The Republican Party has long been fishing for an issue that will reach out to Hispanic and other minority voters. Now, a three-inch fish may be the key to establishing common ground between that voting bloc and the GOP.
Moderate Republicans chide party leadership for refusing to eject from the platform “divisive” social issues such as abortion or same-sex marriage, ignoring the fact that those issues provide the greatest common ground for Republicans and minority voters.
But there’s one issue that could unite Republicans (conservative and moderate) and minorities: stopping extreme environmentalism. Many immigrants from other countries—and their descendants—work hard and love the vast opportunities America provides. However, the very government that purports to aid minorities and the poor is instead oppressing them by taking away those opportunities through red tape and bureaucratic environmental policies. The freedom that attracted so many immigrants to this country is vanishing as environmentalists tie up the resources necessary to drive small businesses and family farms.
Actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez is the perfect example of how the threat of extreme environmentalism can bring together Democrat Hispanics and Republicans. Rodriguez owns a small family farm in California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley. This is the same area that has been radically affected by a judge’s ruling shutting off Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water pumps that send water south. Why would a judge cut off the most essential nutrient for farming? Environmentalists claim the pumps could threaten the tiny smelt fish in the delta water. Under the federal Endangered Species Act, if an animal is “threatened,” the well-being of unfortunate humans in the area takes a back seat.
Rodriguez witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of placing a greater priority on the safety of a fish than the livelihood of his family and neighbors and decided to speak out. At a speech delivered last week to the conservative California Republican Assembly annual convention, Rodriguez described the travesty of the government’s decision: “It is tragic that in the most fertile soil that God has ever placed on this blue marble that we should have a desert where there should be a garden. We are truly blessed to live in a land that’s just like Canaan: everything that you drop on there will grow. We have everything we need except resolve.”
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