Every four years, we have presidential elections. I have had friends who have not talked to each other because one supported Robert Kennedy and the other Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 Primary Election. With age I have concluded that it is stupid to play the game, Candidates during the election cycle will say anything that the electorate want to hear and in the process rewrite history.
My great sin was making the case that it mattered if we elected Chicana/o candidates that sometimes did. However, often it did not. White, Black and Asian candidates have often done a better job that Chicana/o or Latino elected officials. For example, when is the last time you saw a Chicana/o elected officials on the picket line protesting police brutality or for that matter the Dreamers. They are good at sitting in their office acting regal.
The presidential elections are more so. They involve self-interest, imaginary plancas, whether the candidate is a female or male, or even if they have some obscure strain of DNA that links them to la Raza.
So I expected to be deluged with the question of who I was for in the presidential primaries. They know that I will not vote Republican. So it comes down to Hilary or Bernie, so people think. They are disappointed when I tell them that I am not a Democrat. In presidential elections I have more often written in Gus Hall or voted for a Third Party candidate. I know they will not disappoint me.
I refuse to be a cheerleader – spent most of my life impersonating a historian so I put everything into a historical context. So the present debate over immigration is juvenile. In 1970 the unions were bitterly against the undocumented – most called them wetbacks. The Chicana/o Movement had its flaws but it championed the immigrant. Wetback was and is a pejorative term.
Candidates argue about the 2007 Immigration Bill forgetting to read the entire bill. Progressives were against the bill because it legalized a bracero program that many of us considered a form of slavery. Everyone realized that this was now or never and that we had to fight for the strongest bill possible. It left millions of immigrants in the shadows that live here but can never become legalized because as an 18 year old they were arrested and lied about their status. Many have advanced degrees, are married and have children but can never be legalized.
I want a comprehensive immigration bill that recognized that the undocumented are not criminals and are here because of the malfeasance of the United States government. This positon is difficult to reconcile in a world that one picks the lesser of two evils.
I am concerned about Mexico Lindo. However, it has become like that movie “Touch of Evil.” The government is corrupt and the United States is to blame. I could not support a candidate who did not pledge to 1) end the War on Drugs, 2) have Mexico cease its privatization programs and its gutting of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, 3) end NAFTA and Cafta, 4) censure the Mexican Government for atrocities toward Central American refugees traveling through Mexico, 5) respect indigenous rights and 6) boycott all Mexican institutions until the rights of the people are respected. The cartels exist because of the huge American drug market.
We should be concerned about the atrocities committed around the world in the name of democracy. It is a contradiction to be against terrorism and then hold hands with the Saudi Arabians. Just like I condemn the Mexican government I condemn the unconditional support of the Israeli Government. These injustices are fueling terrorism.
In order to put a brake on future wars, that candidates support of universal draft that include all classes and races proportionately, and that a graduated tax be instituted that taxed every American for the cost of the wars. Wars could no longer be paid for on credit.
That the military budget and the education budget be equal.
Finally, corporate violation be criminalized with corporate executives put in the same category as drug dealers.
In the interim it is ridiculous to look at political candidates as some sort of sports celebrity.
So until we get these concessions we must remember the words of the Pachuco and not take the pinche play so seriously. Most of you will be around in four years.
— by Rodolfo F. Acuña