Some argue that the political landscape has reached a tipping point, sliding the U.S. dangerously close to a big salsa-flavored seismic chasm.
After their 2012 presidential defeat and with the recent announcement that the Republican Party has set aside $10 million specifically earmarked for "minority outreach," it would appear that conservatives have reluctantly concluded that there is, in fact, a need to genuinely reach out to Latino voters. Apparently, to be a viable political party one must speak to the issues that lie near the heart of this teeming swarm of Latino takers -- issues like landscaping, cabbage picking, blade sharpening, and merengue dancing.
But young love is rarely a smooth affair. Even the most promising relationships stumble out of the gate early, filled with seemingly insurmountable obstacles and predictable growing pains. There are anxious phone calls, stammering declarations of love made while coyly pointing a toe into the dirt, and, finally, clumsy attempts to hold hands before finally, if all goes well, making it Facebook official.
We stand at such a nascent stage in the budding Latino-GOP romance. The gym lights have been dimmed in preparation for the slow dance. The disco ball, balloons, and streamers are up as the band -- at the request of Republican strategists -- plays Gerardo's seminal "Rico Suave" over the lackluster sound system.
Conservatives have sent over an emissary.
He's a clean cut, thirsty young man and he bravely crossed through that vast expanse of open gymnasium, that middle school Bermuda Triangle. He's there to gauge interest. He brings intricately folded notes with little hearts above the i's in "illegal."
Latinos stand at the other end of the school gym huddled together, surely debating dishwashing or stabbing techniques, while the GOP trembles like Rush Limbaugh's jowls during an earthquake and works up the courage to approach and slap a corsage on the coveted demographic. But the GOP's hands are sweaty and it's messengers return with ambivalent shoulder shrugs. The tension is palpable.
Yet, there is hope. In a romantic gesture worthy of a Nicholas Sparks novel, Rand Paul emerges from the old-white-male-crowd, grabs the mic and bares his soul with a perfect blend of humor, candor, and pander:
"Any Sienfeld fans out there? There is an episode where Jerry admits he loves Asian women and wonders if that's racist. So it is with trepidation that I express my admiration for the romance of Latino culture."
Skip straight to 14:35
Resistance is futile.
Pucker up, Latinos. With sweet nothings like this, prepare to be wooed.
You will dance, and, goddamn it, you will like it.
Your handsome and humble servant-