Why else should Mexican-Americans consider McCain

The last post was generally for Mexican-Americans and Latinos. For those who don’t identify with the immigration debate, here is my take on why I will be voting for McCain in general. This is from an email I sent to a grad student who recently asked me why I support McCain. I revised it for this post.

I am generally pro-life, with the standard caveat if the mothers life is in danger.. I believe life starts close to conception.. if not then, I don’t know when.
– I am a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment
– I generally prefer open markets to government regulation
– I support the war effort (as bungled as its been), and I generally prefer a strong military
– I want a greater expansion of NAFTA and freedom of movement for labor
– I prefer spending cuts over taxes to balance our budgets
– I am pro-Israel, though as a foreign-policy issue, I can be convinced otherwise, but so far I haven’t been
– I think there are better solutions to healthcare than trusting the same government that gave us Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to do it for us

I differ with the GOP in some important issues and I am ambivalent about other issues

– I generally prefer the government not to be in the marriage business.. I am pro-gay marriage, but I do think society has a right to work it out on its own timetable… I wish they’d move along faster, though.
– The whole nationalism thing among the staunch right wingers is tiresome…I’m not that excited about NASCAR dads and hockey moms.. its merely an aesthetic to appeal to a large number of Americans who identify with that.. however, I don’t care for the “white trash” “hillbilly”, etc. comments coming from the elitists on the left either. I think its distasteful and lacks empathy for good upstanding American citizens.
– I can take or leave the issue of former felons voting.. I don’t see it as a civil right. i can be convinced otherwise, but I’m not roused by the issue either way
– I don’t really see immigration as a civil rights issue.. I wish the laws would change to have more open borders, and I wish there was a larger apparatus to integrate immigrants, but I don’t see a problem with enforcing the laws. I think the laws are dumb and I really prefer that the laws weren’t enforced, but that doesn’t mean enforcing the laws is an infringement of anyone’s civil rights.

Are there racists in the GOP? Sure. Does it bother me? You bet. Is it ubiquitous? I don’t think so. I’ve worked with the GOP from Orange County to East Lansing. My experience has generally been quite pleasant. I’ve never been treated differently by a Republican when they discovered I was pro-immigration or Latino. The GOP is generally a white operation. I don’t find that any more racist than seeing 97% of blacks voting for a black candidate. Is racism a factor? I think so. Is it unique to whites? I don’t think so.

I grew up with my folks and their friends who were active in the chicano movement in southern california. I was raised in a multicultural neighborhood and I was around people of all colors my whole life, with leaders and representatives who were of many different backgrounds. I found them to be no less corrupt than whites.

I prefer young Mexican kids in college do more school work and less social work. I find clubs like MEChA to be a waste of time for first generation college students. They can be charitable when they have something to be charitable with. I prefer to leave the social movement stuff to the rich white kids and prefer the poor mexican kids get busy studying and doing internships in companies and law firms.

I can go on and on, but I think you get the picture. We all have our reasons and we are all shaped by our experiences. Thats not for me to judge. I identify pretty strongly as a Catholic and religion is important to me, but its important to me in the sense that I think religion is important. I respect it. I am humbled by it. I generally wish to respect our environment and our fellow human being. For lack of a better term, I consider myself to be conservative. To me, conservatism is about change. I respect the decisions we have come to as a society in the past, because i don’t pretend to know better. I disagree with many of those decisions, but I can’t bring myself to believe I know better. Change is inevitable, I don’t wish to preserve society, I wish to conserve it.

Again, my support for McCain is tenuous. His commitment to some of these core principles is not ideal, in particular his tendency for big-government solutions, McCain-Feingold, etc. However, I see no alternative in Obama. While McCain’s commitment to these principles is weak in some areas, Obama’s principles are committed to tearing down many of the ideals I find important.

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