Why I don’t watch debates, 5.0

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz | February 26th, 2016

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Why I don't watch debates, 5.0

Last night I was watch­ing Quirke, a gloomy Irish mini-​series star­ring the gloomy and Irish Gabriel Byrne, while the Repub­li­can debate raged on. After last night’s Quirke episode ended (in a pool of despair, of course), I switched chan­nels and caught the last few min­utes of the Repub­li­can debate, when Maria Celeste Arraras asked Marco Rubio about Puerto Rico’s debt,

You oppose grant­ing Puerto Rico that bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion,” the Tele­mu­ndo reporter observed, going on to ask “How do you explain this very strong stance to the hun­dreds of thou­sands of Puerto Ricans that vote across the U.S., and par­tic­u­larly in your state of Florida?”

Rubio gave the cor­rect answer:

I think the lead­er­ship on the island has to show their will­ing­ness to get their house in order and put in place mea­sures allow the econ­omy there to grow again. If the econ­omy of Puerto Rico does not grow they will never gen­er­ate the rev­enue to pay this debt, or the bil­lions of dol­lars in unfunded lia­bil­i­ties that they have on their books of promises they’ve made to future gen­er­a­tions to make payments.

So, yes, if they do all of those things then we can explore the use of bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion, but not as the first resort, which is what they’re ask­ing for, because it will not solve the prob­lems on the island

I was born of and raised by Puerto Rican par­ents in Puerto Rico, where I lived the first nine­teen years of my life, and I approve of Rubio’s message.

But that lit­tle exchange encap­su­lated why I don’t watch debates. The premise is that Arraras, a Latina, must ques­tion a posi­tion of another Latino in terms of ethnicity/​place of ori­gin, rather than on eco­nomic terms — even when the issue itself is eco­nomic, because of what other Lati­nos may like. As Pete men­tioned,

It’s as if CNN and Tele­mu­ndo came in with pre­con­ceived impres­sions of what a latino jour­nal­ist was sup­posed to be and she hap­pily went along.

Behind Arraras’s ques­tion lies the assump­tion that all Puerto Ricans are uni­ver­sally in favor of a bailout, because we must remain dependent.

In fact, there are mil­lions of Puerto Ricans who think otherwise.

And we vote. [Dis­clo­sure: I sup­port Ted Cruz]

As for the rest of the debate (you can read the tran­script here), I’ll con­cur with the opin­ion of another Irish (but not gloomy), guy,

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, news, and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog.

Last night I was watching Quirke, a gloomy Irish mini-series starring the gloomy and Irish Gabriel Byrne, while the Republican debate raged on. After last night’s Quirke episode ended (in a pool of despair, of course), I switched channels and caught the last few minutes of the  Republican debate, when Maria Celeste Arraras asked Marco Rubio about Puerto Rico’s debt,

“You oppose granting Puerto Rico that bankruptcy protection,” the Telemundo reporter observed, going on to ask “How do you explain this very strong stance to the hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans that vote across the U.S., and particularly in your state of Florida?”

Rubio gave the correct answer:

I think the leadership on the island has to show their willingness to get their house in order and put in place measures allow the economy there to grow again. If the economy of Puerto Rico does not grow they will never generate the revenue to pay this debt, or the billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities that they have on their books of promises they’ve made to future generations to make payments.

So, yes, if they do all of those things then we can explore the use of bankruptcy protection, but not as the first resort, which is what they’re asking for, because it will not solve the problems on the island

I was born of and raised by Puerto Rican parents in Puerto Rico, where I lived the first nineteen years of my life, and I approve of Rubio’s message.

But that little exchange encapsulated why I don’t watch debates. The premise is that Arraras, a Latina, must question a position of another Latino in terms of ethnicity/place of origin, rather than on economic terms – even when the issue itself is economic, because of what other Latinos may like. As Pete mentioned,

It’s as if CNN and Telemundo came in with preconceived impressions of what a latino journalist was supposed to be and she happily went along.

Behind Arraras’s question lies the assumption that all Puerto Ricans are universally in favor of a bailout, because we must remain dependent.

In fact, there are millions of Puerto Ricans who think otherwise.

And we vote.  [Disclosure: I support Ted Cruz]

As for the rest of the debate (you can read the transcript here), I’ll concur with the opinion of another Irish (but not gloomy), guy,

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

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