John Faso and his Republican surrogates have attacked Antonio Delgado over his former occupation as a rapper, despite Faso himself having no rapping experience whatsoever.
This is plain hypocrisy. Super PACs are running ads against Delgado, saying his rap lyrics contain “extremist attacks on American values.” They even claim he “minimized 9/11.” These attacks are crude as well as false. Delgado never minimized 9/11. He asked why the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina wasn’t as urgent, when the destruction was comparable. Many thoughtful Americans have wondered this. That Delgado felt moved to ask this question in his art can be counted to his credit.
Meanwhile, what is Faso’s own rap record? He has none. Not even a mixtape.
Twelve years ago, Delgado was a Rhodes scholar and Harvard Law graduate trying to succeed as a musician. He had the education to fall back on if he didn’t make it, but we can still admire the willingness to try and make a living from his creativity.
The same 12 years ago, Faso was losing his race for governor and about to become a political consultant between government gigs, with two decades in New York Republican politics already behind him and more to come.
So, it’s absolutely true that these two candidates come from different backgrounds. But it’s Delgado’s that should resonate more with voters. Born and raised in Schenectady, fed on wages from a factory that isn’t there anymore, who felt a calling and followed it, but ultimately realized he had to move on. If there’s any shame in that, it’s a shame to which many of us can relate.
Delgado may have struggled as a rapper. But there are plenty of people struggling in our 19th Congressional District who don’t see that as a problem. Antonio Delgado has been one of them. He’s worked to help them, and yes, he’s written lyrics that honor them. Meanwhile John Faso, in his long career in government, hasn’t spit them a single rhyme.
Delgado’s rap record is superior to his opponent’s simply by default. We owe him our consideration to serve as our representative in Congress. At a minimum, we should not reward Faso or Republicans for their shamelessness in attempting to turn Delgado’s former music career into an insulting, racially suggestive political attack. That kind of trash talk belongs in a diss track, not a congressional campaign.
Alex Ruthrauff is a customer support representative living in Kingston.