Bring on the Tequila Party!

By: Daniel Nardini

No I have not flipped. I am referring to a growing political movement among Latinos being called the Tequila Party. Being modeled after the Tea Party, the Tequila Party is of, by and for Latinos. What it intends to do is first work to register as many Latinos who are eligible to vote as possible. Second, the Tequila Party intends to work with those candidates, regardless of their party affiliation, to promote Latino causes and dealing with issues that affect Latinos.

Is this the third party that I have spoken of before? Maybe, maybe not. One thing is for sure—Latinos are coming to feel that their voice is not being heard, and that they want to put both Democrats and Republicans on notice that neither party nor any other can take their votes for granted. The largest bloc of Tequila partiers as they are being called is being organized in Nevada. Nevertheless, other states with large Latino populations are beginning to organize a Tequila Party. Its three stated goals are realistic and could change the political landscape.

Even with record numbers of Latinos now registering to vote, the numbers are still not enough and Latino leaders will work to increase those numbers even further. But just registering people to vote is not enough. There has to be common ground on the issues. One thing many Latinos—whether their ancestry is Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and Central American—can agree on are the issues of immigration reform, fighting discrimination, and job creation in communities with large numbers of Latinos.

The last point is key. The Tequila Party is organizing to deal with issues that affect Latinos. It does not matter what the issues are so long as they are important to Latinos. This might be difficult as some issues more than others might affect some Latinos more strongly than others. Yet to many Tequila partiers, if it is an issue that affect Latinos in their local communities then this is/are the issue(s) that each and every branch of Tequila partiers will deal with. Of course, this is just beginning and we do not know where this will lead if indeed it will lead anywhere at all. Two things are for certain. The Latino vote is something that cannot be ignored. What cannot be ignored either is what issues affect Latinos. What remains a major question is if a Tequila Party can get politically off the ground.

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