The Melting Pot Votes

A letter to my Cuban cousins and fellow Americans, (and all sons/daughters of immigrants)

I started coming to South Florida right around the time of the Mariel Boat lift in 1980. I had a business in Boca Raton and I began commuting from my home on Staten Island almost on a weekly basis, sometimes arriving and leaving on the same day.

Miami was a dying city in the 1970’s. The large Jewish population had aged and their children showed little to no interest in maintaining decaying properties, as they enjoyed the prosperity of the 60’s and 70’s in Northern climes. Cuban families lost no time in filling the void and in a few short years Miami had a resurgence. I maintain that the industriousness and spirit of entrepreneurship and gratitude for the opportunity saved Miami from becoming another Detroit and gave America another ethnic group to contribute to our culture and economy. Cubans did not come to America for free stuff; they came to work, to prosper and to be American in every sense of the word and their children continue to contribute and excel in every field of endeavor America has to offer.

In 1983 I began to commute with my wife, spending 9 days in Florida and 5 in NY for 18 months or so. We lived in the Holiday Inn on A1A in Highland Beach and eventually moved here permanently around 1985, settling in Boca Raton first and eventually in Delray Beach. We shopped for homes in Miami and nearly chose a beach front property on Golden Mile until I realized the commute was not going to work for me but that’s how much I loved Miami. For a fairly successful business man who had seen firsthand both the great opportunities America presented and the heavy hand of government in action as America began the slow turn away from Capitalism, the Cuban influx was the most exciting event of our times. I made it a point whenever possible, even if I was only in town for a day, to drive the 50 miles or so to Miami just to witness first hand determined, entrepreneurial people build new lives for themselves. I could feel the energy that surrounded me and the excitement gave me chills. Every corner had a string of colorful pennants flying, announcing the opening of another new business; a bodega here, a restaurant there, Botonicas, furniture stores, clothing stores with frilly satin dresses and you name it; as the demand grew it was filled immediately. It was a free market explosion in colorvision on steroids.

Cubans made one of the strongest statements in history against one man rule and risked their lives to do so when their dictator opened the floodgates, albeit temporarily.125,000 fearless, determined Cubans crowded like asparagus bunches onto leaking sieves for the 90 mile trip between their homeland and a place that offered a fresh start; an opportunity to achieve their highest potential and to raise their families with dignity. For several years after Fidel clamped down on travel, Cubans were willing to try anything that floats to take them to America and the most amazing display of creativity and daring kept a steady stream of survivors arriving on our beaches, on homemade rafts, rowboats even inner tubes, eager to begin their new life as free people, willing to die trying. Many lost their lives in the warm, shark infested waters of the Florida Straits.

There was never a greater demonstration of the free market in practice, entrepreneurship and capitalism working to create prosperity for anyone willing to take a chance and work hard. They sent their children to good schools and as they prospered and had families of their own they often left Miami to blend in the upscale communities, less ethnic in nature, farther North in Florida.

The Cuban refugees of the 80’s were the standard bearers for Conservative ideals. In an America that was already beginning to punish success they persevered and prospered with strong religious ties, unconditional love of family and boundless confidence in their own sweat equity. Miami became a microcosm of the American dream, creating new wealth, generating a regenerating middle class and creating opportunity for those who came after them.

How is it possible that some of the credit for Obama’s re-election is attributed to second and third generation Latino votes? Have the children of the dauntless generation been so easily indoctrinated into the politics of liberal idealism? May I suggest that liberal ideals are not in the domain of any American political party? The plight of the poor and other “causes” is not a plight at all in America. It is the rhetoric of the Democrat Party that promotes Social issues to achieve a political goal that is the antithesis of the blue print for freedom espoused in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

In my heart of hearts I refuse to believe that first and second generation Cubans have found the Democratic Party more closely reflects your values than the tried and true principles of Conservative government. If America was not the cradle of Conservative values, liberty and self determination our Constitution guarantees your folks may not have been able to settle and have free access to the opportunities this country affords all comers. This country is a democratic constitutional Republic and by definition it cannot prosper under any other system than free market Capitalism. In our case change is the certain death of the Republic and our enemies are trying to capitalize on that fact.

A president who has as the cornerstone of his philosophy an agenda to “totally transform” America and bring about “fundamental change” would make America a country that Cubans and others would not have been eager to flee to. There is no way to interpret total transformation and fundamental change other than the intent to replace Capitalism with Socialism and a government of the people to a government to the people. For those of us who for some odd reason see some oblique benefit to socialism let me say this; Socialism is not a form of government; it is a tool used to submit people to a dictatorship, just as Castro did.

Your parents provided you with an opportunity to exceed their lot in life and I am sure you would like to do the same for your children. Change America and your children will inherit mediocrity in a society that punishes success and rewards dependency.

As Americans it is our responsibility to preserve and protect the Constitution and Bill of Rights whether your origins are in Cuba, in Italy as mine are or China, the home of the first great influx of immigrants who built our railroads, mined for gold and can look back, just as Cuban Americans can, and thank God that someone had the audacity and gumption to make their way to our shores.

We have been blessed to share this land with people from every country on earth, every ethnicity and every religion and know that we are what makes America great. We have the privilege of having neighbors who look nothing like us and call them cousin or brother. The onus is on us to protect America from all enemies, foreign and within. Consider your choices carefully while we can still make choices. Accept nothing less than the greatness we earned and the things that made us great; the freedom to worship and to reach our highest potential or fail without consequence. That is America.

God Bless us All.

                       

 

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