By Garen Yegparian
Fortune smiles upon us. A letter to the editor appeared in Asbarez a few weeks back–containing–among some reasonable issues–the very same inane assertions about Bush’s "largest ever" vote tally. In addition–two letters in the November 7 Los Angeles Times–one by a fellow Armenian–also make the same grandiose assertion. Need I say more about the right wing propaganda machine’s echo chamber? They just keep screaming the same thing until nothing else is audible and it becomes ‘truth!’
But let’s address a different–actually valid–concern raised in the Asbarez letter–overlooking the cheap shot at our organizations marching "in lock step" with Democrats.
Briefly–the issue is: Should Armenian organizations consider a broad range of issues–not just "narrow" Armenian ones–in deciding which candidate to support?
Do the right to life groups–NRA–Sierra Club–AIPAC–NAM–Emily’s List–etc. make their endorsemen’s based on a broad range of issues? Of course not. Were they to do something that foolish–they would lose their constituencies in a heartbeat. It’s not their job or place to do that. The people who support these and other groups look to them for clear–concise information based on the area of civic life they work on. Then the "sophisticated" voter weighs all the political input and votes accordingly. Unfortunately–sophisticated voters are not the norm–YET–in the Armenian community of the United States*.
So why should Armenian organizations functioning in the American political arena behave any differently? More appropriate–however–is to point out why this kind of question is posed. A hidden agenda is masked by a purported concern for "Armenian-American" needs. The very term "Armenian-American" betrays much. Inherently–it deems us Americans with some Armenian flavor–as opposed to Armenia’s who are citizens of the United States of America. It confuses nationality and citizenship–two distinct political realities.
The real intent of those posing these "questions" is to promote their right wing econo-socio-political goals. It is a tried and true tactic. The Soviets even used it. By nominally espousing benevolent and necessary economic and social programs–they masked the actual political tyranny. Such rich irony–diametrically opposed political ideologies using identical tactics. Though I suspect what really unites them is their cohorts’ dictatorial inclinations.
*See "Armenian Electoral-Political (Im)Maturity," February 14 Asbarez–March 27 The Armenian Weekly.