November 5, 2004

Editorial:

Election Day Reflections

First and foremost, we congratulate all the candidates who had the courage to run for office. And, we don’t use the word courage lightly. It takes an inordinate amount of dedication and resolve to go where 99.9% of the population dare not go....into the very public political arena. Running for political office takes commitment, time, hard work, personal sacrifice, and lots of money.

The decision to run for office begins at least 18 months in advance of the General Election, with the Primaries being held in March. That makes for a very long campaign. Running for public office is a very costly enterprise. As an example, a school board races takes a minimum of $20,000, just to have a chance, and much more to win. Two candidates in the Sweetwater Union High School District raised over to $200,000 between the two of them. Bottom line is that the average citizen, who is not independently wealthy, is facing an almost insurmountable barrier to effectively run for public office. It also takes courage, and true grit, to run for office. Campaigns, all too often, deteriorate into a negative abyss, where it is no longer about ideas and issues. Campaigns often turn ugly and about intimidation. Smear tactics, sign stealing, and heckling become the normal tactics on the campaign trail.

Recent elections have begun to make clear that the Democratic Party is slowly but surely losing the Hispanic vote to the Republicans and/or to other fringe parties. The good ole days of when you could count on the Hispanic vote are gone. The Republicans went into this campaign hoping they would get 35% of the Hispanic vote. Now, it looks like they are going to end up with about 45% of that vote nationally! In Texas just under 60% of the Hispanic vote went for Bush. In Florida 55% of the vote was cast Republican. Democrats not only lost the war but they are losing the battles as well, in this case the core Hispanic vote.

In this Presidential race, the Democratic Party, with the exception of Senator Barbara Boxer’s office, virtually ignored this newspaper. Not one single Democrat visited our offices. In the meantime, the Republican candidates frequently called and visited La Prensa San Diego. This trend was not limited to La Prensa. In Los Angeles, home of the largest Hispanic population in the states, La Opinion reported that they were totally ignored by the Democratic Party as well.

The Democratic Party has bent far over, to accommodate, the fringe left wing of the party. They have marginalized themselves into the far left. In the process, the core Hispanic Democrat who on the whole are a conservative, family oriented, Catholic, hard working people, who are not looking for hand outs, but for opportunity, have been marginalized by the Democrats. On several levels, the Republican have begun addressing some of these needs.

The Democratic Party tends to look at the Hispanic community through the lenses of the social services community and are not providing means or addressing the issues pertinent to this community, which is more and more middle class Hispanic. The Democratic Party is going to have re-evaluated their direction and how they view the Hispanic community. It is clear that they are losing this core constituency to the Republican Party.

The Democrats can continue to ignore us but they do so at their own risk.

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