HAWAII, June 27, 2012 – Giving us an insightful, refreshing and straight-from-the-heart pop culture perspective on Election 2012 is actress and former Model Latina reality TV star Christina Giuseppe.
What follows here is a transcript, with edits for length and clarity.
Danny de Gracia: People have suggested that Election 2012 could be decided by the Latino vote. It’s even estimated that by 2050 close to 55% of the voters will be Latino. When it comes time for you to vote, what issues most heavily influence your voting decision?
Christina Giuseppe: There are many issues nationally and internationally that influence my voting decision such as immigration laws and rights, taxes, health insurance and human rights. If an individual believes in something or someone strongly, then their voice, their freedom and their vote matters. We all matter, so do our decisions.
DDG: What things do you think candidates need to be talking about in this election?
Giuseppe: Immigration laws and immigration human rights. Where and how will the middle financial classes and lower financial classes survive within the next five years? America’s student loans debt is in the trillions – will this be resolved, or will we fail the next generation?
DDG: If you had to choose between Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney or Libertarian Gary Johnson for President, would you be able to pick a candidate to support right now, or are you still thinking about who to vote for?
Giuseppe: I strongly believe in actions more so than words. Whichever political party they may be associated with, I focus on whether candidates believe in their own thoughts, their values, their self-trust and their policies.
They must not be robotic but empathetic and sincere to all individuals and to the causes that ring true for them. During the election process, I enjoy most evaluating the politician’s tact if whether they will behave with integrity or greed through the best and worst of moments within their campaigns.
Truly, I respect and find commonality with a President that laughs and smiles more often than grins or one that doesn’t share emotions. I have not yet decided on whom I will vote for but I shall let you know when I do.
DDG: Do you think if Mitt Romney were to select a Latino running mate it would make more people vote for him?
Giuseppe: Well, politics is a form of a game and if you know how to play it brilliantly you most likely will win. If Mr. Romney wishes to choose a Latino running mate it will be a historical move however I am not certain if he will gather more votes and voters than he will with press coverage with such a decision. Time will only tell of such an answer.
DDG: Do you think America is headed in the right direction or do we need to make some serious, immediate changes?
Giuseppe: America will always stand on its own as long as the American spirit continues to be resilient, optimistic, accountable and humane. For many people around the world trying to escape the realities of living conditions, inhumane actions and injustice within their homeland, America is the land of opportunity and freedom to them. Allowing Americans to look at the glass half full rather than the glass half empty if you will. Perhaps America should be headed in a better direction than its current condition, however as a nation we remain to be one of the wealthiest, most powerful and influential countries amongst others.
The change that needs to take place must come from within the American himself. We must begin to take responsible financial actions personally and professionally, free ourselves from over indulgence and over spending, pay off all debt to build a proper cash flow system, live within our means not beyond it, wisely invest for a healthier and environmentally sound lifestyle and a person actually has to try, actually work hard and actually do something than do nothing. Change for the greater good will only begin when we as a whole wake up to our moral consciousness and moral compass.
DDG: What you say is the most important thing that needs to change in America, regardless of who gets elected in November?
Giuseppe: America and the entire world itself is in dire need of a spiritual uplift and intervention. Without hope, faith or even the slightest ounce of certainty, failure will prevail.
Americans cannot fall and remain wounded, not now, not my generation, not ever – we have so much to live for, so much to explore, so much to love and so much to voice. To give up now would only weaken our children’s morale and their children’s children. It would be a disgrace. We must wake up from our sheltered existence and take full responsibility for the poor decisions we have all made in order to move forward wisely.
DDG: Let’s talk for a moment about the way that culture influences politics. Both you and I are what some would call “1980s Kids” in that we were born in that time era, we grew up with certain styles of fashion, music, movies, even food that shaped our experience growing up. When President Reagan left office, he basically said that the 1980s were an incredible cultural and political time to live in. I think how that translates to you and I being voters now is that we sort of have an idea of the way things should be. Today I look around and I sort of say to myself, “This isn’t the future I was promised, growing up. Things were much better before.” Would you agree with that?
Giuseppe: We as people either progress or regress throughout our lifetime. Life is always evolving, so what you may believe was a better past may be a very different perception from someone else. Ideally, you do not want to look at the past as better days for you have to push for having the present be the mark for living. Your existence is what you make it. It’s as simple as that.
DDG: One of the things that seems to be changing in America is the fact that these elections bring out so much angry emotion and rudeness out of people on all sides. Do you think there’s a way to disagree on issues but at the same time not reach the point where people hate each other’s guts over politics?
Giuseppe: It is inevitable that where there are two people, there will be conflict. Two perspectives and someone will be wrong, the other will be right and vice-versa. I believe in the power to agree to disagree and allowing every voice to be heard whether it is true or false. Especially within the realm of politics there must be a dialogue not only monologues for too many unheard voices get cast aside more often than not.
There is absolutely a way to disagree on issues without a sense of hatred, prejudice and ignorance: that is to listen, respond, respect and create a give-and-take method. There’s no need for rude, crude and spiteful remarks. It doesn’t bring growth or advancement to one’s cause or beliefs and it actually disconnects them in every way.
Though I may appreciate the enthusiasm one has for a specific candidate and or a policy, I equally find it appalling to witness adults conducting themselves like imbeciles during political elections and campaigns. However, at its very core America is founded on the notion and belief of the freedom of speech therefore whatever one wishes to say they should be granted such freedom. That very privilege is what makes America stand out and frequently prevail.
DDG: Have you talked with any of your friends about the upcoming election? What are some of the things people are saying about the candidates and this election?
Giuseppe: Amongst the youth and my peers, there are ongoing conversations about the upcoming elections, the present state the economy is in and how will one person we call “the President” make realistic changes that will benefit the good of many.
The most important dialogue between those in their twenties and thirties is the worry of lack of employment and lack of full-time work throughout the country. Many individuals are graduating from college with crippling student debt then facing the truth of unemployment in America and many corporations going under. We as a generation will see who will survive and who will not during these financially broken and spiritually broken times. We demand a candidate that will have the fortitude to actually do something rather than say they will do something then do nothing. Actions speak louder than words.
DDG: Do you think actors, actresses, models and celebrities should get more involved in politics and advocating issues to the general public?
Giuseppe: Certainly, if they have just cause and truly feel passionate about politics and or in a particular issue, their voice should be heard. All people should have a voice whether you are a celebrity, a single mother working two jobs, a student or a retired veteran it should be heard.
DDG: Last but not least, do you have anything you’d like to say to Congress and the President?
Giuseppe: One human being left behind hungry, homeless, wounded, alone, helpless, scared, defeated is one person too many.
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