Earlier this week, Charlie Crist announced the launch of a Spanish-language website. In doing so, Crist is playing catch-up with Governor Rick Scott, who had already unveiled his Spanish-language website.
There’s no doubting the need for candidates to communicate their messages in the primary languages of key voting blocs. This is especially true in Florida, with its diverse population.
Yet I dream of the day when having a Spanish-language website isn’t a big deal. I await the moment in politics when candidates announce the launch of their campaign websites and they are in English, Spanish, and whatever other languages they need to be in order to communicate with voters.
Currently, candidates launch their campaign website in English. Then someone reminds them that they need to have a Spanish-language version to appeal to the large swath of Hispanic voters. When the Spanish-language website is ready, the campaigns blast out a press release touting the new site.
Announcing that a candidate has a Spanish-language website is the 2014 version of attending services at an African American church on the Sunday before an election. Candidates think this is how you win the black vote, but what it really is is insulting to the churchgoers who invariably wonder, ‘If this person wanted my vote so bad, why did they wait until two days before the election to reach out to me?’
The same ridiculousness has occurred with Scott and Crist.
Do these two campaigns really think that Hispanic Voter is sitting around and waiting for the unveiling of Spanish-language website before they form their opinions?
Again, there needs to be Spanish-language websites, but candidates look ridiculous by making any bigger deal out of them than an English-language website.