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In the past, I have argued that Latinos represent a wide array of beliefs, opinions and political ideologies — and that we must openly accept all of them as part of the Latino identity. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done.
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns have now reached a point where most people can make an informed decision about which candidate’s interests align closest to their own.
So I’m interested in understanding specifically why any Latino would still consider voting for Romney in November; and I don’t want any politically-charged claims about ineptitude or inexperience – I mean specific policies and agendas that would benefit Latinos under a Romney administration.
Let’s be serious, African Americans have had it easy ever since Romney made it clear in his speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) that he is the candidate who can make things better in their community. No “identity politics” there.
We Latinos, on the other hand, have a little more research to do before we can commit to a candidate. It’s too bad Romney didn’t attend the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) annual meeting to assure the same for our community.
So when Latinos have to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, we actually have to consider the agendas of each candidate.
Most notably, President Obama’s healthcare reform has already proven to benefit the Latino community. Yet, conservative Latinos continue to support Romney’s crusade to repeal it entirely.
Then, Obama announced a change in deportation policy that would grant work permits to DREAM Act-eligible immigrants and the Supreme Court mostly ruled against Arizona. Alternatively, Romney made it unclear whether or not his “long-term solution” for immigrants involved rolling back the policy change — and don’t even get me started on his failure to formulate an opinion on the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Add to that, the recent Romney campaign gaffes that literally test the limits of professionalism in a campaign, and you’ve got a presidential candidate that’s about as appealing to Latinos as Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns has led to the suspicion that he has something to hide, something the Obama campaign has been quick to exploit; and rightly so after receiving the same treatment for years from right-wing birthers.
Then, in an attempt to justify his prolonged involvement with Bain Capital, a senior adviser to his campaign says Romney “retroactively retired,” as if some magical time machine exonerates him for his actions.
A new poll shows that Obama is gaining support in high numbers amongst Latino voters; however, in the end, I understand that people are going to believe what they choose to believe, and at the very least, I hope this article can stir up some constructive criticism and debate.
Unless you’re also a millionaire, if you’re a Latino planning to vote for Mitt Romney, you’re also voting against your own interests.
This article originally appeared in Being Latino.