"Are You A True Believer?"
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Walter Moore, the Republican candidate for Los Angeles Mayor who ran on a strong anti-illegal immigration platform, finished sixth in Tuesday's election.

Now Los Angeles will select its next Mayor in a May run-off. The choices are ugly: unpopular incumbent James Hahn, who may face ethics charges and Antonio Villaraigosa, a second generation American but unrepentant MeCHISTA whose only claim to office is his Mexican heritage.

Given that only 385,000 voters turned out, it looks like no one much cares who the Mayor will be. And who can blame them? Los Angeles, where I was born, is a complete mess…probably beyond repair.

The one thing that might make a difference would be a mayor with some guts and vision like Moore. But the five hacks—Villaraigosa, Hahn, Bernard Parks, Richard Alarcon and Bob Hertzberg—that ran against Moore got most of the press and publicity. That made Moore's already hard task of getting elected impossible.

Still, Moore did better than first glance would indicate. In six of the fifteen districts that make up Los Angeles, he received more votes than a so-called "serious" candidate, Richard Alarcon.

And despite the final result, Moore accomplished plenty…believe me.

Moore, often appearing before hostile audiences, pressed hard to make illegal immigration a talking point in a major political race. And at the same time, he exposed his disingenuous opponents for avoiding the subject.

When Moore was a guest on friendly talk radio shows, like McIntyre in the Morning he raised awareness even among the already enlightened.

And, finally, by hitting the illegal immigration issue hard, Moore forced the Los Angeles Times to include the subject in its post-election editorial "Bigger Issues for Run-Off."  

Although much of the editorial is all-too-familiar gobbledygook, the Times did admit—amazingly for it—that the new mayor could

"Lead polarized residents in an honest conversation about immigration's effects good and bad."

But Moore—with even token support from the Republican Party and more tangible support from the immigration reform community—could possibly have achieved his 125,000-vote goal.

  • Where were the 300,000 registered Republicans? None of them received any flyers from their party encouraging them to go out and vote for Moore. Where was President George W. Bush, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, or California's biggest immigration phony State Senator Tom McClintock?

    No matter how you slice it the bottom line is that the Republican Party—at all levels—prefers to have a Democrat as Mayor of Los Angeles (possibly even an openly anti-American mayor like Villaraigosa) than an immigration reform proponent like Moore.

    This is a betrayal of almost unthinkable magnitude.

  • Where were the pretenders? Radio talk show hosts John and Ken refused to endorse Moore instead throwing their support to Hertzberg who is on the Board of Directors of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, MALDEF.  

    John and Ken, vacillators and equivocators, sway with the wind. In past years, they have remained silent on Proposition 187. Then, after Prop 187 was blocked in a shameless maneuver by then Governor Gray Davis, John and Ken mocked those who carried on the fight, calling it "a dead horse issue."

  • Where were the immigration reformers…the grassroots crowd who listen to Doug McIntyre every morning for four hours? Here I will venture a guess: that while those listeners supported Moore's stance on illegal immigration, they probably did not vote for him because:

    1. They thought he could not be elected or
    2. They did not agree with his position on issues other than immigration

For immigration reform to move from where it is now—growing in influence—to where it wants to be—making immigration policy—-qualified candidates must get elected.

Immigration reform must become a single-issue philosophy at the voting booth.

Supporting pro-immigration reform candidates may seem obvious. But trust me, that's not always the case.

Here is a good example of what I mean. After my first column about Moore appeared, I received an e-mail from a reader I knew to be intelligent and strongly anti-illegal immigration.

My reader allowed that he wasn't much impressed with Moore. If he were still living in Los Angeles, he would not vote for him. And, oh by the way, did I know if Moore is gay.

I did not know the answer but have since learned that Moore is married.

The point is this: illegal immigration consumes us. WHO THE HELL CARES IF MOORE IS GAY?

But therein lies the rub. Before casting their ballots, too many voters say, "While I agree regarding immigration reform, I can't vote for him/her because he/she is a Republican/Democrat and/or I don't agree with his/her position on abortion/guns/social security/education."

As a result of such myopia, the ash heap of defeated immigration reform candidates is growing higher.  Add Moore to a list that includes but is not limited to Utah's Matt Throckmorton, North Carolina's Vernon Robinson and Fern Shubert, Kansas' Kris Kobach, Arizona's Randy Graf and California's Cynthia Matthews.

These are all perfectly acceptable candidates who could be actively working for immigration reform…if only they had been elected.

I have a confession to make. Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo is the reigning immigration reform hero.

But I disagree with Tancredo on every other issue. Nevertheless, you can be sure that I would walk over hot coals to vote for Tancredo for President, should he ever run, because I am a true believer.

Here's something to chew on over the weekend.

In his January 31 2005 Wall Street Journal column titled "Rush for the Border," John Fund claimed

"The political clout of anti-immigration activists is limited."  

To me, them's fighting words.

Keep Fund's opinion in mind as the 2006 elections draw near.

As it approaches, you can decide for yourself if you are a true believer, too.

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.

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