Sunday, November 25, 2012

Money and the Ethnic Vote

"C'est vrai, c'est vrai qu'on a été battus, au fond, par quoi? Par l'argent puis des votes ethniques, essentiellement". ("It's true, it's true we were beaten, yes, but by what? By money and ethnic votes, essentially.") - Jacques Parizeau, 1995 (Source: Wikipedia)

I held off on writing this post for a few days to settle my thoughts on the recent election.  Over the past few days it has seemed that everyone has given a reason as to why Mitt Romney lost the election. When discussing with friends, it was almost as if they felt that American Values have gone out the window and the root cause, although not everyone has explicitly stated this, due to immigrants not having the same values as America and eroding our society. When people claim minorities as a contributing reason, it makes me feel very uncomfortable as having belonged the 'ethnic votes' in the election I quoted above. It was not too long ago that Jews were/are considered to be a group which does not share the values of Americans. The same of the Catholics and the Mormons. It smells of Xenophobia and racism and makes me feel uncomfortable voting for a leaders who may hold such beliefs, even if they have the same political values as I do. In Quebec, most Jews actually favor many of the political values held by the separatist party, yet will not vote for them because of their underlying xenophobia.

If the Republicans want to win, it has to be about how their message is relevant and important to all groups and all Americans, whether they be Black, Hispanic, Muslim, or Asian and Whites. They have to show or convey a message of being inclusive and welcoming to all the tired, poor, and hungry masses who yearn to share and give and be free in the the American experience. The message should not be that they should focus only on their base and getting them to turn out. As a recent op-ed in the WSJ points out that this approach will likely also lead to future Republican disappointments.

I think as a society, and the American experience, is taking everything in the world and incorporating the good parts into our society. Or as someone once said 'everywhere has something they are known for, although it usually washes up on our shores'.

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