Fourteen years ago, I was asked to be a keynote speaker at the Richmond County Women’s Republican Club annual dinner. I had started my column at the Staten Island Advance the year before, and as an Hispanic who had grown up in Spanish Harlem, many Republicans were surprised that I was a conservative.
It was my first speaking engagement and one I accepted reluctantly, but I felt that it was an opportunity to offer some advice to the Republican Party about winning over the voters in the barrios and the inner city. While my speech brought applause and cheers from the assemblage and politicians present, they didn’t take my advice in the subsequent local elections. After the thousand columns I’ve written since for the New York Sun, Breitbart Bigs (Government, Journalism and Hollywood) and the late Irish Examiner USA newspaper and other conservative blog sites, the GOP still remains tone-deaf.
I am a true city slicker born in Manhattan and in my lifetime a denizen of many less than affluent neighborhoods. Even though I am now a Staten Island homeowner, I live near a notorious housing project that a few years ago sheltered two cop-killers. I know the people who live in the neighborhoods that Republicans ignore because they consider the Democratic strongholds a lost cause. I also know why these districts vote Democrat and despise Republicans. It has nothing to do with race.
I became politically aware as a high schooler enthralled by JFK and the possibility of a Catholic president. The nuns at the school were also hopeful for his presidency. The sad truth is that the media who loved him kept his personal peccadilloes quiet and if they hadn’t, he never would have won that close election, involve us in Vietnam or been assassinated. The fourth estate continues its liberal defense of like-minded politicians to this day.
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