Monday, July 21, 2003
phase II: seeking support among hispanics http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dallas/politics/state/stories/072003dntextexdems.9257a.html
Texas's hispanic community is ripe for the picking (and I might assume the same goes for hispanics across the country). Like every other voting bloc, they want someone who will listen to them and understand their concerns. But beyond that, they are seeking someone who will follow through with concrete programs that solve these issues. In other words, like you and me, they don't need lip service; they need action.
Perhaps the biggest concern among southwestern hispanics is immigration policy. Mexicans and other central Americans risk their lives every day trying to enter the U.S., and some pay the ultimate price. They have to work with coyotes (human smugglers), dodge bullets on the border (these bullets come from the INS, border-area property owners, and local militias that operate under a "range law" mentality), risk drowning and dehydration, and defy all odds in order to have a better life. Over 175,000 illegals have already been apprehended and turned away this year (scroll to bottom). And that's not all. Once they cross the border, they have to hide from the INS, meanwhile seeking out fake documents or continuing to live here illegally as fugitives.
During the 2000 race, Shrub promised that he'd work with Fox to set up a fast-track immigration program. In fact, as Texas Governor, Bush did a pretty good job of building bridges to Mexico (this is probably the ONLY good thing he did down here, and I give credit where credit is due). But since he took national office, he's squandered all political goodwill that existed between our two nations. Granted, much of this happened after 9/11, when a main concern was locking down our borders. However, Fox's non-support of the Iraq war has also made him persona non grata within the Bush administration. In these conditions, there is very little hope that fast-track will become a priority. Meanwhile, Mexicans continue to die on a daily basis. I believe that any candidate who intends to woo hispanic voters needs to have a solid understanding of this problem, and also needs to come out in support of fast-track citizenship.
These are things that we need to understand. I strongly suggest that you read all the articles I've linked. Get to know these people and their concerns. Imagine walking a mile in their shoes. And then let's get out there and work with them to formulate real solutions to these problems.
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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.