REGISTERING newly-minted American citizens to vote is a fine and worthy activity. In a nation of immigrants, it is good for politicians to hear the voices of fresh arrivals so that they have a sense of the hopes and aspirations of constituents. And in a melting-pot democracy, different communities understandably stick together as voter blocks, at least for a little while. So by rights Lexington should have found it uplifting to spend time this week watching canvassers from Dominicanos USA, a campaign group, as they looked for Dominican-American voters in Upper Manhattan and reminded them to cast ballots in a Democratic primary election on June 24th. After all the primary, in New York’s 13th congressional district, has a chance of going down in modern political history.
At stake is the seat held by Charles Rangel (pictured), one of the last Lions of Harlem—Democratic barons who turned the upper reaches of Manhattan island into a cradle of black political power. In his 43 years in Congress Mr Rangel navigated the civil-rights era and survived dark decades of urban...Continue reading