Gustavo's Mother, the Assimilated Voter
My ballot cast for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson this year wasn't the first time I've voted Libertarian. The Republican and Democratic parties in Orange County are so fetid that I've split my votes between Green and Libertarian Party candidates (with the occasional bone tossed to the Peace and Freedom Party because I'm Marxist of the Groucho variety like that) since I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. But I went with Johnson not just because he's a virtual Aztlanista while Obama has deported more people than any previous administration, not just
because Johnson (and his vice-presidential candidate, former O.C. Superior Court Judge Jim Gray) want to end our ridiculous drug war while Obama's cracking down on the Weekly's medicinal marijuana dispensary friends), and not just because Johnson's a bit wacky while Obama's stiffer than drywall, but because we need to end the stranglehold that is America's two-party system--and the Libertarian Party is this year's Green.
None of those arguments worked with my mom.
She always turns to me for advice on how to fill out our sample ballot, and never questions my wisdom. So for Anaheim City Coucil, Mami voted for Duane Roberts, a longtime Weekly pal and Green Party activist whom I personally endorsed (and which means he's guaranteed to lose, alas). She voted no on Prop. 32, yes on 37 and 38, and left the ballot blank on Loretta Sanchez, who she finds annoying like I do.
But when I told her to vote for Johnson, she refused.
"Who's he?" Mami replied.
I explained who Johnson was, why Obama was bad--but she wouldn't have it.
"If we don't vote for Obama, then Romney wins--and Romney wants to destroy Medicare," she said in Spanish.
"But Obama is bad!" I replied. "He's deported a lot of people--"
"No, Gustavo" she interrupted, in the same tone she would use on me as a teen when I'd try to argue why doing my homework wasn't necessary. "Obama's not good, but Romney is worse."
And that was that.
My mom, the American: voting for the lesser of two evils. Who says Mexicans don't assimilate?
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