Tom Tancredo, from Colorado, has claimed his version of success in his candidacy for President, and bowed out of the race having made his issue, illegal immigration, an issue to face for all the candidates. Coming from a state where all residents must face the effects of illegal immigration, he was acknowledged throughout the country and even overseas as a passionate consciousness raiser, presenting the urgency of the issue.
The signs are everywhere. The El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express has a depot in Denver to drop off passengers. Colorado State Patrol will likely report several tragic wrecks this winter, as stuffed vans drive through, too fast and without experience driving in winter weather. On the whole, Colorado is a diverse and welcoming place for all, but it has also become what is termed an “attractive nuisance,” an opportunity without protection, like a neighbor’s dangerous yard. Tom Tancredo brought the issue of illegal immigration to the nation as a personal one, deeply affecting his home state, and not just another vehicle for partisan politics. Having made his point, as the race narrows he has announced that he is bowing out as candidate for President of the United States.
Without the entitlement that citizens and legal residents have to legal protections, legal work, and access to healthcare and other services, illegal immigrants put themselves at danger even as they have both positive and negative effects on American society. Tom Tancredo took a stand on this issue alone as his reason for running for the White House. Now, he says, his candidacy has brought the issue solidly into his fellow candidates’ campaigns, Democrat and Republican, and he is bowing out to let the leading candidates carry it to the Presidency.
In the world of psychology, “heathy boundaries” are considered an important part of a healthy personality. That means that you don’t let someone tell you who you are, and you don’t let them take your time or property unless you fully intend to. If you’ve ever declined to share your dinner plate, that was a boundary. It’s a sign of self-respect, and also respect for the other person who then knows where things stand. Tancredo’s campaign for the presidency spoke of that respect, about facing the issue of illegal immigration rather than taking down fences, removing consequences, and leaving both sides of the issue wondering what U.S. policy really is.
In the myriad quotes on his webpage, he has words from Joel Stein at the L.A. Times, noting that even disagreement with Tancredo doesn’t remove respect for him and his beliefs. Other left-leaning or disagreeing people quoted say the same thing – however the issue is to be solved, it needs to be solved. Tancredo says that that was his point – that those who were most successful in national politics were avoiding the issue. Clanging his singular bell, Tancredo wanted to wake them up, and he believes he did.
It’s a theme raised recently by the PBS broadcast of “An Unreasonable Man,” about Ralph Nader and his “interference” in politics as usual. Presidential candidate Ron Paul is taking the same route, and the press response is frequently criticism that his campaign is unusual, internet-only, and otherwise unviable. As Ron Paul’s supporters head out to knock on “every door in America,” unusual is an unfortunate criticism. These three men and others have determined that the role of American citizens in politics is not just to win, but to make a difference, sometimes passing the baton to others down the line. Tom Tancredo claims that even in bowing out, he has won what he came to win. http://www.teamtancredo.org