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Written by Simon  
Saturday, 01 August 2009
Geraldo Rivera has two great ideas in his new book “The Great Progression” and he writes them in a way that can help to facilitate a larger nation discussion. The book is due out in September 2009 and I recommend it.

First he argues that in the 2008 election the Hispanic community turned its back on John McCain and the Republicans and swung the election to the Democrats.  Using demographic data he shows that the large pro Obama Latino vote was critical in Florida, Nevada, Indiana and other swing states.  He goes on to predict that, George Bush was right, without a substantial part of the Hispanic vote the Republicans will have a tough time competing nationally in the near future.  

Second he shows through stories, anecdotes and metaphors that the current wave of Latino immigrants is very similar to the previous waves of immigrants.  That they are being absorbed.  That they are acculturating and that they are good American citizens just like the Irish, Jews, Italians and all of the others before them.  “The nation” he writes in his conclusion “will change us (the Latinos) more than we change the nation.”

I’d like to note one interesting side point. In his prior book Hispanic published in 2008 Rivera called for George Bush to issue an amnesty to all of the undocumented workers in the country.  He does not call on Barack Obama to do the same even though it is still a very good idea.