After almost four years, I am reclaiming my space amongst the blogheads. In 2012, I said to myself I was finished writing on a regular basis. But then Donald Trump came along and everything changed. He is the demagogue Jefferson most feared would emerge at some point to threaten the republic. The nation has dealt with other demagogic threats. The others never got this close to the White House.
It is a high moment, indeed, and it not outlandish to invoke La Marseillaise and Father Hidalgo’s cry at Dolores to start México’s revolt against Spain: To arms, citizens! Long live our national independence!
Recent polls indicate the Democratic presumptive nominee will win. That historic possibility should excite us but not distract us from the possibility that the election will be close. And though her standing among Hispanics/Latinos is high, I believe she and her strategists must handle the Hispanic/Latino vote well. By this I mean, among other things, that she, you and I should work to amplify its impact, for it could deliver victory. I, for one, am not yet sold on the idea that she should plan to win without a Hispanic/Latino on the ticket.
Every day, Hillary Clinton is driving a new nail into Trump’s political coffin. Yet every day the phone rings, and I have to listen to the contagious hysteria about Trump that has infected seasoned political operatives. In my gut I suspect they are wrong to fret as much as they do and that Clinton is in good shape. Yet there is reason to be cautious and prudent.
I shall write in English. Translation into Spanish will occur when and if time permits. I have been working on another project now consuming my life, and it is amazing how aging slows down our best efforts and intentions and even bumps up against our responsibilities.
But, at whatever age, our responsibility to maintain and extend the American Experiment is perennial.
Before we are Hispanics or Latinos or Americans, we must be Jeffersonians.
Jesús (Jesse) Treviño is the former editorial page editor of The Austin American-Statesman.