Tony Diaz, the leader of the Librotraficantes group, made an appearance this week on Al Jazeera in an extended segment called "Losing the Latino Vote." The segment tried to answer following: With each passing US election the Hispanic vote becomes more crucial to clinching the presidency. But does the Republican party risk alienating that constituency with its increasingly hostile rhetoric and policy?
"They've really got to reach out and I want to remind people that the Latinos will be a big swing vote… Offensive things like our ethnic studies being denied and banned in states like Arizona to us represent the Republican party. Right now Obama has got to capture our hearts and imagination with good old-fashioned American values that we children of the American dream believe in."
– Tony Diaz, novelist and leader of the activist group Librotraficantes
Our favorite Librotaricante held his own and got his point across, one that we tend to side on. The Republican Party missed a huge opportunity to capitalize on the dissatisfaction and disappointment many Latino voters had with President Obama. However, when their main candidates continue to harp on short-sighted immigration rhetoric (and this means you too, Speaker Gingrich), it is no surprise that right now, Obama 2012 is going to still take a large chunk of the US Latino vote. It is a long election cycle, but we don't see any indications that Mitt Romney will change his tune. He is still stuck on pushing a self-deportation policy that was actually a joke initiated in 1990s by an activist group in California.
Diaz was part of a panel that include Israel Ortega, the editor of Libertad.org, a conservative Spanish language website, and Brent Wilkes, the executive director of the League of United Latino American Citizens.