Which country are Democrats running to be president of?
A lot of Latino voters were kind of creeped out by three of the Democratic candidates' calculated use of Spanish in their debate statements. Not only were Cory Booker, Julian Castro, and Beto O'Rourke observably poor Spanish speakers, their use of the Spanish language to appeal to the Latino voters was just a little too cute on the pandering front. And that doesn't even get into the matter of their Hugo Chavez-style socialist promises for them. For many Latino voters, been there, done that.
I would have loved to have seen the fluently Spanish-speaking moderator test Castro, who reputedly speaks very little Spanish with a Spanish-language question. Meanwhile, the most fluent Spanish speaker on the floor, the Sandinista- and Cuban-trained Bill De Blasio, didn't join the panderfest. Maybe he didn't want anyone to ask him how he got so good at it.
The big problem, though, was that they seemed to be running for president of some country other than the United States.
Here's how bad it was:
Beto O'Rourke gave a long monologue in Spanish. And Cory Booker, not to be outdone, also answered a question in Spanish.— POLITICO (@politico) June 27, 2019
And the full stop in Julián Castro's closing statement was his "Adios" to President Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/o1wG4O7ckm
Here are a few Latino reactions:
Robert Francis O'Rourke may have the fake Spanish name, but Cory Booker really stepped it up tonight with his fake... well, Spanish. pic.twitter.com/FZHoFI6aH7— Alana Mastrangelo (@ARmastrangelo) June 27, 2019
My biggest pet peeve is people trying to speak Spanish just to pander to Hispanics like we only understand Spanish!— Ex-Dem🇺🇸Latina (@ExDemLatina) June 27, 2019
What the hell is going! So offensive! #DemDebate #PanderOlympics #DemocratsAreTheRealRacists pic.twitter.com/BaprJYCqk6
@drawandstrike @JMichaelWaller @mmshowalter1 @PoliticalShort @JordanSchachtel @BensmanTodd @MarkSKrikorian @JxhnBinder @RMConservative @NiceDeb@JordanSchachtel— LatinAmericanFreedom (@LatAmFr) June 27, 2019
His #Spanish is very poor he sounds like #HugoChavez promising illegal #Immigrants no penalties free entry into #USA pic.twitter.com/DuzfolN7F5
And that's just the real Spanish speakers, who, if they vote, very likely are going to also be English speakers.
What do we have going on here? Have we ever seen this before in a presidential debate, where candidates fall over themselves to speak a language that isn't the language of this country? There was even a moment when Booker showed a shocked face at O'Rourke's Spanish skills, apparently upset that he didn't get to speak it first. This is something different.
Number one, these Democrats shut out the non-Spanish speakers with their stunt (none of them translated their remarks) from their debate presentations, which after all, is supposed to be aimed at winning over U.S. voters. Every Spanish statement to non-Spanish-speaking voters is an insult to their attention. And the idea that every immigrant voter is a Spanish-speaking immigrant voter is kind of insulting too. Favoritism, anyone?
Don't get me wrong, I love speaking and reading Spanish myself, it's a really wonderful language to learn and I encourage everyone to learn it, given its usefulness around our hemisphere and beyond.
But it's also a foreign language here and if the only language you speak is Spanish, your future is in the Home Depot parking lot, maybe not even that. English, to immigrants, including my own Polish grandmother in her Depression-era letters to her sister, is the language of making it in America, a point of pride for immigrants for mastering.
They seem to be trying to change this. The message being sent now is that they'd like to change the entire U.S. language or turn the U.S. into a salad bowl of competing languages, or better still, keep Latino migrants speaking only Spanish. In shifting to Spanish, however unready they are to speak it properly, these pandering Democrats seem to be rebuking the idea that English is the language that naturally assimilates people or helps people succeed.
Which raises questions about what they are really after - are they trying to erase the U.S. as it is, and remake it into something more like a third-world country? Are they looking to keep Spanish speakers speaking only Spanish in a bid to ensure they remain dependent on Democrats for government services? Are they trying to create a helot underclass to keep under their thumbs to ensure their permanent California-style power? Are they looking for the actual illegal alien vote to pad their numbers or else keep the Democratic congressional seat numbers high?
The fact that they focused so much attention on goodies for these millions of foreigners living in the U.S. illegally supports this troubling picture. They promised amnesty, decriminalization of illegal border crossing, a repeal of Article 1325 (which is the baseline of U.S. immigration law) all to pander for the votes of foreign nationals living illegally in the U.S., and services galore, such as health care for illegals, which up until now had only been confined to U.S. citizens and legal residents.
By contrast, they didn't promise anything to Americans, other than to take away their health care and kill off their corporate jobs. The people they most wanted to hand free stuff to were all non-citizens.
Incredibly, they're running for the presidency of the U.S. Yet they sound like they might just be running for the presidency of Honduras, given the content of their promises and of course, fealty to the language. Their tactic is exactly identical to that of Honduran communist Hugo Chavez acolyte Mel Zelaya (or Chavez himself) which was to try to institutionalize poverty and non-assimilation, creating the finest of loyal voting blocs.
Do they know which country they're running to be president of? A little ethnic spice is always a welcome thing in politics, but what we are seeing here is an entire candidate base going overboard, promoting socialism and coming uncomfortably close to promoting Hugo Chavezism. Even the Americans of Latino descent are noticing and they aren't amused. No wonder Trump is making such inroads with Latino voters.
Image credit: Twitter screen shot