|WACO, October 20 - I was reviewing the votes by both political parties to avoid the "induced crisis" brought on by the GOP's recalcitrance and capricious technics to bring the nation to its bidding in its efforts to deobligate the Affordable Health Care for America Act (or HR 3962) of 2009.
The two senators from Texas, Cornyn and Cruz, voted against the resolution to raise the debt ceiling and for a budget resolution for the continuation of the federal government to serve its citizens.
In essence, they voted for more chaos and the disruption of our nation's economy to the detriment of their constituencies, the citizens of America and specifically us Tejanos. Their actions are predictable and in adherence to their hubris in that they serve first their political ideology and demonstrate an animus for the everyday Texan. In their actions they also demonstrated a continuing failure of imagination to provide creative and alternative proposals to "Obamacare" or to how our nation can best manage it resources and serve those of our fellow citizens who are most in need. The New York Times reported in its October 17, 2013, edition that the sixteen day political head butting contest led to the loss of over $40 billion to the United States economy.
Senator Cruz has demonstrated that he is not in Washington to represent the interest of Texans and certainly not those of Tejanos who now comprise over 48 percent of this state's population. He has not bothered to become more informed about this ethnic constituency because he does not believe that he owes Tejanos nothing. After all, he was created as a creature to serve the whims and destructive agenda of the right wing Tea Party.
Of particular note is that he has failed to open or staff an official senatorial office anywhere along the south Texas region that is over 86 percent Mexican American. That is a mark of his hubris and his animus for those of us whom he considers his inferiors. He is on the record as stating that unemployment benefits are nothing more than funds for a paid vacation by individuals who choose not to work. Cruz's stance on immigration would have kept he and his family in Canada instead of coming to America to disrupt the social and political order that was fragile to begin with. He has added nothing of value to the political enterprise except to recite Dr. Seuss during his 21-hour rant in front of the senate. That is hardly the substance of leadership.
I am rather amused and chagrined that Senator Cruz has a tendency to portrait himself as a populist yet he has obviously become a member of the privileged class. His wife, an executive at Goldman Sachs, is highly paid for her work as a regional director in Houston. According to a 2009 New York Times report, top executive officers and managing directors at the bank participate in a health care program that costs Goldman more than $40,000 in premiums for each participant's family annually. Senator Cruz does not use his government sponsored health benefits as a senator since they are probably less than those that he receives through his wife's benefit package. Of course this means that Senator Cruz has the luxury of belittling the proletariat who need health insurance assistance from the government but does not have the courage to speak out about the millions of our tax dollars that were used to bail out the Robber Barons at Goldman Sachs.
As a Cuban Canadian he and his family have benefitted from the dispensations that Cubanos receive because they have come here as "political refugees" such being the claim of his father, Reverend Rafael Cruz. Reverend Cruz is a failed oil entrepreneur and now a practicing right wing evangelical preacher who travels around the nation telling us about America and how we should be self-reliant. That is a rather simplistic view of the world order since his work is probably unwritten by the billionaire Koch brothers as a means to market their conservative agendas.
It has always of particular interest to me how we cuddle Cuban Americans because the communists that rule Cuba supposedly disenfranchised them. They come here sharing their tales of woe and suffering but never tell us how they are willing to go back and fight the battle to the end to take back Cuba. That endeavor may be too uncomfortable since they are pretty well set in America.
This brings to mind another issue that is rarely discussed or addressed by patriotic "Latinos" and that is why does the United States has diplomatic and trade relations with Viet Nam since 1996 and not with Cuba? I seem to recall that over 57,000 American military service men and women were killed in Viet Nam and that there are still over 2,400 MIA's from that ill advised military action. Personally, I knew fourteen young Tejanos and Nuevo Mexicanos who lost their lives in Viet Nam. All of them would have been my age. It would not be surprising that many residents of south Texas can recall even more such young lives that were lost. For the life of me, I cannot remember the United States losing even a battalion in its efforts to overthrow the Castro brothers to create a Cuba Libre.
I would propose that Senators Marco Rubio and Rafael Edward Cruz, both of Cuban descent, submit legislation to normalize relations with Cuba so that we can have another trading and economic partner within one hundred miles of Florida. Cuba should have an equal opportunity to manufacture athletic gear that is currently made in Viet Nam and worn by every Dallas Cowboy fan residing in south Texas.
As for senator Cornyn, there is no hope here. He is a wasted asset and no pandering by the Texas State Senator from Cameron County will get him to take on an agenda that is directed at expanding the quality of life of Tejanos. There is nothing in this senator's record, from his tenure on the Texas Supreme Court or in his two terms in the Senate, that conveys a commitment to expanding the capacity of Tejanos to becoming fully enfranchised. Senators Cornyn and Cruz need to justify and provide common sense rationale for their recent vote in the senate.
Why are they so intent on the elimination of a health care law that would provide access to insurance to Texans who are among the most uninsured in the nation? The question that is being left on the table is: What are the essential elements of their proposal to replace the Affordable Health Care for America Act? If these two senators really want to hear the American side of the health issue then I offer my services to guide them on a tour of south Texas barrios, clinicas and any of the over 1,200 colonias in the Rio Grande Valley. I can also do so in the Houston Wards and in the Oak Cliff neighbors in South Dallas.
Becoming a political parody, such as Senator Cruz has become, is not the answer. We need our senators and members of congress to demonstrate character, integrity, courage and imagination that supersede their self-proclaimed intelligence. I challenge these two senators to tell us why we Texans should be led by either of them. I suppose that we are getting the government we deserve as was noted by Thomas Jefferson in 1798.
Baltazar Acevedo y Arispe, Jr., Ph.D. is a Yaqui Chicano activist. He resides in Waco, Texas and Corrales, New Mexico.