Why Don’t Hmong-Americans Vote Republican?

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

Perhaps no group in America has suffered more from Communism than the Hmong community.

The CIA first recruited the Hmong, impoverished tribes living in the hills of Southeast Asia, to help fight the Communists in Vietnam and Laos. When the Communists won in Vietnam and then Laos, the Hmong were persecuted and sent to camps for their anti-communist role. Eventually many found their way as refugees to the United States. They faced opposition from the Clinton administration, but strong support from Republicans enabled most to come to America as immigrants.

How do the Hmong vote?

It’s not always easy to pick out the voting patterns of smaller communities, like the Hmong. One has to take account of many confounding factors, ranging from participation rates to the voting patterns of other communities.

Nevertheless, it seems pretty clear that the Hmong vote Democratic.

There are several lines of evidence behind this statement. Firstly, Hmong elected officials – individuals such as former Minnesota State Representative Cy Thao and former Minnesota State Senator Mee Moua – belong to the Democratic Party. Secondly, Democratic candidates tend to attend official Hmong events. For instance, only Democratic candidate Al Franken attended this Hmong townhall meeting; Republican candidate Norm Coleman was invited but declined the invitation.

Finally, polls indicate that the Hmong vote Democratic. This poll found that 57% of Hmong identify as Democrats, while a mere 4% identify as Republicans. Done before the 2008 presidential election, it also showed Democrat Barack Obama gaining 65% of the Hmong vote, to Republican John McCain’s 4% support.

Those are some pretty stunning numbers. Even if the poll is badly flawed, or has a very leftward bias, it seems safe to say that the Hmong are a strong Democratic constituency.

There is a good reason for this; the Hmong community is quite poor. Indeed, 30.2% of Hmong-Americans receive public assistance income, more than triple the rate amongst Americans overall. Democratic economic policies tend to favor the poor more, and this is a strong draw for the Hmong.

But it’s still quite shocking that the draw of the Democratic Party’s economic policies is so strong as to produce a 57-4 registration advantage among the Hmong. One would think that the Republican Party would do better. After all, Republican lobbying is the reason why many Hmong are today in America, instead of refugee camps in Thailand.

Moreover, the Democratic Party is closer ideologically to the Communist Party which the Hmong fought for decades. This is why Cubans and Vietnamese-Americans, also refugees from Commmunist persecution, vote Republican. And the Hmong have certainly suffered from Communism; Democratic Hmong politicians Cy Thao and Mee Moua both had families who came from Thailand refugee camps.

The ultimate irony is that the very economic policies which put the Democratic Party closer on the ideological spectrum to the Communist Party are the reason why the Hmong vote Democratic.

 

 

Why Does Mississippi Vote Republican?

This post will attempt to explain why Mississippi is a Republican stronghold today.

But before doing that, let’s describe another state – call it State X. Looking at State X is very useful for analyzing why Mississippi votes Republican. I invite you to guess what state it is.

Here is a description of State X. Demographically, State X is very rural and very white. There are no major cities in the state; one has to cross state lines and drive more than a hundred miles to find the nearest metropolitan area. Racially, the state is homogeneously white; indeed, it is the second whitest state in the entire nation.

State X has almost always been a one-party stronghold, and that party has generally been the Republican Party. The Republican Party has almost always taken this state’s electoral votes; indeed, it voted for a Republican president for more than a century. State X has only elected one Democratic senator in its entire history.

I am talking, of course, about Vermont.

Despite its history of supporting Republicans, Vermont is currently a one-party Democratic stronghold. In 2008 it gave President Barack Obama 67.5% of the vote. It currently sends Socialist Bernie Sanders to the Senate (in addition to Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, the only Democrat the Green Mountain state has ever sent to the Senate).

What does this have to do with Mississippi voting Republican?

Well, Vermont and Mississippi almost never vote the same way for president:

Link to Table of Mississippi and Vermont Voting Patterns

Indeed, there are only seven elections out of 48 total (since Mississippi became a state) that the two have supported the same candidate for president: 1820, 1840, 1872, 1972, 1980, 1984, and most recently 1988.

Oftentimes during presidential landslides, Mississippi or Vermont are the only states which refuse to go along with the rest of the country. In 1936 President Franklin D. Roosevelt won an enormous landslide, taking the highest percentage in the electoral vote since the beginning of the two-party system. The only states to go against him? Maine – and Vermont.

In 1964, on the other hand, President Lyndon B. Johnson likewise won a stunning landslide, taking the highest percentage in the popular vote since the beginning of the two-party system. This time, however, it was Mississippi that went against the president.

In 2012, barring an epic meltdown on either the Democratic or Republican nominee, Mississippi will vote Republican and Vermont will vote Democratic. This trend is likely to continue in as far as the eye can see into the future.

It seems that there is just something that drives Mississippi and Vermont different ways. Vermont is a symbol of the Yankee North; Mississippi of the Deep South. Since the founding of America, the two have been culturally and socially at odds. Sometimes this division occurs in trivial ways, such as nasty stereotypes or different voting patterns. Sometimes the division takes on much more significance, most famously in the Civil War.

