As I read through endless commentary on political blogs, I am amazed that the conversation does not revolve around factual policy issues. This is why I would like to contribute my two cents on the policy issues that resonate with Latinos: 1) Immigration and 2) Healthcare.
In the 90's Bill Clinton expressed the immortal phrase "ÔÇªit's the economy, stupidÔÇª." Now it's appropriate to say, "It's immigration, stupid." Whether we were born abroad or within US territory, we are tied to our immigrant backgrounds. Yet, I wonder why Latinos flock towards politicos that are anti-immigrant?
Barack Obama is a polarizing voice that chooses unions over immigration. His ties to corrupt unions require that he vote pro-labor in the Senate. Pro-labor, as if, immigrants do not labor like everyone else. If we rewind the clock, I would like to point out that Mr. Obama voted against the McCain-Kennedy Act that would have granted illegal immigrants amnesty and access to social security.
Why is Obama against such reform? This is because he is in the pockets of unions, which oppose immigration and its direct competition on blue-collar jobs. I am offended when I hear Barack condescend to Latinos with his rhetoric about change for the underrepresented when he's propelling division. I am even more offended when I hear liberal Chicanos resort to 1960's tactics against the Republican Party when they do not represent the reality of 2008. Yes, the RNC was full of white faces, but which policies benefit ALL people?
We need policy, not ideology! The first thing to do is integrate immigrants into society through amnesty; so that they gain access to the services everyone is privy to obtaining. Secondly, we need to understand national security is not anti-immigrant. Spin doctors want to oppose national security laws by invoking immigration sentiment. Lastly, we need to support people that are actually supporting our community. John McCain was the one that created the immigration reform act, which then became a partnership with Edward Kennedy. Let's not ignore the obvious for the sake of partisan ignorance.
On healthcare, all Americans are struggling with access to doctors. I for one have gone without healthcare, partly because I am a student with limited resources. However, I understand that Obama's healthcare policy does nothing to alleviate the problems we have. His proposal to grant healthcare insurance to children is ill-conceived. How can we offer healthcare to children and ignore the parents that take care of those children?! When a single mom becomes ill and is forced out of work, you tell me how insuring a child alone will work.
The solution is not child-focused healthcare policies, nor universal healthcare -- the solution is access to affordable healthcare. This does not mean capping insurance prices; this means providing monetary help to people.
No matter what problem has been, when you provide people with the money to be able to afford any kind of service, you do two things: 1) evidently, provide that service much more affordably and 2) stimulate the economy.
This is exactly what Senator McCain's plan does by offering families and individuals tax credits for healthcare! This is why I support his policy and hope that other Latinos will realize that just because Obama claims he is in it for you, this does not make it so.
Anonymous is an MPA candidate at USC. He has also worked at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Organization of American States.