Wednesday, October 23, 2019

21st Century Suffrage

 Fifteen years ago actress Masiela Lusha, best known for playing George Lopez's rebellious teenage daughter Carmen on that eponymous sitcom of his, got to vote in her first presidential election, which according to the Parade Sunday supplement, she looked forward to with excitement. I don't blame her. I was excited about voting in my first presidential election--until my candidate lost. It wasn't until my fourth presidential election that I finally picked a winner, so, to all you eighteen-year-olds out there just now getting the right to vote, remember, democracy requires a certain amount of patience. Sometimes a lot of patience. What about Masiela? Did her election year-excitement pay off? And has it continued to pay off in the decade and a half that she's been allowed to vote? I can't tell you. In an effort to pad this blog entry, I did try to find out by googling "Masiela Lusha" and "voting record" and was only 50% successful. I found out everything about Masiela except for her voting record. For instance, even though she played a Hispanic on TV, Masiela is originally from Albania. She lived there until she was about five, when, probably for something having to do with the fall of communism that was going on at the time, she and her family left the country as refugees. Two years later, after stops in Hungary and Austria, they ended up in the United States. In each of these countries, Masiela had to learn a new language, and if you do your math right, you'll find that English is her fourth language, though she speaks it with no trace of an accent (it's good to start young.) She eventually became a U.S. citizen, with all the promise that entails, including Life, Liberty, and a recurring role in the Sharnado movies. OK, a bit of snark slipped in there and I apologize for that. To make up for it I'll point out that, in addition to acting, Masiela has written five books of poetry, two children books, and a novel. In addition, she's been an ambassador for a charity founded by Prince Harry, a spokesperson for Scholastic's Read for Life, a spokesperson for the hunger relief program, Great American Bake Sale, was Ambassador for Youth for the nonprofit Athgo International, and even founded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit of her own, the Children of the World Foundation, all of which looks pretty good on a resume (and further helps when padding a blog entry.) But, getting back to Masiela's right to vote, it still doesn't tell me who she likes among the many presidential candidates running around lately. The election is still a year away, and she may not even know herself at this point, and that's all right. But if I was a refugee from Albania, a refugee from anywhere, even a refugee from some rose-colored spectacled American past, I know who I'd be voting against.



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