GOP’s simplistic and mean-spirited approach to the immigration issue.”

Many in the GOP—including myself—still believe that Rubio offers something beyond his Spanish blood. In fact, many of us are quite disgusted to read a sentence like this from Navarette in which we reduce a fellow, complex human to simply his skin tone and last name. In which we take a full man and make him a token. Talk about mean-spirited.

But what Navarette also fails to realize is that Republicans—or any politicians who are willing to run on ideas for a better future—do not need a majority of Hispanics to win elections, they need a majority of Americans. And Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Susana Martinez (NM), Gov. Brian Sandoval (NV) and others have shown that you can be a Republican and not toe the “liberal Hispanic” party line on immigration and still win elections even in states with a high Hispanic population.

They are elected by constituents who actually see past race and ethnicity and who embrace the ideas presented. That’s the place we need to get to in this country, not continuing to believe that an entire ethnic group needs to vote and think in lock-step.


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