Op-Ed: Republicans Shouldn’t Use Their Race as Reason to Be Elected

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Dennison Rivera, Chairman of the Montana Young Republicans, has some strong words for those who think their ethnicity is a reason to be elected to office

[Helena] Democrats will do and say anything to be elected. They are the kings and queens of bandwagoning any popular leftist issue.

During the Democratic primary debate in 2019, Beto O’Rouke and Cory Booker started responding to questions in Spanish. It made me laugh and cringe all at the same time. Hearing them ultimately fail with their broken Spanish was truly an embarrassment.

Dennison Rivera, Chairman of the Montana Young Republicans

What’s worse is that it was obviously not sincere. It was just a “hispandering,” a cheap ploy to exploit the Spanish language so they can gain favor in the Latino community.

Thankfully, the Hispanic people are waking up, and a massive LEXIT is occurring before our very eyes. Just look at the recent Mayoral race in South Texas where a Republican won in a Democrat stronghold with a Hispanic majority. They lost because Democrats are being exposed for the frauds they are.

However, Republicans need to be careful not to follow in the Democrat’s footsteps. You would think that only Democrats are capable of such cringe-worthy methods. Evidently, I was wrong.

Recently, I participated at the Montana GOP convention, where I was left flabbergasted. The main purpose of the GOP convention in any state is to elect officers who will serve for the Republican state party.

It turns out that Lola Sheldon Galloway, a robust and hardworking conservative, drew a challenger for vice-chair. After being nominated, the challenger, Cyndi Baker, the Cascade County Central Committee Chairwoman, rose to give a speech.

At first, I thought “This is going to be interesting. I don’t know who Cyndi is, but I wonder what she is going to say.”

She began by stating, “You are looking at the face of the future of the Republican Party.”

I will admit, I was delighted when she claimed to be a staunch conservative—in Montana, establishing yourself as a conservative is the only way to win votes among Republicans. She went on to mention at the time that Sen. Joe Manchin was going to cave to HR-1 and that we needed to be stronger. But then, before I knew it, she started to point out that she is a woman and that she is Latina, which left me puzzled. Why is she even bringing this up?

It’s as if suddenly a leftist possessed the woman and started trying to white-guilt everyone. Now, understand the vast majority of the population is white. There is nothing wrong with that. However, she began to criticize the lack of diversity and ethnic representation in the Republican party.

She went on to say how the Latino population is increasing and how we must elect her because she is Latina and a woman. I couldn’t believe she actually said that and, with the same mouth calling herself a “conservative.”

The cringiest moment was when she pulled her glasses down and started looking into the crowd at the MT GOP convention and judgmentally claims, “As I’m looking around, I see I’m the only minority here.”

As she said that, I stood up and said, “I’m right here; you are NOT the only one.” I guess she wasn’t aware that the Chairman of the Young Republicans is, in fact, Latino and present. There were several minorities there shaking their heads. People started to chuckle when I objected and exposed in that brief moment how ridiculous her statement was.

You either have to have major “cojones” to say that or must be extraordinarily oblivious. I think it’s the latter. Baker ended her speech with the notion that she must be elected because of her skin color and gender rather than merit.

Speaking of merit, why didn’t she mention any noteworthy accomplishments that she is responsible for in Cascade County? At the moment, I’m not personally involved with Cascade County, but to my understanding, the Central Committee does nothing but hurt conservatives.

If that’s true, then it’s only a matter of time before they are replaced by people who actually want to do things right by conservatives like what happened in Lewis & Clark County.

Much like the Democrats, Chairwoman Baker was trying to use her race in a desperate attempt to exploit the Montana GOP to garnish their vote. She was trying to use “white guilt” to force and manipulate people to vote for her.

As a Conservative Latino, I find this to be despicable and embarrassing. Giving into Democrat tactics, whether intentionally or not, is unacceptable. Who do you think you are, Cyndi? Being Latino or a woman doesn’t make you any more special than Lola Galloway or anyone else.

Honestly, I felt ashamed that someone who is Latina would use such a tactic. It demeans all minorities that work hard to be judged based on their merits rather than race. Using the race card as your sole reason for being elected is pathetic.

It’s usually the Democrats who are so out of touch with reality. What’s going on here? With parents nationwide fighting against Critical Race Theory and fighting against it in our workplaces, how can you be so out of touch to do such a thing?

We are not the party that will say and do anything to get elected. Conservatives don’t give a damn about your ethnicity or race; what we care about is the content of your character.

I explained to my Montana Young Republicans members, Baker should have focused more on what she has done and will do. Race, gender, and ethnicity are nothing more than a vain superficiality in a campaign if anything. It should never be the core message or issue in your campaign.

Thankfully, she didn’t win; not because she was Hispanic, but because she tried to use her ethnicity to exploit people. Additionally, the mere 46 people who voted for Cyndi based on her message should be ashamed of themselves as well.

As a former Republican MT legislative candidate, I get it. When I started my campaign, Democrats and Republicans alike approached me. The Democrats didn’t really believe that a Latino would actually run as a Republican unless it were a strategic move as an infiltrator or, i.e., RINO. Well, I quickly squashed their dreams when I spoke on my conservative values.

But what disappointed me and left me confused was when Republicans approached me and told me to use my ethnicity to win the election. It left me shaking my head at their ignorance. In my opinion, I think they meant well, but there is no honor or respect in doing such a thing.

I’m proud of my origins, and I have no shame in mentioning or sharing where I come from. But that isn’t a reason to vote for me.

I have come to find out that there are definitely strategic advantages that I have for being Latino. Call it being privileged for being a person of ethnicity, but it’s there.

For example, while I don’t particularly appreciate using the race card, the Democrats, on the other hand, have no problem doing so even if they’re white.

I remember, during the YWCA forum with the Lewis & Clark candidates, I slammed my opponent during our closing statements.

My opponent, Rep. Robert Farris-Olsen (D), started talking about how he defends illegal immigrants and how our system is discriminatory and is based on systemic racism (you know, the typical leftist talking points).

When it was my turn to speak, I said, “If they (Democrats) really believe there is systemic racism, then Robert Farris-Olsen should drop the race and let me win then as a minority. What you have here is my opponent and his colleagues are just using the excuse of racism to promote it… For me, race doesn’t matter; I think anyone who is elected should be despite their race.” Farris-Olsen could have effectively ensured Latino representation in the Montana Legislature if he resigned. Of course, he didn’t.

If he really believes in white supremacy and systemic racism, then why is he running against a Latino – despite my political affiliation? Under his own definition, does that make him a white supremacist? It’s all a charade. It’s only pretenses to tickle the ears of leftists, so they can vote for him. He has no shame to ironically run against a minority while claiming minorities are oppressed by the system.

If we are going to use the race card, use it to expose the hypocritical nature of leftist extremists who praise social justice but damn and insult conservative minorities.

It’s a sad truth that minorities can say things that white people are unwilling to say. And the white conservative leaders that do speak up and criticize American Indians, BLM, or illegal immigration are persecuted by “fellow” Republicans for their sharp warranted rhetoric. They don’t want to be seen as racist.

These people don’t understand that it doesn’t matter what you say because being white is enough for leftists to condemn you as a racist.

The day you are afraid to speak up because you may be labeled a racist is a day you burned your right to the freedom of speech. Freedom of speech isn’t only for minorities but for all people despite their race. You have become complicit in the Democrat’s censorship campaign if you fear speaking your mind.

In the end, Republicans should never use race or ethnicity as a core message to win an election. It’s a damn right racist thing to do.

[Editor’s Note: This op-ed was provided to MDG by Dennison Rivera, who you can follow here]




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