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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hispanics and a New Independent Party

All of a sudden both sides of the aisle are interested in the Hispanic vote. That’s because they have finally begun to make themselves heard. In the 2000 presidential election, they registered 7.5 million voters out of a possible 13.1 million citizens. This increased to 9.3 million in 2004, out of 16 million, respectively. I bet the recent demonstrations upped this substantially.

We can all remember when the Democrats championed causes for minorities, but barely a peep has been heard from those party members either running for Congress in 2006, or the Presidency in 2008. Republicans do garner some support, but the individual usually comes from a wealthy background or has made it big in business. There is a tendency to forget the little guy, to whom we owe much of this country’s progress.

I won’t get into the legal aspects of the immigration movement since it is just that, a legal issue. However, I will say that federal legislation is desperately needed to determine the status of the 11 to 12 million Hispanics who are here illegally. And, it isn’t likely that Democrats or Republicans have the guts to do what is right. The opinion is based on both parties’ track record in recent privacy legislation, another concern dear to the average consumer.

Perhaps this potential voting block of over 16 million (citizens only) should consider an independent political party as the answer to their problems. It’s not too far-fetched to combine a civil rights movement with a privacy theme, especially since many of the privacy issues apply to minorities. And there are another 25 to 30 million sharing this status that would join the momentum.

Nearly 58 percent of Hispanics registered to vote in 2004, and 81.5 percent of that voted. However, of the 42 percent not registering, just under 38 percent gave the reason that they weren’t interested in the election or not involved in politics. This doesn’t differ much from the total population where 46.6 percent gave the same excuse. But you can take it to the bank that the recent demonstrations have changed at least the Hispanic thinking.

The next move is to integrate all this enthusiasm into one solid cause that stands for individual rights with no boundaries of race, or otherwise. Starting with the demand for personal privacy, every issue that impacts this mandate becomes part of the independent party platform. Immigration and human rights in general would top the list.

Timing is perfect. Every seat in the House of Representatives is up for grabs in November, along with 33 Senate seats. If you don’t have an independent you can vote for in your area, find a candidate who subscribes to the principles of individual rights and encourage them to run.

The latest LA Times/Bloomberg poll shows only 39 percent of Americans approve of Bush as President; 57 percent disapprove. And, these figures are confirmed in AP/Ipsos, and Washington Post/ABC surveys. Congress fares even worse with a 28 percent approval rating; 61 percent disapproval. You can read about this continued Republican slump in an article, “Bush job-approval ratings remain low,” by Jeff Pruzan.

Many voters believe that it is impossible to elect an independent President or majority in Congress. Most of this rhetoric comes from the top echelons of the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as their elected officials. Well, Ross Perot’s almost 19 percent of the vote in 1992 established him as the most successful third-party candidate since Teddy Roosevelt’s 27.4 percent in 1912.

The TV show, Commander in Chief, on ABC, portrays Geena Davis, an Independent, as the President, ushered into office from the death of the former President. The question is…will she be re-elected? But I think we can all agree that in the best of Hollywood fashion, this has been predetermined. The show’s creator and Producer, Rod Lurie, had to have done extensive research into the possibility of the election of an Independent Party President, in order to maintain believability in characters and the storyline.

Does he know something we don’t? Stay tuned!

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