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Stop Letting Politicians Take Your Vote For Granted

Joe Biden
It’s absurd for the Democratic party to assume that because we are Brown that we should automatically vote for them.

Once upon a time in Aztlan, La Raza created an independent political party in response to the failure of the two-party system to address Raza issues. This occurred during the turbulent 1970s and is now considered “hidden history” because it’s not something that is taught in schools.

It might surprise some younger gente to know that at one time, Chicanos had enough bravado and organization to not only form an independent political party across several states but to have it laser focused on Chicano nationalism.  

In January of 1970, the La Raza Unida party (LRUP) was formed, largely in an effort to “combat growing inequality and dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party.”The Establishment at the time collectively panicked in response and things haven’t been the same since.

This kind of scenario is inconceivable to today’s modern and fickle wokoso.

It’s interesting to note the similarities in political climate from then to now, whereas 70s Chicanos felt that the two-party system was a failure in terms of serving the Raza community and yet here we are still in the same boat today.

Sadly, the LRUP lasted less than decade before fizzling out and it’s been nearly half a century since Chicanos even tried to break free from the two-party plantation.

It would take an act of God to unite Latinos in this era under a separate political banner. But it might be possible, if only we could put aside our differences in the larger diaspora, to simply put the two-party system on notice.

It’s long overdue for Latinos to give the two-party system a wakeup call and to stop allowing any political party to take our vote for granted.

A person’s vote should be consistently earned and if a party doesn’t put in the work, then they shouldn’t get the vote. It’s absurd for the Democratic party to assume that because we are Brown that we should automatically vote for them.

And as we enter another voting season where we will be told yet again that the stakes are higher than ever and that this is “the most important election of our lifetime,” the need to pump the brakes is more relevant than ever.

The attitude of “vote blue no matter who” is not only outdated, it’s asinine and gives the Democratic party unearned leverage over Latinos.

And because I already know that this message will be misconstrued let me be clear; I am not telling you to vote Republican. In fact, I am not telling you to vote for anyone.

What I am telling you is that if you do partake in this process—one which I myself am convinced is a never-ending choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich—then you should make your party of choice earn your vote.

Stop allowing these people to take it for granted.

In my lifetime, I’ve watched political party affiliation become like gang affiliation. Modern day political parties operate like street gangs and their members respond in kind, flying their colors, riding and dying for the set and taking out rivals on site. It’s every bit as absurd as it sounds but that’s the reality now thanks to propaganda online.

The notion that you are supposed to vote a certain way because of the color of your skin is ridiculous and fundamentally racist, but few question it because they are shamed for doing so.

Case in point: In 2020, sitting President Joe Biden said during an interview on the Breakfast Club, “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Biden later apologized for his remarks and said that he, in fact, doesn’t take the Black vote for granted, but no one with a brain really believes that. They do take it for granted.

The Democratic party takes both the Black and Latino vote for granted and have done so, unchallenged, for decades. They gave up earning our vote long ago. The fact of the matter is this: they do this because they know they can get away with it.

They feel entitled to the Raza vote because we don’t challenge them on it. The don’t lose sleep worrying if Latinos will vote for them because it’s a given. They know that Latinos will vote for them no matter how badly they run their campaigns or what promises they break because we are too weak and unorganized to make them think any differently.

This needs to stop.

Democrats should be terrified that they can no longer take the Black and Latino vote for granted. Republicans should be worried that they will never get the Black and Latino vote. Politicians should be petrified of our base, not the other way around.

They should be afraid to pander and or mock us. They should be walking on eggshells every single election and working to produce real results. And they should be afraid of the backlash if they step out of line.

Politicians should know and understand that we are (in theory) a force to be reckoned with, not just a token, roll-over-and-take-it demographic that they can pander to when they feel like it, insult when they feel like it and take for granted at will.

It’s long past time that La Raza take a note from our elders and start making these chumps earn their votes, or else.   

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About the author

Sarlos Cantana

Sarlos Cantana is the alter ego and pen name of writer, author and independent publisher, Santino Rivera. Rivera is the creator and owner of Broken Sword Publications, whose books have sold worldwide and been included as teaching material in select high school and university classrooms from coast to coast. A self-proclaimed non-conformist, Rivera modeled his publishing company after the DIY punk movement of the 80s /90s. Originally from Denver, CO, Rivera now finds himself a stranger in a strange land living as an old school Chicano in Florida. Rivera writes about Chicano culture, politics and society at large, and plans to publish another Chicano lit anthology in the future.

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