We’re having ourselves an historic presidential campaign in case you hadn’t noticed. Sure, we’ve only had one state vote so far, but a new record has been set. We now have not one, but two Hispanic candidates who have received more votes and more delegates than any other in the history of presidential primaries. This is a truly great day for diversity and the future of the American melting pot. Or at least it would be if either of them had been Democrats.
Sadly, the Party of the Donkey is running two very white senior citizens so the groundbreaking nature of the above cited accomplishment is cancelled out. As Roberto Suro at the New York Times helpfully points out, it doesn’t really count because Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio aren’t really all that Latino, ya know?
With Senator Ted Cruz taking nearly 28 percent of the vote and Senator Marco Rubio getting 23 percent, each vastly surpassed the results for any other Latino candidate in any previous United States presidential contest.
How is that not being celebrated as historic or at least worth a headline for a day or two?
The answer is not that complicated: Neither Mr. Cruz nor Mr. Rubio meets conventional expectations of how Latino politicians are supposed to behave.
Suro goes on to point out that neither Rubio nor Cruz claims to speak for the Hispanic population. Adding to their list of sins, they don’t embrace amnesty. Suro quotes (of all people) Univsion’s Jorge Ramos on this subject:
“There is no greater disloyalty than the children of immigrants forgetting their own roots. That is a betrayal,” he wrote. It is criticism that echoes the rhetoric aimed at Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court and other successful members of minority groups who are perceived as failing to uphold their own group’s interests.
This is the ironic – and perpetually insulting – reverse of the “fears” many Democrats had about Barack Obama during both elections. Would he be the President of all Americans or just black Americans? He was continually referred to as brave when he decided to talk about racial issues, but his own party always seemed to fear that his race also hindered him in being effective on that front. But when the conversation swings over to Republicans it’s simply a betrayal to not base your entire candidacy on your ethnic heritage.
I first caught wind of this story from Erick Erickson.
That’s right. Because Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz campaign as “America First” politicians on the campaign trail and do not play up racial/ethnic stereotypes and grievances, they are not really Latino politicians and no one is celebrating them.
In other words, it is not race, heritage, or ethnicity that makes one Latino, but having the right grievances.
This is nothing new for those who watch politics regularly and it doesn’t just apply to one demographic pigeonhole. Where were the celebrations on the left of the election of Nikki Haley? Not only a woman, but a woman of Indian descent who ascended to be the Governor of a southern state? You’d think somebody would have suggested replacing Susan B. Anthony on some coins with Haley’s face by now. But no… that didn’t count as a victory “for women,” because she didn’t run on a platform of, elect me and I’ll take care of the ladies! She ran as an American and a citizen of South Carolina who could fix their problems.
For that matter, how many Know Your Value type feminist leaders have been celebrating the election of Elise Stefanik, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress? Nope… still doesn’t count. That “R” after her name takes away a lot of points on that scale. And don’t even get me started on Senator Tim Scott. Democrats wince every time anyone mentions his name. They still control more than forty seats in the Senate. They couldn’t manage to elect one black candidate?
So even if Ted Cruz or (okay… I’ll say it…) Marco Rubio wind up being elected, don’t expect any massive parades in the streets or cover stories in Time Magazine celebrating the historic election of the first Latino President. It’s not going to happen, because it doesn’t count. At least not to the people who spend all their time keeping score.