Can a tiger change his stripes? S

My post about Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez, which questioned whether or not she is still committed to bringing change to Santa Ana, elicited some unexpected responses, such as:

  • I don’t see how a self hating Latino Republican who supported a minuteman can overnight become a viva la Raza man. It gives you no credibility. You like Michele change with the wind. Makes me have no faith because there is no solid ideology there. If I can’t know where you come from and I you can change like a chameleon then I have no trust in you. I don’t have to agree with you. I have lots of respect for others I don’t agree with on every issue but I can’t stand with you if you are going to be moving around. Art and Michele deserve each other, they are both from the same mold. Ridiculous.
  • Then you don’t know former Santa Ana Councilman John Acosta! John did exactly what Art did in the 1990’s. After getting elected as the Republican’s Mexican John tried to make residents forget his Latino heritage. Then as term limits were closing in on him, and he saw he could not get elected to higher office, he tried to re-invent himself and a “La Raza” Chicano, like Art is trying to do. Just a little history to prove that history really does repeat itself and Art is not the first to “discover his roots” when it becomes fashionable.
  • How consistent have you been Pedroza since Martinez got elected? From the right wing republican to the left wing Mexican socialist?… in that, Martinez done much better job.

Well, it is true that up until last year I was a lifelong Republican. Why did I leave the GOP? I have written about this before, but I suppose it bears repeating for our newer readers, or those who are forgetful.

I did recruit a Minuteman, Lupe Moreno, to run against Lynn Daucher, in the GOP primary for the 34th State Senate District. I had been out of GOP politics for awhile, while finishing two degrees. When I came back, and was elected to the OC GOP Central Committee, I got right back to supporting conservative candidates, like I always had.

I had always been told that Lynn Daucher was evil, but thanks to Brea Councilman Ron Garcia, who at the time was running for the Brea City Council, I ended up sitting across from the Dauchers one night, at the Brea Improve, where Garcia was holding a fundraiser. The Dauchers turned out to be terrific people. I was stunned. Everything I had been told about them was a big fat lie.

Just like that I began the painful process of questioning everything I believed in. Everything I had ever been told. I began to realize, in short order, that much of what is standard conservative propaganda is cr*p.

Meanwhile, the Republican council candidates I recruited in Santa Ana were all opposed by the one guy I thought would support them, Tim Whitacre. It turned my stomach. Here I was trying to help the GOP rebuild in Santa Ana, and my fellow OC GOP Central Committee member, Whitacre, was doing everything in his power to defeat the Republican council candidates. For good measure, Whitacre also turned on the young OCYR who was running for the 69th Assembly District, Ryan Williams (now Ryan Trabuco).

And to top it all off, I also came to see that most of the OC GOP Central Committee members were Mexican haters. Except when it came to their favorite Mexican, Santa Ana Councilman Carlos Bustamante, who is beyond lame – and who was soundly repudiated by his paisanos when he was the biggest loser in his pathetic supervisorial race, against Janet Nguyen.

I did not support Prop. 187. I had misgivings about it and I still do. For years I bought into the GOP mantra about how immigrants should get in line and come here legally. But I realize now that it is almost impossible to come here legally. The system is broken. I cannot blame poor people for coming here in order to help their families. In fact I refuse to blame them. For that I am now branded a member of “La Raza” by my critics.

So I quit the GOP. But does that mean I changed ALL my views? No. What it meant was that I am now free of partisan strings. And I like it. I am free now to judge candidates by their virtues and by what they have accomplished – and what they hope to do in the future.

This February, I was unable to vote for any of the Republican presidential candidates, because right-wing reactionary Republicans like Jon Fleischman decided independents should not participate in the CA GOP primaries. So I voted for Senator Barack Obama. I hope he wins the Democratic nomination so I can vote for him again in November.

The GOP had eight years to get their act together under President Bush. They failed to do so. Rewarding them would be stupid, in my estimate. They deserve to lose the White House. That will give them four years to learn the error of their ways.

Now you know the rest of the story. Most of my position changes have to do with social issues. I remain a fiscal conservative. But I am now willing to question everything and assume nothing. So is it fair to malign me for changing some of my views? I don’t think so, but hey, you can’t please everyone. My critics will always slam me no matter what I do. Oh well, at least they take time to read my blog. For that I remain most appreciative. Just don’t expect me to apologize for having an open mind, at long last, after so many years of keeping it closed.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.