It was interesting to watch what I could of both the Democratic and the Republican national conventions recently. With the political posturing so evident in this election season, it’s obvious the candidates of both parties are looking to appeal to the “everyman”.
Your “Average Joe”, if you will.
Marco Rubio. Mitt Romney. Julian Castro. Democrats and Republicans alike are recounting the immigrant stories within their own families, in the attempt to win the voters who have their own immigrant stories.
You can’t fault these politicians for using the unique immigrant experience to try to sway votes that could help them win. We all have recollections of parents or grandparents that have inspired us with their personal successes of achieving the American dream.
The stories are unique, but the story line follows a familiar pattern. Immigrants, whether they be Spanish, Italian, Polish, or Irish, made huge sacrifices for the good of their families. Some went to bed hungry so their children wouldn’t. Others, like my grandparents, worked multiple jobs to make sure the family had enough money to survive, then thrive.
They persevered through the Great Depression and willed their way to success. Because they knew if that feat was accomplished, the generation that came after them could enjoy a better life.
As one of the Democratic participants stated in a speech, “Their stories may never be famous, but in the lives they lived, you will find the essence of America’s greatness.”
Despite the campaign mudslinging going on now, with keywords such as entitlement and redistribution, the candidates seem to agree here: the strength of the country, and the economy within, was built on the very formidable backs of people from other nations.
I’m more than happy to share the stories of the immigrants that influenced me. Yeah, the blog has occasionally meandered into the subjects of weight loss, Joe Paterno, cell phones, and the importance of being a patriot, but it’s mainly concerned with one very important topic.
My family, immigrant status and all, and how they molded and shaped the lives of those around them.
I like to, and choose to, write about different things. That won’t change. But I hope you’ll come along for the ride as I take a closer look at this one topic near and dear to my heart in the posts to come. It may be difficult to think that a bunch of diminutive Italians could teach you a thing or two, but I think you’d be pleasantly surprised.
As both Democrats and Republicans have demonstrated: the saga of the immigrants and their American story is one of the most important of our times.
If you saw the conventions, what do you think? Were the speakers sincere in their praise of their immigrant connections, or did they seem to be pandering for votes? State your case in the comments! And don’t forget to subscribe for future updates!