Things That Matter

In A Seriously Awkward Announcement, Vice President Pence Went To Florida To Launch A ‘Latinos For Trump’ Coalition

From the administration’s treatment of children at detention facilities, its separation of families, the rollback of asylum protections for refugees, and so much more, the Trump administration can hardly claim to be an ally of the Latino community.

Yet that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Vice President Pence launched a coalition called “Latinos For Trump” while at a rally in Florida.

Credit: @latinovictoryus / Twitter

Vice President Mike Pence told a Latino crowd Tuesday that President Trump has been “a great champion of Latino and Hispanic Americans,” touting the president’s economic policies while warning Democrats want to bring socialism to America. “Tomorrow night, many of the Democratic Party’s leading candidates are actually going to openly advocate for an economic system that has impoverished millions,” he said at an event aimed at Hispanic voters in Miami.

“Now, Latino Americans know better than most about the cost of socialism. It’s impoverished generations and stolen the liberty of millions,” he added, a reference to a number of South American countries that have been roiled by socialist governments, most recently Venezuela.

Pence declared: “We must say, as the president said in his State of the Union address, America will never be a socialist country.”

The event came days after the administration delayed plans for massive ICE raids on the Latino community.

Credit: @CheriJacobus / Twitter

Pence’s remarks came as part of an event launching the “Latinos for Trump” coalition, an effort to woo Latino voters in advance of next November’s election.

He told the crowd they would be “one of the most important coalitions of the 2020 campaign.”

The event comes a day ahead of the first Democratic presidential primary debates in Miami, and a week after President Trump held his official campaign kickoff rally in Orlando, signaling Florida’s significance to his re-election hopes.

Reactions across Twitter to the new coalition were pretty clear.

Credit: @latinovictoryus / Twitter

For real though. The Trump Administration has rolled back protection after protection for migrants coming to this country while simultaneously making conditions back in their home countries a living hell.

Not to mention the reactions to Pence saying “Hola” to the crowd.

https://twitter.com/Henry815gale/status/1143610064588161025

Like seriously, the nerve of this guy to come up on stage and pander to a group of people that the administration has been so cruel to.

Many on Latino Twitter had a big “no gracias” for the Vice President.

Credit: @StephenAtHome / Twitter

Few Latinos on Twitter had any interest in joining this so-called coalition.

While others pointed out the irony in the administration’s plan to gain Latino support.

Credit: @latinovictoryus / Twitter

Just think of all the hashtags that have been created just to document the cruelty of this administration’s immigration policies. That’s symbolic enough.

Even actor George Takei took to Twitter to point out the obvious awkwardness of the whole thing.

Credit: @GeorgeTakei / Twitter

It’s awkward but perhaps the administration is realizing that they’re support in Florida is dwindling fast and now they’re beginning to pander to the very communities they’ve been so cruel to.

But I think this Twitter user just about sums it up perfectly.

Translation: Don’t even with your “hola.”

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What Is the 25th Amendment and What Does it Do?: A Primer

Things That Matter

What Is the 25th Amendment and What Does it Do?: A Primer

via Getty Images

So in case you missed it, some crazy stuff went down at the Capitol yesterday. A mob of far-right Trump supporters broke into the Capitol building in “protest” of Congress ratifying President Elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College votes.

The heinous episode shocked and rattled many Americans. After months of inflammatory rhetoric, President Trump effectively activated his base into violent and treasonous actions. And people are upset. 

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have since called for Trump’s resignation. But knowing President Trump, it isn’t likely that he’s going to do that.

Because of that, lawmakers have reportedly been having talks to discuss invoking the 25th Amendment.

The 25th Amendment has four sections that dictate what will happen in the event of an acting president being unable to carry out the duties of office. These events have usually amounted to…colonoscopies (no, really). But this time around, lawmakers are looking to the fourth section of the amendment to remove Trump from office. And this is where the wording gets super lawyer-y.

Section Four the 25th Amendment states:

“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

Translation: The Vice President, Trump’s cabinet, the Senate leader, and the Speaker of the House would all have to agree to ousting Trump.