So to answer the question in the post’s title, Mississippi votes Republican because Vermont votes Democratic. Or, to put it another way, Vermont votes Democratic because Mississippi votes Republican. And as long as presidential elections continue to happen, Mississippi will probably be voting the opposite way of Vermont.

--Inoljt, mypolitikal.com 

 

When is a Nazi Not a Nazi?

When is a Nazi not a Nazi? Apparently after you parse your words closely enough to find a lame loophole to avoid what you said. Like Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Stupidville), for example.

It’s distressingly easy to find Democrats calling Republicans Nazis and Republicans calling Democrats both Nazis and socialists (Damn, I wish they’d get that straight). As expected, the recent calls for civility in the national discourse lasted about as long as it takes to call someone a Nazi or socialist.

Well, DUH.

I’m a believer in the George Carlin School of linguistics – they’re only words. If you’re a politician and you can’t overcome your rage at being called a name – which in this case are perfectly acceptable definitions of political ideology – then you shouldn’t be in politics.

How did these particular, common words end up being so offensive?

Because people use them with meaning that aren’t there. Obama is not a socialist. In fact, for a lot of people he isn’t even liberal. The Boehner Boys aren’t Nazis either (for one thing Nazis were efficient and took pride in being called Nazis). BTW, there are other code words  twisted into new meanings. “Liberal” is one of the worst epithets in the conservative insult arsenal. Dems prefer “tea baggers” with almost equal vigor.

It’s a basic tenet of communications theory that if you say something long enough, it becomes “true”. And boy, howdy these get tossed around like candy at a pedophile parade.

They’re almost always created as lies, or at least gross exaggerations of the truth. The problem is that people soak them up and begin to give the words their own off-topic narratives to “prove” their label fits. It’s a good political ploy – distract the great unwashed with some kernels of improperly named ideas and then step back and watch things roll. It’s one hell of a lot easier than actually offering alternatives or explaining your position when in fact, there isn’t one…you (insert epithet here).

It’d be useful if politicians didn’t do that and really great if the plebes called them out on it. But, I reckon that’s about as likely as the recent goofy “solutions” for preventing lunatics from shooting at people actually working.

America’s problem isn’t civility – it’s a willful refusal to own what you say.

First everyone buy a dictionary. It’s an invaluable tool here – that is if you can read.

Second, own what you say. If you proclaim someone a socialist, make sure Karl Marks would’ve used the word in the same way. And all you faux Nazi accusers, tell me Hitler wouldn’t have cheered on the continuance of his 1000-year Reich as the best thing since sliced brot.

But above all, stop parsing words to prove you didn’t say what you so obviously did. It’s unbecoming, divisive, and stupid.

Mr. Carlin, sorry we didn’t get your punchline. We’re a slow-learning bunch.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Are you voting tomorrow?

From the Restore Fairness blog-

Tomorrow is voting day, so make sure you get out there and vote. Here are some things that might motivate you to make your vote count and have your voice heard in the 2010 elections-

Our friends at Colorlines have been running a blog section on their website called ’2010 Elections’ that keeps you up to date with all news, events, and information pertaining to the mid-term elections. Their latest entry features Senator Harry Reid’s interview with Univision in which he promised Univision reporter Jorge Ramos that he would bring the DREAM Act up for a vote again, regardless of whether he won or lost tomorrow’s election. Reid’s opponent is a Tea Party supporter Sharron Angle, who’s election campaign centered around a series of racist, anti-immigrant ads. Another article on ’2010 Elections’ illustrates the hypocrisy of Republican strategist Robert de Posada, the man who created the ad that advised the Latino community not to vote in this election. Colorlines tells us that after creating this ad that told Latinos not to vote, it turns out that he himself voted by absentee ballot in Virginia earlier this month. The ad says-

Democratic leaders must pay for their broken promises and betrayals…If we go on supporting them this November, they will keep playing games with our future and keep taking our vote for granted…If they didn’t keep their promise on immigration reform then, they can’t count on our vote…Don’t vote this November. This is the only way to send them a clear message. You can no longer take us for granted. Don’t vote.

It is exactly this sort of voter suppression that we need to fight by voting tomorrow. Our friends at Presente.org told us about this and other voter suppression tactics that have been seen impacting the Latino community and their allies around the country. In Texas, a voter registration group called Houston Votes has been the victim of a systematic suppression campaign, including baseless allegations of fraud by the local registrar, and a string of threatening emails strewn with racist insults. The result: registrations have dropped from 1,000 per day to under 200. In Arizona, Senator Russel Pearce — the same man who authored SB 1070 — is accusing organizations like Mi Familia Vota of “voter fraud” in a thinly veiled effort to hamper their registration activities and scare Latino voters from the polls.

A number of radicals are resorting to fear-mongering and scare tactics to ensure that certain communities are denied a voice in this election. In addition to voting tomorrow, get involved with an important project called Video the Vote, a national network of everyday people on who watch out for problems on Election Day. The project helps people report things they see when voting and also document incidents that occur in their area. Started in 2006, Video the Vote volunteers have helped raise national awareness of voting problems by recording over 1,000 videos that have been broadcast on networks like CBS, CNN, and ABC and viewed over 1 million times online.

