The day after the election…

Today, I have chatted with a number of friends who voted for Hillary around the country. Everyone I have talked to harbored a combination of disappointment and even fear, that frankly broke my heart.

You see… I am also disappointed. I have not been particularly discreet about my political views leading up to this election. I went as far as to write an open letter in Spanish (which I submitted to a few Hispanic newspapers) about my reasons for my vote this election. The version of the letter that I posted here earned me numerous attacks on Twitter. But I felt proud to be able to speak up.

I am heartbroken, because I remember in December 1998, when Hugo Chavez got elected in Venezuela, I had this same feeling… looking around me, and saying to myself “There’s no future! I am getting out of here”, not unlike the people that rushed to the Canadian Immigration website, crashing it last night while the results favoring Trump were pouring in. And I stuck to my plan: it took me over one year, but in January 2000 I came to this country.

3 years later, our son was born in American soil, and 14 years later, I became a citizen along with my wife. And yesterday I cast my first of many presidential votes to come.

As the final results began to sink in this morning, one phrase from Hillary’s concession speech stuck with me:

When I think back to what brought the country to where it is today, the one thing I can point back to is that not enough people voted. According to NPR, nearly half of adults registered to vote didn’t show up. It was the election with the lowest turnout since 2000, the previous most hotly contested election in American history.

So if there’s a lesson to take with us, remember: do not ever take for granted this incredible right we have in the United States. There are countries where the liberty to choose is being taken away, and we still have it in the US. And if you don’t believe positive change is possible after yesterday, consider that on the same day, we passed a soda tax all over the Bay Area, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio (a 7-term sheriff from Maricopa County, Arizona, accused of targeting Latinos) was voted out….

and if you need a lighter view of things to make you smile and wipe the tears (I know many of you cried today), check out Ellen DeGeneres’ amazing post-election message.

And no: I am not going to Canada! 😉

P.S. If this made you feel even an ounce better, please feel free to share it…

Por qué voy a votar por Hillary en mi primera elección presidencial

Yo vine con mi familia a los Estados Unidos el año 2000. Como tantos otros inmigrantes, salí de mi Venezuela natal buscando seguridad y estabilidad, dispuesto a contribuir en este gran país. Hace dos años mi esposa y yo nos hicimos ciudadanos de Estados Unidos, y una de las razones más importantes por las que lo hicimos fue para poder votar.

A los 44 años, esta es mi primera elección presidencial en este país, y me siento orgulloso de contribuir con mi voto. Pero me siento obligado a apelar a otros inmigrantes como yo, para que no dejen de votar estas elecciones. Específicamente, quiero hablar de las razones por las que considero que Hillary Clinton es la persona ideal para liderizar el país los próximos cuatro años.

Hillary representa una voz de inclusión y compasión, tan necesaria en estos turbios tiempos en que vivimos. Una voz que le habla de oportunidad y reconciliación a las minorías, a los inmigrantes, a las mujeres, y a todos los grupos que Donald Trump ha pisoteado e insultado a lo largo de su campaña.

Hillary trae décadas de experiencia y liderazgo que necesitamos de frente al futuro que se avecina: años donde tendremos que hacer frente a nuevas realidades en un mundo cada vez más duro; años en que la habilidad de negociar y la habilidad de actuar decisivamente son críticas; años en que las actitudes que ha demostrado Trump son garantía de fracaso.

Hillary defenderá y mejorará ObamaCare, ese programa que (si bien imperfecto), le dio acceso a un seguro de salud a millones de Americanos. Como alguien que fue diagnosticado con diabetes antes de ObamaCare (en el 2002), en un momento que no tenía seguro, entiendo de primera mano lo crítico que es este programa. Trump ha asegurado que eliminará ObamaCare.

Aunque desde el fondo de mi corazón espero que sea por Hillary Clinton, mi pedido muy especial a todos los lectores de esta publicación es sencillo:

VOTA. Si no lo haces, otros decidirán por ti.

Para votar no tienes que esperar al 8 de noviembre: empezando el 24 de octubre puedes acudir a votar en persona. Más detalles aquí: https://www.iwillvote.com/learn/

Shame on you and your xenophobia, @AnnCoulter! #WorldCup

How much longer can a columnist get away with xenophobic vitriol?

Of course I am talking about Ann Coulter, and her  hateful piece “Any growing interest in soccer a sign of nation’s moral decay“, which most likely she wrote in search of more publicity, feeding lies to the few people that still believe her.

I am going to actually take the time to demystify one by one each of the lies spewed by Coulter here:

“Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer. In a real sport, players fumble passes, throw bricks and drop fly balls — all in front of a crowd. When baseball players strike out, they’re standing alone at the plate. But there’s also individual glory in home runs, touchdowns and slam-dunks.”

False. Last I checked, while soccer (like football, basketball, baseball) is a team sport, goals are scored by individuals. There are soccer superstars, both scoring goals and stopping them.

 

“Liberal moms like soccer because it’s a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.”

Do I even need to comment on this? I wonder what women think about this comment by Coulter…

 

“Baseball and basketball present a constant threat of personal disgrace. In hockey, there are three or four fights a game — and it’s not a stroll on beach to be on ice with a puck flying around at 100 miles per hour. After a football game, ambulances carry off the wounded. After a soccer game, every player gets a ribbon and a juice box.”

False. You obviously hasn’t watched enough soccer games. Unfortunately, it can too cause a fair amount of injuries. This very graphic video shows some of the worst soccer injuries. But that is besides the point… We can see  much of your nature in this comment: you would rather see more fights, broken bones, and blood in sports. Reminds me of… yes! Gladiators in the coliseum!

 

“You can’t use your hands in soccer. (Thus eliminating the danger of having to catch a fly ball.) What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs. Our hands can hold things.”

PRECISELY! Creating a challenge makes the game all the more fascinating and adds a level of difficulty that other sports don’t have to tackle with.

 

“I resent the force-fed aspect of soccer.”

Worry not: we don’t expect you to like it… but it’s kind of hard to like or dislike something when you haven’t even fully tried to understand it.

 

“It’s foreign. In fact, that’s the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not “catching on” at all, is African-Americans. They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.”

Here Coulter is showing her true colors, as a xenophobe. So, because it’s foreign it means we should dislike it? I guess she dislikes me, and 40 million other foreign-born Americans… because we too are foreign.

I feel as much an American as Coulter. I was not born here, but I CHOSE to become a US citizen, and the path to accomplishing this was not easy or quick. It took us 14 years since we arrived in the US, in 2000.

 

“If more “Americans” are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.”

Here you show how hateful and insecure you are. So, those who are not born here are not “American”? Those who don’t go back 4-5 generations are not “American”?
Your arguments are so weak and so full of vitriol, that they are almost laughable. One cannot show such contempt and promote hatred indefinitely without eventually being held accountable for it.

This tweet about Coulter perfectly summarizes my views about her piece: