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Where's the Outrage?

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  • Where's the Outrage?

    Published: November 20, 2005
    New York TIMES

    It is worth taking note of a particular subset of losers in the Nov. 8 elections. They were the candidates who tried to win votes through appeals to fear and anti-immigrant resentment. Across Long Island, the candidates who tried to run as hard-liners on the immigration question were conspicuously absent from the victory lists. For all the talk of suburban outrage at the supposed onslaught of day laborers and Latino gangs, it wasn't the hyperventilating candidates who won.

    In Brookhaven, Edward Hennessey ran against a hard-core, deport-'em-all candidate, Robert DiCarlo, in the Republican primary for town supervisor. Mr. Hennessey was more moderate on that issue than Mr. DiCarlo - a little, anyway - and he won that race. But in the general election, Mr. Hennessey remained the go-to guy for the xenophobe vote. He lost to Brian Foley.

    In Nassau, a Republican, Tom Sabellico, ran for the County Legislature promising to protect terrified citizens from the depredations that gangs and illegal immigrants had wrought in Farmingdale. He lost, too, to David Mejias, the incumbent Democrat and the only Hispanic legislator in Nassau.

    None of this is to suggest that Long Islanders do not feel resentment and frustration over crowded apartments, the flouting of housing codes and the lax enforcement of labor and immigration laws. They do, which is why County Executive Steve Levy, nobody's idea of the Latino's best friend, remains so popular in Suffolk. But there is clearly a large and healthy streak of moderation in Long Island voters, and an unwillingness to be cowed by demagogues into hostility or revulsion.

    For all the post-election analysis about the dwindling electoral power of Republicans on Long Island, the winners included members of either party who gave the impression of being competent managers who know what they are doing. From Supervisor Kate Murray in Hempstead to Supervisor-elect Foley, the victors were the ones generally seen as practical and sensible, not panicked or resentful.

    Those who may have tiptoed around the immigration issue for fear of inflaming voter outrage might want to consider the possibility that there is little outrage to inflame - just a burning desire to have a sober discussion about a complicated and challenging problem.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/20/op..._Election.html

  • #2
    Published: November 20, 2005
    New York TIMES

    It is worth taking note of a particular subset of losers in the Nov. 8 elections. They were the candidates who tried to win votes through appeals to fear and anti-immigrant resentment. Across Long Island, the candidates who tried to run as hard-liners on the immigration question were conspicuously absent from the victory lists. For all the talk of suburban outrage at the supposed onslaught of day laborers and Latino gangs, it wasn't the hyperventilating candidates who won.

    In Brookhaven, Edward Hennessey ran against a hard-core, deport-'em-all candidate, Robert DiCarlo, in the Republican primary for town supervisor. Mr. Hennessey was more moderate on that issue than Mr. DiCarlo - a little, anyway - and he won that race. But in the general election, Mr. Hennessey remained the go-to guy for the xenophobe vote. He lost to Brian Foley.

    In Nassau, a Republican, Tom Sabellico, ran for the County Legislature promising to protect terrified citizens from the depredations that gangs and illegal immigrants had wrought in Farmingdale. He lost, too, to David Mejias, the incumbent Democrat and the only Hispanic legislator in Nassau.

    None of this is to suggest that Long Islanders do not feel resentment and frustration over crowded apartments, the flouting of housing codes and the lax enforcement of labor and immigration laws. They do, which is why County Executive Steve Levy, nobody's idea of the Latino's best friend, remains so popular in Suffolk. But there is clearly a large and healthy streak of moderation in Long Island voters, and an unwillingness to be cowed by demagogues into hostility or revulsion.

    For all the post-election analysis about the dwindling electoral power of Republicans on Long Island, the winners included members of either party who gave the impression of being competent managers who know what they are doing. From Supervisor Kate Murray in Hempstead to Supervisor-elect Foley, the victors were the ones generally seen as practical and sensible, not panicked or resentful.

    Those who may have tiptoed around the immigration issue for fear of inflaming voter outrage might want to consider the possibility that there is little outrage to inflame - just a burning desire to have a sober discussion about a complicated and challenging problem.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/20/op..._Election.html

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