Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Political Gods of Irony Are Apparently An Angry Bunch – Anti Immigrant Rights Candidate Romney Leads Moderate Immigrant Rights Candidate Gingrich Amongst Immigrants

Conventional Wisdom Again Defeated by the Political Gods

Irony abounds so much in politics that there must be separate set of gods who control it, because this much irony cannot be just a natural phenomena.  The Political gods of irony dictate that supposedly rational voters do not always act in their best interests, and the positions of candidates in opposition to the aspirations of a given bloc of voters does not always mean the loss of that bloc of voters.

With respect to the Hispanic vote in the upcoming Florida Republican primary, it turns out that Mitt Romney has a substantial lead.

In the Sunshine State, where about one in 10 likely Republican primary voters are Latino, Mitt Romney has a large, 26-point lead over his closest rival Newt Gingrich, 49 percent to 23 percent among Latino Republicans. Among all Florida Latinos, the margin is 35 to 20 in favor of Romney, with 21 percent undecided.

Now Mr. Romney has used illegal (Hispanic) immigration as one of the issues to pander to the hard right of his party.  He is against any accommodation for illegal immigrants, even those brought to this country at a very young age and hence are not law breakers, but children and young adults.  Mr. Gingrich however, in one of his rare moments of rationality, recognizes that one simply cannot round up and deport 10-12 million people and so has a different outlook on the problem.

In fact, Mr. Romney's plan for illegal immigrants borders on cruelty.  His program is for undocumented workers to be denied employment (and probably denied any social support benefits that go to people who are bereft of resources and an income) so that they will "self-deport".  So think about the situation, a young person who was brought to this country by their parents, educated in this country, has no memories or connections to their country of birth and is denied the right to work and cut off from any government benefits.  The goal being to create deliberate economic deprivation so that person will leave the U . S. and go to a country they have real connection with.

 How exactly does a self described religous person take such a position for purely political gain?

And how does one explain the seemingly irrational support of Mr. Romney by the very people he is demonizing in order to score points with the Republican base.  Well there are a couple of explanations.

  1. The Florida Hispanic community just does not believe Mr. Romney when he talks about immigration.  This is not a difficult point to understand; Mr. Romney has long been the politician who will adopt any position and change any position to further his electoral chances.  Not believing Mr. Romney is a whole lot easier than believing him.

  1. The Hispanic community, like all ethnic and religious and cultural groupings of people are diverse and have diverse views.  Most of the Hispanic population of Florida are derived from Cuban immigrants who are accorded special rights to come to this country legally.  They may well regard themselves as separate from say Mexican immigrants.  They may well believe that Mr. Romney is aiming his fire at non-Cuban Hispanics.

  1. The Cuban population is very entrepreneurial, very economically motivated.  They may see a kindred soul in Mr. Romney who made his money in part by plundering companies, as opposed to Mr. Gingrich who makes millions influence peddling.

For whatever reason, should Mr. Romney win the Florida primary his margin of victory is likely to come from the very people he denigrates on the campaign trail.  Sorry Mr. Gingrich, but the political gods of irony have you as their target, at least on this issue.

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