Obama is still the 44th President of the United States (This blog was originally published shortly after the reelection of President Barack Obama). President Obama slid into home base last night with an overwhelming victory in the electoral college due in large part to the Latin@ vote (303-206 at last count). One huge lesson emerges: You can't stomp on 52 million Latin@s in your campaign and expect to win the Presidency. In the Republican primary race, Mitt Romney went out of his way to be mean-spirited and harsh towards undocumented immigrants--repeatedly using the offensive term "illegal alien" as a cuss word intended to rile up the Republican base. 52 million of us were listening. You can't make fun of our moms, dads, abuelitas, abuelitos, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, friends, madrinas, and padrinos, and expect to gain our support. Moreover, whether you have undocumented family or friends, or not, most compassionate people favor a balanced form of comprehensive immigration reform. It doesn't work to politicize the painful struggles of undocumented students--or "Dreamers"--either. While criticizing President Obama for not passing the Dream Act, Mitt Romney had the audacity to go on to the presidential debate stage and advocate for a version of the Dream Act which only involved military service. Apparently, to Mitt Romney, we're good enough for cannon fodder, but we don't deserve to go to college or medical school.
Think I'm just making this up and stuck in my Chicana/o Studies/ethnic studies bubble? 71% of Latin@s voted for President Obama yesterday. Mitt Romney would have won last night if he could have garnered the same amount of support as George W. Bush did among Latinos. What's more, 50,000 Latin@s turn 18 every month in the United States. Buenos dias, America.
Robert Chao Romero