Opinion: The Cheaters Take it All

Gen. Petraeus’ infidelity pushed Latino voters off the headlines. (Photo by Hector Alejandro/Creative Commons)

Latinos were basking in their moment in the sun after Hispanic voters propelled President Obama to a second term but the celebrations were short-lived, says Dolores Prida in her weekly column in El Diario La Prensa, upstaged by the military sex scandal that has already brought down Gen. Petraeus. The piece was translated from Spanish.

As the old Spanish saying goes, at poor people’s houses, happiness is short-lived.

I was having such a great time enjoying the sudden visibility and newly-acquired importance of Latinos after the elections and the ensuing agony, confusion and blame game wrecking havoc on the right, when, wham! bang! a sex scandal involving four-star generals, spymasters and mistresses took over the media.

As usual, any news that includes sexual escapades takes precedence. The public has an insatiable appetite for personal information, worthy of the tawdriest telenovela, about celebrities of any type.

Spies, national security, scandal, infidelity… Who can win against that? Latinos have been shoved off the public opinion stage before finishing their song. Here we are again in the back room with the props and the mice.

But not all is lost. In the sidelines, at least the issue of immigration reform seems to be advancing tentatively. Even some Tea Partiers, such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have joined the chorus for action in Congress.

But that issue is kind of boring for the general audience, especially those who voted for Mitt Romney. They prefer news about what they perceive to be the Obama administration’s ineptitude in any front.

The space and time taken up by sex scandals also diminish the reporting and analysis of other post-election events, such as citizen’s groups in all 50 states request for secession.

One hundred and fifty-one years ago this country was dragged into a civil war to preserve its unity in the face of Southern states refusal to emancipate the slaves. The North won. The South lost, but it seems that even today many can’t accept their defeat. Some still can’t swallow the fact that a black man is the President of the United States of America.

Curiously, now even the blue states are also engaged in collecting the 25,000 signatures needed for their request for secession to be addressed by the White House.

These are sore losers, indeed. But this call to break up the Union, which will surely not go anywhere, includes white supremacist individuals and organizations prone to racially-motivated violence.

The vociferous right wing talking heads in radio and Fox News should take a Valium and moderate the tone of their commentaries. In the current atmosphere they could, unknowingly, incite some unhinged individual with blood in his eyes and an arsenal in his basement to take matters into his hands.

Federal authorities should spend less time investigating generals behaving badly and concentrate on a possible increase of threats against the President and acts of violence against minorities who re-elected him.

This is serious business and definitely not the time to obsess on the sexual indiscretions of a few middle-aged people.

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