With election season fast approaching, I thought I’d write to remind politicians who they turn to when approaching Hispanics in New Mexico.
First, we are people of faith. We adhere to various denominations, and many of us to no particular church or religion, but we are believers and make modest efforts to live our lives accordingly. As believers, and certainly as Christians, we understand the fallibility of people, including ourselves, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to do better every day.
Second, we are patriots. Service to our country is something our families take great pride in. Whether our parents, uncles, aunts, ourselves, or our children, we understand that we live in a great, albeit imperfect, country and many of us have given years of our lives, if not life itself , to protect our freedom and our values.
Third, we are family oriented. We recognize that families come in many forms, but we have learned to understand and embrace differences and respect the commitment people make to spouses, partners, parents and children.
Fourth, we respect everyone. We are not haters who dislike someone because of their ethnic or racial origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation or disability. We believe that respectful disagreement is healthy and serves to refine ideas and solutions. We strive to treat everyone well, even when we disagree.
Then we are workers. We understand that many people need a helping hand, but this should be the exception, not the rule. We pride ourselves on the work ethic and admire the accomplishments of those who work hard, whether as an employee or an employer. A life on public assistance is not what we promote or seek. We believe in equal opportunity but do not seek a guarantee of equal results, which depends on many factors.
In addition, we respect the rule of law. We are law-abiding people who support law enforcement and the work they do. We believe that people should be held accountable for their actions. We also strongly believe in rehabilitation, treatment and second chances.
Finally, we respect the natural environment. We have a long-standing relationship with nature as farmers, ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts and strive to preserve the land, water and air for future generations.
When politicians from both parties ask for our vote, perhaps it would be wise to take a moment to listen and learn more about our culture?