By Mia Garza McCord, President. 1/17/2020
When I go to visit family and friends in my small south Texas hometown, the conversation will inevitably turn to politics. As I’ve had these conversations over the past few years, I’ve noticed a recurring trend. My family has very similar values as I do; after all, they provided the foundation for my own value system. My friends, in large part, want basically the same things I do for my future and the future of our kids.
As a Latina thirty something suburban working mom, here is a list of qualifications I look for in a candidate. I want a candidate who shares in my beliefs and can eloquently communicate them; who understands that my hard-earned money is not the government’s money. I want a candidate who respects and understands that I have a right to property, privacy, and a freedom of speech. I want a candidate who actually understands what it is like to be an average Texan who works, sends their children to school, and pays taxes. I believe many people in my hometown would agree with these basic principles. So then, why is it we tend to express our similar sets of values so differently at the ballot box?
I would argue the divergence in the expression of those beliefs lies largely in the relatability of the messenger. Simply put, the message is more appealing when a candidate is relatable. It is inspiring to meet a candidate who looks like me in some form (woman, parent, Latina, etc), has similar life experiences, and meets all of the above qualifications. However, we should not compromise our beliefs and values to cast a vote simply because of appearance.
Despite what the national media and television talking heads may claim, the conservative movement is quite diverse. But having diversity among the ranks is insufficient. Instead, we need diversity in leadership. It is essential as we enter 2020 to empower those who believe in our fight of limited government, individual liberty, free enterprise and traditional values with the tools necessary to be leaders, to engage with all communities no matter their racial, ethnic, or gender make up.
Only then will we be able to see the diversity within our movement reflected in the public representation of the movement. While the message is who we are, it is the messenger who will ultimately make the message relatable.
Picture is of TCCRI President Mia Garza McCord, and Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.