Saturday, October 18, 2003

Courting the Arab American Vote

Candidates Seek Audience With Arab Americans: Lieberman's Mideast Remarks Criticized At Meeting in Michigan… the Washington Post article, by David S. Broder, highlights an appearance of Presidential hopefuls Friday in Dearborn, Michigan at an Arab American Institute leadership conference. Evidently, the constituency of Arab Americans is considered by some to be of significant importance in the upcoming Presidential election. Lieberman drew boos for his stance that the security fence being constructed by the Israelis in the West Bank should only come down once the Palestinians have completely stopped their acts of terrorism. Imagine that – being booed because he wanted the Palestinians to stop acts of terror? Contrast this with the shouts of approval that Rep. Dennis Kucinich received when he bragged about being the only candidate who had voted against both the Patriot Act and the resolution authorizing use of military force against Iraq. Arab Americans, according to the article, number about 3 million and are now considered an influential voting bloc. On the Republican side, the chairman of President Bush’s reelection campaign, Marc Racicot, although not booed, was heard in silence. He was criticized for his responses regarding Bush’s Middle East policy as well as the US Patriot Act. First and foremost I would question just how influential the Arab American vote really is. Do their numbers justify such attention? Consider that there are more than 2.5 million members in the Assembly of God denomination across the U.S. Add to that the remainder of Evangelical denominations and I think you have a voting bloc that carries much more weight. One has to ask why aren’t Evangelical Christians being courted? Can you imagine the Democrats attempting to do that?

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