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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Latinos and the Ballot Box Battle

June 11, 2005

Re "Why Latinos Are Walking Out on the Democrats," Commentary, June 6: It tickles my fancy that Dan Schnur believes that Latinos are "walking out" on the Democrats. He brings up very important points, primarily the disputed numbers from the last presidential election and the undisputed strong history of American military service by Latinos.

If Schnur is describing a political war of attrition between the major parties for rich Latino votes, he is frightfully deceived. Latino Americans are just as diverse as Americans in general, and a few may vote Republican from time to time -- some even consistently. Yet an overwhelming majority will continue to vote Democratic. For every Latino vote lost to Republicans, the Democrats are picking up many, many more. Mostly because of inflammatory rhetoric (i.e., Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger) and ignorant policies pushed by Republicans (such as Propositions 187 and 209). Latinos, as do others, tend to remember who kicks them when they're down. Fortunately, Latinos are getting politically stronger every election cycle and will demand the same respect given other citizens.

Edward Barrios Acevedo

Long Beach

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Schnur points out that "there are rising numbers of Latino voters, both Catholic and evangelical, who relate to the GOP's platform on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage." Additionally, many conservative black churches hold similar views regarding these issues. As a matter of fact, there are apparently lots of people in America who have endured discrimination who are now willing to support discrimination, to support wars based on nothing more than a desire for war. As promulgated by our so-called spiritual leaders, we must also deny women sovereignty over their own bodies, over their often tragic and broken experiences of life. America has become a magic box where hopes and desires are put in and fears, denials and contempt for liberty ooze out. This is Republican America, the land of forgetting but never forgiving. New conscripts are signing on, so pat yourself on the back, Republican America. You must feel pretty good about yourself.

Frank Armstrong

Los Angeles

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