A diamond in the rough of politics

by Russell Contreras

For the past few weeks, we have been bombarded with extensive political commercials -- on television, radio, newspapers, billboards, door fliers, bathroom walls -- from potential candidates seeking their party's nomination.

Candidates are attacking each other, bringing up secrets, spitting on their opponents, and trying to paint an image as if they are the right ones for the job. And although these are just the primary and special elections, the ads are getting old very quickly.

Many of us are sick of these ads because we can immediately spot the future to incumbent politicians' rehearsed one-liners and the BS most are depositing on us with the perceived notion that we, the voters, are a bunch of idiots.

Every year it's the same. -- the same script. But this year -- out of the smelly rut and sticky human manure -- there is a different person out there.

He goes by the name of Victor Morales, and he is in a run-off against professional politician U.S. Congressman John Bryant, seeking to be the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. If and when he wins, he will face the racist and fascist Sen. Phil Gramm.

Morales is like one of those independent filmmaking success stories, who used a low budget to make a blockbuster flick. A school teacher and ex-councilman of a small town, Morales shocked the state on March 12 when he captured 322,000 votes for 36 percent of the vote, to become the front runner in the Democratic race. Working with a small budget (a mere $4,900) and an old pickup truck (that is in the shop for a tune-up as we speak), he toured the state and politicked the old-fashioned way.

He has become the overnight sensation who has many Democratic elites scratching their heads in disbelief. Before this year's primary, nobody had ever heard of him, nor met him, nor, for that matter, voted for him. Now, he is in a position to become the first Hispanic senator from Texas (an event that should have occurred 150 years ago).

Many "political experts" attribute his success to "voter confusion" with Texas Attorney General Dan Morales. That theory is juvenile, to say the least.

"I've had people ask me if I was related to Dan Morales," Morales told a group of people Friday at the Center for Mexican American Studies here on campus. "But (they) never asked me if I was Victor Morales."

Victor Morales is one of those rare breeds who is a straight-forward person who holds noticeable core beliefs. He supports affirmative action, but opposes quotas. He believes in balancing the federal budget. He defends immigrant rights and believes a crack-down on illegal immigrants should start by sending illegals from Europe back across the ocean. (For people ready to call him a racist, please note he is married to an Anglo woman.)

He is pro-choice, pro-science and believes NASA could be trimmed a little more. Most importantly, he is not Phil Gramm.

Still, with a budget under $5,000 and opponents with budgets in the millions, he faces a battle. But he has come this far, and like many minority candidates, must prove that he is better to be considered equal.

Contreras is a senior history and English major.

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