Monday, August 23, 2010

Randy Parraz for U.S. Senate

Tuesday, August 24th - is Primary Election Day in the State of Arizona. I voted early a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share some thoughts as to why I voted for Randy Parraz as the Democratic candidate who will face McCain in the General Election.

Let me begin by saying that I believe John McCain can be forcefully retired in November. He was beaten handily in 2008 after a series of misjudgments (e.g. Sarah Palin) and misstatements (e.g. "That One") because President Obama was able to clearly share his vision for the country, one that is in direct contrast to the smoke & mirrors offered by the modern conservative movement. A conservatism that deregulated Wall Street causing our economy to nose-dive, drowned New Orleans in Grover Norquist's bathtub, and trumpeted up the case to send our military might into a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.

Additionally, during the Presidential Debates it was evident that the Very-Senior Senator considered himself Obama's superior. The condescension and crankiness of an old white man verses the younger bienthic scholar laid it clear to 21st Century Voters that the country had an opportunity to take a chance and move forward in a real way.

I think gente deserve more credit than what infotainment news outlets like Fox News give them - if one treats voters like adults, they will show respect in return. If one goes further and points out the fact that a political opponent thrives on keeping voters ignorant, an election is won.

I believe Randy Parraz has what it takes to clearly draw that type of contrast with McCain in November.

Arizona is the poster child for what happens when the Tea Party gets its anti-government tentacles in all levels of government: the school system derails, infrastructure crumbles, and job creation stagnates due to lack of imagination. Parraz is a candidate who can remind the public how government can work effectively.

Why is Arizona not leading the rest of the country in solar energy? It's embarrassing that we're not. Parraz can make that type of case that discredits what we've all been sold by the GOP, especially the AZGOP that knows no limit to its extremism.

I could go on and on, but the litany of grievances I would list share one common thing: all are in need of a passionate, articulate response.

While I considered Rodney Glassman for many months, in the end, it came down to the fact that I don't think he has what it takes to energize the coalition of voters that will be needed to beat McCain. He makes the right noises for a Democrat on the stump (usually); but as an avowed cynic, my B.S. Meter does somersaults telling me that I'm hearing a salesman pitch from a lackey in search of a promotion instead of a believer in the product. [All that said, I'll still fill in the oval next to Glassman's name come November if he manages to win tomorrow, but it will be a vote against John McCain, not for Rodney Glassman.]

I think there's going to be a surprise tomorrow, however, and I'll be happy to spend the fall season working to elect Randy Parraz as the next Senator from Arizona.

More info:

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Political Complexity of Immigration

The Tribune/WGN commissioned a poll of the Chicago area that shows that voters understand that immigration is something that must be handled with nuance and compassion
The telephone poll of 800 heads of households across the six-county Chicago region July 8-14 found that 57 percent of the respondents did not want police to seek illegal immigrants for deportation.

Almost half of those polled, 48 percent, said they believed that illegal immigrants snatched jobs and resources, taking away from society and the economy.

Nearly all of those who responded, 87 percent, believed that some sort of legal status should be offered to the nearly 11 million people in the country illegally, provided that the immigrants aren't dangerous felons, that they learn English and that they pay fines and back taxes.

I've been blogging immigration for over five years now. Earned blisters from marches, protests and vigils close to home and across the country. Voted and advocated for promigrant/prohumanity candidates. Networked to help relief find the random email from a scared brother or sister without documents.

To be honest, it feels unsettling to talk about immigration as a political issue, because it has been used a weapon to destroy the lives of migrant workers, youth, and the communities that give our neighborhoods the vibrant sense of home that we love and cherish.

On the national level, both parties have bought into the notion that there is such a thing as having enough border security - the mirage of satiating the bloodlust of nativists who would rather see a fence hundreds of miles along a desert homeland that has experienced the migration of human beings for as long as the species walked the earth.

We have to be willing to change the way we think about immigration.

We must have the courage to look in the mirror for the reasons that the Summer of 2010 will go down as the deadliest in Arizona. 214 as of July 31st.

We should challenge politicians who are trying to save their careers by offering soundbites that are reckless and unconstitutional.

We must - because it will be the only thing that slows down this march to extremism by the United States. We must remember who we are as human beings.

We must.

Which is why The Sanctuary is back.