It’s a little complicated, so let’s break it down. Vice President Pence and the majority (11 out of 23) of Trump’s cabinet would have to agree that he is unfit for office. Then, they must submit a written request to the “President pro Tempore” of the Senate (who is Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley) as well as the Speaker of the House (California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi).

But wait, that’s not all. As soon as this motion is enacted, President Trump would be able to contest that decision (which he most definitely would). In that case, VP Mike Pence, Senator Grassley, and Congresswoman Pelosi would have to re-draft another statement insisting that he is, indeed, unfit for office.

Then, two-thirds of both the Senate and the House of Representatives would have to agree with their decision.

Only then would Trump be permanently removed from the presidency.

So, yeah…a lot of steps. But there’s a good reason for that. If removing a president from office were easy, it would be done a lot more often and our democracy would be a lot shakier.

Remember relentlessly hearing about the “checks and balances” of our government in elementary school? This is what our teachers were talking about. A lot of different people in different parts of the government have to sign-off on hard decisions so we can all make sure every action is justified and reasonable.

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How Latino Organizers in Arizona Helped Flip the State From Red to Blue

Entertainment

How Latino Organizers in Arizona Helped Flip the State From Red to Blue

Photo by Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images

When Arizona was officially called for Joe Biden this year, a number of think pieces appeared on the internet that assigned the responsibility of Biden’s win to white Republicans. Headlines ran calling the victory “John McCain’s Revenge”–a reference to the late Arizona senator who had a contentious relationship with Donald Trump. Pundits hypothesized that white Republican voters cast their vote for Biden to spite Donald Trump, who had previously insulted the beloved Arizona Senator’s military record.

Soon after this narrative began to trend, Latinos quickly took to social media to set the record straight. “Hey @CNN,” wrote Julio Ricardo Varela on Twitter. “@CindyMcCain is not the only reason that Biden won Arizona. It wasn’t just that. Can you at least discuss the overwhelming Latino support and the organizing history of young Latinos in the time of SB1070?”

In the noise of election pontificating, the media largely ignored the efforts of Latino grassroots organizers. The efforts that ultimately helped flip Arizona. It is not a coincidence that Latinos now constitute the base of the Democratic party in Arizona.

It was no coincidence that so many Latinos mobilized this year. In fact, the event was a deliberate and organized process spearheaded by activist groups like the MiAZ coalition. The MiAZ coalition is a five activist groups that organized a massive field campaign targeting Latino voters. Altogether, Mi AZ reports that they made nearly 8 million calls and knocked on over 1.15 million doors.

Mi AZ reports Latino voter turnout in Arizona was at an all-time high of 50% this year, up from the record of 44% in 2016. The organization also reported to local news website AZ Central that according to their data analysis, “nearly 73% of Latino voters in key Latino-majority precincts in Arizona chose President-elect Joe Biden” over President Trump.

In an in-depth and touching Twitter thread, Arizona-based educator and organizer Reyna Montoya wrote a briefer on what changed Arizona from blue to red “for folks who may be wondering what is going on.”

In the thread, Montoya described her first-hand account of the trauma that Latinos in Arizona faced through the last few decades. A collective trauma that ended up mobilizing the Latino community for Biden.

Montoya described Arizona’s “English Only” law that passed in 2000. She then described Prop 300 in 2006, a measure that forbid students from receiving state financial aid for college if they couldn’t prove they were legal residents of Arizona. The final event was what most personally affected her: the passage of SB1070, a law that required all immigrants over the age of 18 to carry immigration documentation with them at all times.

“This was personal,” Montoya wrote on Twitter. “I remember my mom being scared. I remember being extreme cautions about driving anywhere.”

It was Arizona’s anti-Latino sentiment and, consequently, the legislation the state government passed to curb the rights of Latinos in the state that ended up backfiring. Instead of suppressing a community, the anti-Latino legislation ended up lighting a fire under many young Latinos, prompting them to organize. To fight back.

“In 2011, we decided to organize, build community and focus on rebuilding Arizona.,” Montoya wrote so brilliantly on Twitter. “Since 2011 until now, we have been educating others on immigration.”

“We have decided to no longer remain in the shadows,” she said. “We decided to let our voices be heard.”

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