Colorado is in the middle of selecting candidates for its political offices. The Republicans and Democrats will soon announce their slates to the citizens of the state.
This is the time for everyday regular folks to begin to take note of who is running and for what purpose. This is also a good time to think about the fact that our national two-party system is going through some difficult times as both Republicans and Democrats are being pulled to the extreme margins of the political left and right leaving little room for a common-sense approaches to the challenges we face.
Colorado has historically been an exception to extreme views in this regard and as a “Purple State” has seen fit to go Republican or Democrat depending on what makes sense at the moment. That is why it is important to look at the “moment” and see what it offers our diverse State.
I admit that I have an “ax to grind” in giving my perspective on the political climate and what is best in public policy. I have always been an optimistic Latino looking to find the silver lining in the trials and tribulations as well as the trajectory leading to good things for the Latino community.
I have applauded the fact that we have strong Latino leaders in both parties. I have also sought to dissuade some of these leaders when they get so disappointed in the direction of the political party to which they belong that they want to quit.
My advice to stay comes from the fact that one cannot seek and effect change from the outside. Yet, my theory on this matter is being severely tested by the treatment of our community by the President and his allies in Congress.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President on June 16, 2015 he began by branding many in the Mexican immigrant community as “rapists.” Trump and his campaign then proceeded to find opportunities to attack Latinos or side with those such as Sheriff Arpaio that did the same.
A now celebrated case in this regard is Judge Gonzalo Curiel who oversaw the case against Trump University that was accused of fraud by its former students and was attacked by the then candidate Trump because he was a “Mexican” and could not be impartial. The attack was very much a back-handed admission that the President is not a friend of the Latino community.
On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced that he was getting rid of the DACA, a program for young immigrants that came to the U.S. as children and gave Congress 6 months to come up with a law to protect them. Then, when Congress did come up with the legislation, the administration made sure to derail it.
On April 5th of this year, the President repeated the “Mexican rapists” comments as one of the excuses to call the National Guard to the border. The curious thing is that little by little, the members of the Republican Party are accepting and going along with most things the President does and says.
It has become the Donald Trump Republican Party and its fortunes are tied to his whims. This includes our Colorado Republican delegation as no one in that group appears to want to speak in defense of Latinos in Washington D.C.
The Latino community is making it clear that this attitude will not be tolerated. If things do not change, there will be significant modifications to Colorado’s political landscape.