Memo From Middle America (Formerly Known As Memo From Mexico) | Republican Candidates Boycott Univision Debate For Wrong Reason—While Hispandering On Telemundo
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English is the language of America, a critical component of our national identity. If we didn’t speak English we wouldn’t be the same country.

But the primacy of the English language today is threatened by the growth of Spanish in the media, business and politics—in effect, creating an alternative society. (I write this as a professional teacher of Spanish).

This creeping bilingualism will be increasingly costly to monolingual Americans. And it threatens our common civic discourse. When politicians are lying in one language, it’s easier to keep track of them than if they are lying in several languages!

I have written about this in previous articles:

One of the forces promoting the Spanish language as a second American language is the Spanish-language media network Univision. Univision is more than a media network—it is a media network with an agenda: Hispanicizing the United States.

Its star is the arrogant blond Mexican Jorge Ramos,  now a U.S. citizen. But, like fellow Mexican celebrities  Salma Hayek and Thalia, Ramos didn’t become a citizen to assimilate to the United States, but to help further the Hispanicization of the United States. As Ramos gloated in a 2007 article, “in a century we [Hispanics] will be the majority in the United States.”

Ramos is right about that, if present trends continue—and if Americans don’t wake up.

In the last election cycle, the Spanish-language Univision network brought things to a new level by hosting Spanish debates (or forums if you please) in Spanish. It’s not that the candidates themselves were speaking Spanish, but it was directly translated to Spanish and designed for a Spanish-speaking audience.

Univision held one for the Democrats (read about it here) and then one for the Republican candidates (read about it here.)

The only candidate of either party to refuse on principle to participate was Tom Tancredo. And here’s what he had to say about it:

"It is the law that to become a naturalized citizen of this country you must have knowledge and understanding of English, including a basic ability to read, write, and speak the language. So what may I ask are our presidential candidates doing participating in a Spanish-speaking debate? Bilingualism is a great asset for any individual, but it has perilous consequences for a nation. As such, a Spanish debate has no place in a presidential campaign."

[Tancredo: GOP Candidates 'Pandering' At Spanish-Language Debate, AP,  The Denver Channel.Com December 8, 2007]

Right on, Mr. Tancredo! But alas, not a one of the other candidates four years ago understood that.

Now, in 2011, it appears there won’t be a Univision Debate for the Democrats. Obama looks to have the nomination sewn up—what’s the point?

The Univision folks would like to have a Republican Debate, but it appears that they won’t be able to this time—because there is a boycott by the candidates against Univision.

Unfortunately, it’s for the wrong reason.

According to a recent article on Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze”:

“Five Republican presidential candidates [Romney, Cain, Perry, Huntsman, Bachmann] said they will boycott a proposed Univision-sponsored debate in January after allegations emerged that the Spanish-language network tried to blackmail Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio over a story about his brother-in-law.”

[Alleged Blackmail of Sen. Rubio Leads Five GOP Candidates to Boycott Univision Debate, Madeleine Morgenstern, October 5, 2011]

In a nutshell, these five candidates believe that Univision dug up the story of Rubio’s brother-in-law being arrested for cocaine way back in 1987 and tried to use it to blackmail Rubio into appearing on the network’s “Al Punto” show. Rubio still refused, so Univision announced and hyped the arrest story (from 24 years ago!).

Of course Univision denies it and refuses to apologize, which leaves the Five Republican Boycotters boycotting the network’s Spanish debate.

The problem: even their refusals make it clear they are quite willing to participate with Univision—if it weren’t for the Rubio thing:

  • The Perry Campaign: “Governor Perry will not consider participating in the January 29, 2012, Univision debate until your network addresses this ethical breach and takes action to correct it.”
  • The Romney Campaign: “…we are troubled by these allegations and would not participate in any such debate unless and until Univision satisfactorily addresses this situation.”
  • The Cain Campaign: “Until Univision resolves this, he [Cain] won’t participate in the debate like the other candidates.”
  • The Huntsman Campaign: “Unless Univision resolves this issue in a timely and satisfactory manner, Governor Huntsman will not give consideration to your network’s debate currently proposed for January, 2012.”
  • The Bachmann Campaign: “We reserve our right to participate in the Univision debate pending a positive resolution of this matter by Univision.”

I don’t doubt the thuggish behavior of Univision for a minute. But aren’t the GOP candidates off base here? Why are they even considering participating in any debate or forum sponsored by Univision? The network is openly dedicated to changing the U.S.A. into a Latin American country. Not one candidate should participate.

But it’s not just Univision. There’s another game in town—Telemundo, Univision’s competitor. Telemundo is hosting a Spanish-language Panderfest. How many of the Republican candidates will attend it? I expect most of them will. After all, it wasn’t Telemundo that blackmailed Marco Rubio.

Telemundo, though a smaller network than Univision, is formidable enough, able to reach 94% of Latino viewers in the U.S. It actually beats Univision in some time slots. Telemundo was purchased by NBC in 2002, and thus is now part of NBC International.

I remember watching some of Telemundo’s broadcasts in Mexico back in 1994, during the controversy over Proposition 187 in California. Telemundo would hammer away at poor Pete Wilson, the California governor who heroically made a stand—and was rewarded at the ballot box—against illegal immigration. The rhetoric of Telemundo, along with other experiences and observations, helped make me a staunch immigration restrictionist and VDARE.COM contributor.

So, if Univision doesn’t host a Republican Spanish Debate, Telemundo can do it quite effectively.

Indeed, in its statement about boycotting Univision, the Perry Campaign bragged about the upcoming Telemundo debate. After the sentence I quoted above, it went on:

“Governor Perry will not consider participating in the January 29, 2012, Univision debate until your network addresses this ethical breach [the Rubio blackmail thing] and takes action to correct it. With NBC and Telemundo also hosting a debate the same weekend in January 2012, we will have ample opportunity to engage with Spanish-speaking Americans.”

(My emphasis.) Here’s what Telemundo’s website says about the debate, which has now been scheduled for December:

Telemundo announced today that it will produce and broadcast its first ever Republican Presidential debate from Las Vegas, Nevada in early December, weeks before the primary season begins in key states with a high concentration of Hispanics. The prime time debate, broadcast in Spanish, will be hosted by Telemundo news anchor José Díaz-Balart and will focus on all issues and topics of concern to the Hispanic community, including the economy, health, and immigration and education policies, among others.

Telemundo has invited the Republican Presidential candidates to establish a direct dialogue with the Hispanic community and address the issues that matter to them at a critical time in our country.

The debate, produced in partnership with NBC News, will be broadcast live on Telemundo and its stations reaching nearly all Hispanic viewers in our country, and may be rebroadcast at a different time across other NBC News platforms.”

Telemundo to Host its First-Ever Primary Republican Presidential Debate in December, [Telemundo Website, October 13, 2011

So, just as in 2007, we get to have another Republican Hispanderfest in Spanish.

Who knows what the candidates will say to pander to that mythologized “Hispanic Vote”? Once a candidate agrees to participate in one of these things, he is under pressure to pander, even if he doesn’t consciously plan to.

Like Tom Tancredo, the candidates should simply boycott the Telemundo debate. They should say they are against creeping bilingualism. This would not only be a principled stand, polls show it would be enormously popular.

What are they waiting for?

American citizen Allan Wall (email him) recently moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.

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