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Bert at the Han


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The Foundation of Freedom is the Courage of Ordinary People


A Washington Post editorial by Ms. Cepeda argues that this is the "GOP's Big Chance To Align With Latinos." To me, the reverse is equally true.

When there is only one party to vote for, nobody has political leverage. The Party Bosses just decide who will be Dictator. To paraphrase her thesis, this is our Latinos' big chance to make sure their voice will always be heard by every political Party.

There seemed to be no single conclusive factor in Obama's victory, although ethnic hate-groups ceaselessly played a vocal role. Certainly, national Hispanic panels gleefully claimed their vote was the key.

To me, Mr. Obama's real strength lay in convincing each of these single-issue groups that the Democrats will best advance their unique interests.

I admire Ms. Cepeda, who somehow seems psychologically intact in spite of being "surrounded by leftist activists who consider America an imperialist oppressor." I admire America's many other hard-working, family-oriented Hispanics in general. If many of them vote culturally, or emotionally, rather than seriously considering the good of our nation as a whole, that's their right. If many automatically vote "the way their family always votes", or "to get revenge", that's the right of any citizen.

After all, they will be stuck with the result just like the rest of us. If better results might come from considering national issues rather than cultural habit, they will eventually realize it.

Perhaps Mr. Obama is actually right. Perhaps the separate interests of these single-issue groups do involve a similar set of moral principles, or lack thereof. But, to me, this isn't obvious. Consider:

Unions vs. "Right To Work?" ... Capital for job creation vs. "Tax The Rich"? ... Local Government vs. Washington? ... The Individual vs. the Group? ... Rights of Citenship vs. Claims by "Illegal Immigrants" ... Responsibility vs. Entitlement? ... Pledging Allegiance vs. Burning our Flag? ... Earned benefits vs. Demanding benefits without even paying taxes? ... "Family Values" vs. "Free Love"? ... "Political Correctness" vs. "Freedom of Speech"? ... "Peace Through Strength" vs. "Welfare, not the Military"? ... Unity through a "Melting Pot" Society vs. Division by Cultural and Ethnic Groups? ... "Freedom of Religion" vs. preventing its public expression? ... and lots and lots more.

Can issues like these really be addressed from one single political base?

When ideas conflict, for any group to advance its own preference by voting, its vote must have some value. If only Democrats have power, or only Republicans, the only real power would lie in the hands of Party Bosses.

The vote of the entire electorate would become as meaningless as in any Dictatorship.

Mrs. Cepeda is pleading with the GOP to earn the confidence of her fellow Hispanics. I would plead with her fellow Hispanics to also earn the confidence of the GOP, confidence that most Hispanics will begin to vote according to the significance of issues rather than by cultural habit.

Only by being more open-minded themselves can they force their interests and concerns to be fairly considered by either Party.

Bert Kortegaard

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