I have been surprised and dismayed over some of the reactions from prominent Republicans to John McCain’s recent success.  As many of you know, Rush Limbaugh has denounced McCain and said that if McCain is the Republican nominee, he would prefer that the Democrats win the election.  Ann Coulter went on Hannity & Colmes the other night and said that she would prefer Hillary Clinton–who she views as equivalent to the devil himself–to McCain. 

Conservative radio talk shows here in Los Angeles are filled with vehement rhetoric about McCain the traitor who has “sold out America.” It’s hard to believe I’m listening to them describe the man who has been a 100 percenter on the war in Iraq and who, perhaps as much as anyone, has staked his political career on an unpopular war because he believes it is the right thing to do. 

It’s hard to believe I’m listening to them describe a man who spent several years in a North Vietnamese prison camp and endured torture.  It’s hard to believe I’m listening to them describe the man pictured above looking like a scarecrow as he shook President Richard Nixon’s hand after he was released from captivity in North Vietnam. I’m not one of those who thinks you need to be a veteran in order to be president or to lead us into war or whatever, and I got real tired of John Kerry’s Vietnam shtick in the 2004 election, but to speak of McCain as if he’s a traitor is way over the line.

I like Los Angeles based syndicated talk show host Larry Elder personally, though I don’t always agree with him, but I thought he showed some decency and honor yesterday in defending McCain.  Elder has a long list of things he does not like about McCain, much of which I don’t agree with, but he stood up for him against these attacks.

The biggest reason why people on the far right hate McCain is that McCain, unlike many conservatives, talks sense on immigration.  Sorry, but anybody who thinks that we are going to round up 12 million people–people who are an important part of our economy and who often have deep ties to this country as well as children who are US citizens–is living in a dream world. There will be another amnesty.  The only question is when.

As an aside, one of the producers who booked me for this show is stationed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  When she told me about the gig in Los Angeles, she said that Al Jazeera had set up camp in the “Spanish Quarter.” I was puzzled by this, since I have never heard the term “Spanish Quarter” applied to anywhere in Los Angeles.  I asked my wife, “What does she mean by ‘Spanish Quarter’?” My wife joked, “‘Spanish Quarter’ means LA County.” 

The point?  Latinos, whether citizens, legal residents, or undocumented immigrants, are an integral part of the economy, culture, and life of Los Angeles and much of the Southwest.  I certainly have no problem with Latinos, but regardless of how you feel about them, one thing is clear–legal or “illegal,” they’re not going anywhere.

Glenn Sacks, www.GlennSacks.com

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