The political future of the country won’t be decided by Latinos, it will be decided by parties.
If the Democrat Party drops the woke nonsense, it will win the Latino vote every election. If the Republican Party drops the anti-immigrant nonsense, it will compete for the Latino vote every election.
The playbook is that simple.
So what is stopping either party from dominating the political landscape for generations to come? The answer is hubris. Neither party will admit that they are out-of-touch with large segments of the country. Neither party will part ways with the political extremes of their own making.
But there is one important difference Republicans should heed: Democrats can survive the current status quo while Republicans cannot. To survive long term, Republicans must change the way they treat the country’s fastest growing demographic. Otherwise, Republicans risk becoming political relics—if they haven’t already.
Nowhere have Republicans looked more aloof than on immigration. From The Tea Party to Donald Trump to Ron DeSantis, anti-immigrant sentiment has dominated Republican rhetoric for decades.
Is anybody surprised Democrats hold a statistical edge when it comes to Latinos every election?
Yet despite Republican antipathy toward Latinos, Democrats have failed to build or capitalize on the Latino vote in any meaningful way outside of a handful of local elections in cities that already lean Democrat. More interestingly, Republicans continue to win one-third of the Latino vote.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The notion that Latinos are a monolithic bloc to begin with has always been flawed. There are not only regional differences between Latinos, but ethnic and cultural differences, some which turn conventional political wisdom on its head.
History suggests, however, Republicans can win much more than one-third of the Latino vote. Bush, after all, won 40 percent of the Latino vote—not once, but twice (by comparison, Donald Trump only won about 30 percent of the Latino vote).
Everything changed in the late-2000s. Anti-immigrant rhetoric soared with the emergence of the Tea Party. Then came Trump a decade later, who not only accused then President Obama of being born in Kenya, but ran his own presidential campaign on the promise to build a giant wall on the Mexican border to keep “rapists” out of the country.
Not exactly Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” optimism.
Trump arguably set the national Republican Party back in the same way the Republican-led Proposition 187 set California Republicans back in 1994. The law, which denied undocumented immigrants access to everything from healthcare to education, not only transformed an entire generation of Latinos on the West Coast into Democrat voters overnight, but sowed a deep skepticism toward the Republican Party in the Latino community that persists until this day.
Still, Republicans have a reason to be optimistic. While Republicans have routinely attacked Latinos, it hasn’t fundamentally changed Latino positions on many political and social issues. According to polls, Latinos tend to not only be less loyal to political parties than average voters, but slightly favor Republicans on issues such as the economy and crime.
The average Latino voter also tends to be more socially conservative than the average Democrat voter. Many are family oriented, religious, hardworking—everything Republicans profess to be. Yet despite this, Republicans make zero effort to appeal to Latinos, or give them the respect they deserve. On the contrary, at times it appears Republicans do everything possible to push Latinos away.
Which begs the question: Do Republicans want to win elections? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
To ignore the country’s fastest growing demographic is political maleficence. Particularly when many Latinos are fed-up with progressive policies, misplaced priorities, and Democrat elitism. As a result, many are dying to vote for someone, anyone, who can restore a sense of normalcy.
Yet Republicans seem unable to see the forest through the trees. As a result, the fastest growing demographic in the country remains homeless. Not because Democrats have made a better case for their policies. Not because Latinos are happy with Democrat policies. But because Democrats are still coasting off the fumes of previous decades while Republicans continue to idle in one place.
A place the next generation of voters have moved past.