It’s essential that voter suppression problems get reported right away and that their full story is told by the media on Election Day. Video the Vote urgently needs more volunteers, so if you want to help protect the right to vote, join today and tell your friends about the program as well.

And one last thing. Did you know that thousands of people didn’t cast in 2008 because they didn’t know where to vote? Luckily, for the first time in American history, every voter can now look up their polling place. All you have to do is enter your address to find out which polling station is yours. And make sure to share this handy tool with your friends through Facebook and Twitter.

Happy voting!

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

 

 

 

Kendrick Meek and More Endorsements, with Al Gore

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA — Kendrick Meek, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, continues to consolidate support from Florida Democrats as he receives the endorsements of Rep. Mark S. Pafford (D-West Palm Beach), Rep. Darren Soto (D-Orlando), and Rep. Scott Randolph (D-Orlando). Statements by Rep. Pafford, Rep. Soto, Rep. Randolph and Kendrick Meek follow:

Rep. Pafford (D-West Palm Beach) said, “Kendrick Meek’s career has always been defined by his commitment to the people of Florida. Like me, he has stood in opposition to big oil and offshore oil drilling to protect Florida’s coastlines. Kendrick also understands the importance of protecting another natural resource: our children. As a father I am grateful that Kendrick fought to restrict class sizes so that our children can excel. I am honored to give Kendrick my support and will continue to fight with him for Florida.”

“Kendrick Meek has a long and reliable record of supporting issues Hispanics care about, including a strong economy, advancing education through smaller class sizes, equality, and fair wages. He was a strong supporter of Justice Sotomayor’s nomination and is against the Arizona style immigration law, issues important to our community. Kendrick Meek has asked for our support and I am honored to stand by him in Central Florida,” said Rep. Soto (D-Orlando).

“Kendrick Meek has been protecting the people of Florida since his days as a Florida State Trooper. He’s not afraid to stand up and speak truth to power. In his opposition to HB 1143, Kendrick stood for all women as a champion of choice. Kendrick is committed to securing justice for every Floridian, not just the ones with big pocketbooks. I am proud to stand by Kendrick and endorse his candidacy for the U.S. Senate,” reported Rep. Randolph (D-Orlando)

“I am honored to have the support of these three outstanding public servants. They have each fought tirelessly for the state of Florida and aren’t afraid to stand their ground on tough issues. These three men work relentlessly to protect the people of Florida because they understand what’s at stake. They are leaders who have strong roots in Florida and in their communities. I value their vision and their insight as principled men of character. Florida is fortunate to have them and I am honored to receive their support,” said Kendrick Meek, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.

Our campaign has also picked up the support of Al Gore, as he writes.

Florida has had its share of close elections, but this Senate race really ought to be a landslide. And it would be if people just look hard at the facts.

Kendrick Meek is the only one in this race who has consistently opposed offshore drilling. He is the only one who will ensure that we all have quality health care, and the only one who will focus on helping working Americans, rather than wealthy corporations.

Here is the bottom line: We have to help make sure Florida voters have all the facts about Kendrick and his opponents.

We’ve got just 42 days until Election Day, and Kendrick needs your help so he can keep his ads on the air and tell it like it is. His opponents are getting all the help they need – from corporations and special interests. Kendrick relies on you–his grassroots supporters. He needs you to make a donation today so he can raise $75,000 before the critical September 30 end-of-quarter deadline.

Click here to make an immediate donation to Kendrick’s campaign. He needs his grassroots supporters to help him raise $75,000 by the September 30 deadline.

As you know, I’m working hard to raise awareness about the serious threats to our environment. One reason it’s so hard is because the polluters don’t want any protections for the environment that might reduce their profits, so they have managed thus far to kill climate change legislation that would have protected our children and grandchildren.

Unlike his opponents, Kendrick Meek never has been and never will be in the pocket of these special interests. He was against offshore drilling long before the terrible oil spill in the Gulf, and he’s always worked to protect our beaches and wildlife, research and develop energy sources like solar power, and promote a better environment.

With Kendrick in the U.S. Senate, we can rest assured that there’s somebody in Washington looking out for us. But that will happen only when he can raise the funds to stay on the air until Election Day–just 42 days away. You are an integral part of Kendrick’s campaign because he relies on you for support, not oil companies and special interests.

Please make a donation to Kendrick’s campaign today and help him reach his goal of raising $75,000 before the September 30 deadline. If he reaches this goal, I know he’ll be able to win in November.

Once people get the facts, the choice will be clear and Kendrick Meek will be the new United States Senator from Florida. With your help today, we can make sure the facts get out.

Sincerely,
Al Gore


We are also having a Rally for Kendrick Meek with former vice president Al Gore.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 30TH
DOORS OPEN: 4:45PM
TAMPA LETTER CARRIERS HALL
3003 W CYPRESS ST
TAMPA, FL 33609
RESERVED TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT http://www.kendrickmeek.com/algore
OR CALL 877-354-6335 FOR DISTRIBUTION LOCATIONS

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