Monday, January 28, 2008

The Cuban Voter

Tomorrow is Primary Day, so tonight my phone is ringing off the hook with political recordings. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to get a phone call from the late John Paul endorsing some candidate or other. Politicians have been hitting town like a bad smell, and the media have been touting the changing Cuban and/or Latino vote.

Some points being made in articles like that in today's El Pais are verifiably true. That is to say, Miami Cubans tend Republican; Orlando Puerto Ricans, Democrat. Of course, like all sweeping generalizations, they are subject to error. Overall, Florida is a pretty conservative state. Other assertions like this one are less certain. (my translation)

Los hijos del exilio ya no tienen tan en mente los libros de historia, sino nuevos problemas que les afectan como ciudadanos estadounidenses.

The children of exiles no longer have their minds in history books, but rather the new problems which affect them as United States citizens.

This is true to an extent. We are more American than our parents. But for years, the press and the Democrats have been running around like Chicken Little heralding the demise of the Cuban American Republican bloc. A favorite corollary is that younger Cubans tend to care about Cuba less. In response to this one, I'd like to share a little story to illustrate a point.

Recently, I met up with a cousin of mine I hadn't seen in years, probably the member of the family most likely to vote Democrat. I told him, as I do anyone who asks, that I write a right wing, reactionary, Cuban American blog. I was surprised when he asked, "When did you get so Cuban? I don't remember you being particularly that...." At that moment in the way of Cuban families, everyone was talking at the same time, and I never got to answer. Later, when I tried, he said, "No, it's all right. I have, too."

I offer this little story as a caveat of sorts to all those who are counting on the younger generation being more liberal. Beneath our shiny American exteriors, we carry all of the baggage of our fathers. I can prove the point. Let a candidate who favors normal relations with Cuba and who praises the "achievements" in literacy and healthcare of the regime run for anything and see how many votes he or she garners from Miami Cuban Americans of any age.

I wish I could remember college philosophy. Then I might say that for us a strong Cuba stance is a necessary but not sufficient condition.

H/T Penultimos Dias