Hillary Clinton
Credit: Keith Kissel/Flickr

Rosario Marin has been vocally opposed to Donald Trump for some time, even going on CNN during the Republican National Convention and declaring, “I will not vote for this little orange man.” But it’s still noteworthy that she’s penned an opinion piece for Univision explaining that she’s endorsing Hillary Clinton because “my party and its standard-bearer leave me no choice.”

Marin served as the Treasurer of the United States in the administration of George W. Bush, so she was the first Mexican-American to have her name on our currency.

I am going to quote from her Wikipedia biography here just so you can get a sense of how unlikely it was that she’d rise to become the United States Treasurer:

Marin was born Rosario Spindola in Mexico City, Mexico. Her father Mariano, a worker in a label-making factory in California, brought his family to the United States in 1972 on visas provided by his employer. The move was initially resisted by Marin due to her upcoming quinceañera and her fear of leaving behind her customs and traditions. Marin’s family settled in Huntington Park, California where her father obtained work as a janitor and her mother as a seamstress. They returned briefly to their old home in Mexico to celebrate a “small fiesta” in her honor.

Her poor command of English was another reason that Marin had resisted coming to the U.S. In high school, she was given an IQ test on which she scored a 27 out of 100 and was subsequently labelled as mentally disabled. This low score inspired Marin to work hard to learn the language which she accomplished in part by listening to songs on the radio and repeating the words. By 1976, she was in the top 20 out of a class of 500 and graduated with honors.

Marin’s family had initially wanted her to forgo any further education and get a job in order to help out the family financially as well as help her mother care for her siblings. Marin compromised by working during the day and attending East Los Angeles College at night. After graduating in 1980, she continued to take night classes at the Los Angeles campus of the California State University (CSULA). Marin graduated from CSULA in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

As far as I know her seamstress mother didn’t deal any drugs and her janitor father never murdered anyone, and she clearly did not appreciate Donald Trump’s suggestion that they were the kind of undesirable people that the Mexican government would dump on us just to cause us problems.

“I will stand up for my community against the menace of a tyrannical presidency that does not value the countless contributions of immigrants,” Marin writes. “There is too much at stake both domestically and abroad to have a thoughtless individual at the helm of the most important economy in the world.”

“I have come to the devastatingly painful realization that my party right now doesn’t want my vote nor that of my community,” she said.

Given her up-by-her-bootstraps personal story, other Latino Republicans (who are still with Trump) are reluctant to criticize her despite the fact that she’s now gone beyond opposing Trump to actually endorsing his Democratic opponent. She has a lot of credibility, which is why this is an especially valuable endorsement.

I have been a Republican since I became a US Citizen in 1984 and was proud to vote for Ronald Reagan’s reelection. Eventually, I was given the incredible honor to be the United States Treasurer, the first Mexican-born to hold this title.

I have been a loyal, trusted and fiery fighter for every Republican presidential candidate. I have been a delegate to the previous five Republican conventions. But since July 2015, when a certain candidate, upon entering the political arena, showed his contempt for Mexican immigrants by stating they were drug dealers, rapists and murderers, I have voiced my disgust and have warned one and all of the perilous threat he was to our party, our nation and the world.

She also understands that this is a binary choice. Either Clinton will be our next president or Donald Trump will be, and that’s a no-brainer:

I have disagreed with and criticized Hillary Clinton’s positions, but I have come to the conclusion that she would be a far better president than the Republican candidate could ever be. She understands that words spoken from the White House have consequences, that sarcasm is not a strategy when dealing with delicate world situations, that our friends and foes listen to every word spoken by our president and react accordingly.

Because the piece is appearing in Univision, its impact may not be well understood by consumers of the Anglo press, but it’s going to give permission to a lot of people to drop the Republican Party (for now, at least) and get on the Clinton bandwagon.

Artemio Muniz, a Texas Republican who joined Marin at the press conferences denouncing Trump, said Marin endorsing a Democrat is the end of an era.

“I love Rosario with all my heart,” he said. “I hate to see part of the George W. Bush legacy crumble like that, the last brick of the Bush legacy when it comes to Hispanic outreach.”

This is what collapse looks like.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com