No Honor in Political Opportunism

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryThere is no question right now who is the Republican choice for its presidential candidate—Mitt Romney. I always believed that he would eventually become the winner. I based this on the fact he used to be governor of Massachusetts (a key role in a key state), that he is a Mormon (big support from the Church of Later Day Saints), and he “seemed” less radical compared to all of the other Republican presidential contenders. Actually, I am not sure he is less radical, or if he is more of an opportunist. I will clarify this statement in a moment. One thing is for sure; he has few friends among Latino voters. Why? Because his rhetoric caused Latinos, even within the ranks of the Republican Party, to think twice about Romney. His calls for supporting Arizona and Alabama’s state immigration laws has indeed scared potential Latino voters away into the arms of U.S. President Barack Obama. In a poll, Obama is leading Romney on the Latino vote by over 40 percent. This alone spells bad news for Romney, and now he must try to prove himself as a moderate who is really not against Latinos.

This is easier said than done. When a presidential candidate believes that undocumented should “self-deport” themselves, and has no problem braking up families, he certainly will not receive any support from Latinos. Yet Romney is trying to tune down this in an effort for portraying himself as a man who will “help Latinos” and try to work for immigration reform rather than just talk about it as is happening under Obama. Obama has made promises about reforming the immigration system as part of his first term, but this clearly did not happen. In fact, he has deported more people under his administration than former U.S. President George W. Bush did. This could still afford an opening for Romney if he can somehow, some way be able to persuade Latino voters that Obama will simply “lie” again about doing things for Latinos. Romney might have a chance if he can do this, but first Romney must get rid of the most dangerous albatross around his neck—Kris Kobach.

Kris Kobach, currently Kansas’ Secretary of State, is well known as the anti-immigrant provacateur who was responsible for giving legal advice on Arizona’s and eventually Alabama’s state immigration laws. He has been responsible for being the legal arm of the anti-immigrant organization the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform. Mitt Romney, early in his campaign, not only acknowledged Kris Kobach’s work but also praised Kobach and said he fully supports Kobach’s views on immigration. Nothing smacks more of racism and prejudice than this. Whatever Romney’s real views on immigration and immigrants may be, he has saddled himself up with a known anti-immigrant bigot. Of course, it is hard to figure out what Romney really is about. It is sad that both Obama and Romney have been less than honest with the American people, and that their positions seem to shift every time they seem closer to attaining that ultimate goal—the presidency. With their political opportunism, do they really deserve the presidency?

Comments are closed.