Politics The Republican Base Speaks
posted by June 11 at 12:08 PMon
Andrew Sullivan posted this letter from a reader at his blog last week…
I am an occasional listener to talk radio on my drive to work and I have been listening in on the anger of conservative talks show hosts (Limbaugh, Levin, Hannity) and, oh my God, their callers. It’s unbelievable. You would think that [illegal immigrants], who are here because the primarily Republican business owners wanted and used cheap labor, would be treated with more sympathy. Or that their desperate attmepts to arrive in the land of the free and the brave would elicit at least some measure of admiration for their determination to seek a better life…. Yet, the hate spewed against them on radio was so intense I literally gagged.
I agree with you: if Hispanics were listening in on these shows, they are hardly likely to vote Republican for years to come. It wasn’t just about illegals, it was about what kind of illegals these were.
That letter reminded me of a piece I read in the New York Times recently about a couple of bigoted talk-radio hosts in New Jersey.
Craig Carton and Ray Rossi think mental illness is hilarious and Asian-Americans are best mocked with sing-song Chinese accents. The men, hosts of an afternoon radio show called “The Jersey Guys” that is heard here on WKXW (101.5 FM), favor adjectives for politicians that have to be bleeped out.
Two weeks ago, Mr. Carton and Mr. Rossi started “Operation Rat a Rat/La Cucha Gotcha,” a listener-participation game that encourages people to turn in friends, neighbors and “anyone suspicious” to immigration authorities. They introduced the segment with mariachi music and set the campaign to end on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo), a well-known Mexican holiday.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the phrase “La Cucha Gotcha” is meant to evoke the Spanish word for cockroach.
What do you think the odds are that Carton and Rossi are Republicans? I’m thinkin’ the odds are high—and as the author of the letter to Andrew Sullivan pointed out about Hannity, Limbaugh, Levin’s shows, any Hispanic voters exposed to Carton and Rossi would be highly unlikely to vote Republican for years to come—hell, decades.
Democrats shouldn’t just hope that Hispanic voters hear or hear about these shows. Democrats should make sure Hispanic voters hear what’s being said about them by the Republican base, conservative talk-show hosts, and Republican elected officials. Hispanics are the largest growing segment of the population—and Democrats should be buying time on Spanish-language radio stations and running translated excerpts from Limbaugh, Levin, Hannity, Carton & Rossi, et all.
The Republican base is speaking, Dems. Make sure Hispanic voters are listening.