"Ain't No Stopping Us Now" or Latino Voters Explained in One Song

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Kitchen tables is where family budgets are stretched next to clipped coupons or if you're digitally savvy like Cuponeando's Yoly Mason, bar-scanned into her smartphone.  Growing up we had a round table which held in its unbroken circle my dreams, while I set or cleared it.  This is where Mami and Papi sat to "figure" it out--Catholic education, summer school tutoring, uniforms, cleats, gym bags for three kids who were involved in every sport, winter weekend ski trips to Tahoe, Jessica McClintock dresses for the formals.  ¡Miércoles!, how are we going to pay for all that?

Like everyone else, Latino voters are anxious about the economy.  The so-called kitchen table or pocketbook issues--jobs: am I going to keep or lose it?, rising cost of living, can I make my house payment or re-fi, can I afford Yunior's college tuition?--overwhelmingly override emotional issues--the hot button ones of abortion or gay marriage.  Our group has been disproportionately hard hit by the recession the President inherited and the recovery that slowly slugged ahead on his watch, explaining Hispanics' lagging enthusiasm before he called a Time Out on deportations of DREAMers.

So do we go running into the arms of Mitt Romney?  After he tacked so far to the right crossing into Fringeville with his hardline position on illegal immigration?  (The Governor will be addressing the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in Florida, expected to talk immigration).  How is he going to tip toe back, hoping we didn't notice that we've been a political piñata, hit from every angle, blamed for everything including the extinction of the Florida panther which must be due to the overcrowding caused by all those im'grants, ya know?

Emotions do matter.  And for Latinos, it's been a mix of feeling powerless when vilified by a loudmouth part of a party with a candidate who hasn't stood up and said, Basta!  Then there's feeling taken advantage of by a party led by a President who is busting some serious moves to court Hispanic voters--solo--when for a long time he insisted he needed a dance partner.

I hear a beat and it's changing.  We can define ourselves rather than let others define us if Latinos commit to matching our demographic growth and economy might with political and social power gained through regular participation at every level.

We are living a moment.  It's aspirational.  If we seize it.

Then just like that "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" McFadden and Whitehead's goodie from the golden era of Soul Train came back to me.

That's it!

All we hope for with the potential of what we can achieve is up to us.

Or, Latino voters explained in one song:

Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now (1979)

By: Gene McFadden and John Whitehead

Ain't no stoppin' us now

We're on the move

Ain't no stoppin' us now

We've got the groove

There've been so many things that have held us down

But now it looks like things are finally comin' around, yeah

I know we've got a long long way to go

And where we'll end up

I don't know

But we won't let nothing hold us back

We're puttin' ourselves together

We're polishing up our act, yeah

And if you've ever been held down before

I know that you refuse to be held down any more, yeah

Don't you let nothing, nothing

Stand in your way!

I want you to listen, listen

To every word I say

Every word I say

Ain't no stoppin' us now

We're on the move

Ain't no stoppin' us now

We've got the groove

Ain't no stoppin' us now

We're on the move

I know. I know.

Ain't no stoppin' us now

We've got the groove

We've got it.

I know you know someone that has a negative vibe

And if you trying to make it they only push you aside.

They really don't have nowhere to go

Ask 'em where they're going

They don't know

But we won't let nothing hold us back

We gonna put ourselves together

We gonna polish up our act, yeah

And if you've ever been held down before

I know that you refuse to be held down any more

Don't you let nothing, nothing

Stand in your way

I want you to listen, listen

To every word I say

Every word I say about it

Ain't no stoppin' us now (no no no)

We're on the move

We're movin'

Groovin'

Ain't no stoppin' us now (Movin' yeah yeah I now)

We've got the groove

Move it Move it Move it Move it

Ain't no stoppin' us now

What's stoppin' us?