Leer en Español
Vice President Kamala Harris‘ approval numbers are plummeting. According to a Los Angeles Times article, which tracked major national polls, as of December 14: 52% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Harris, a statistic that places her far below her predecessors Mike Pence, Joe Biden himself, Dick Cheney and Al Gore.
Within the Latino community, things are not going so well for Harris either. While she has a 51% approval rating, disapproval stands at a solid 44% amid a major split in the Latino vote, which, in keeping with the tone of the 2020 elections, is abandoning the Democratic ship to embrace the Republican-conservative cause.
This unpopularity of Kamala Harris among Latinos has its own particularities in South Florida, where the more conservative Latino community strongly rejects (among other issues) the economic and border security policies of the current Democratic administration.
Why is there such unpopularity among Latinos?
For Carines Moncada, journalist and presenter at Actualidad radio station, the answer is that “Latinos are unhappy with the ineptitude and incapacity of the Vice President, who in every interview where she is questioned about her work —since there are no positive results— what she does is laugh or mock.”
“Never before in history has a vice president of this nation seen such low approval numbers,” Moncada told El American.
The journalist added that “Latinos migrate to this generous and wonderful country fleeing the disorder of their places of origin looking for law and order” and the figure of Harris differs from these basic needs of the Latino who came to the United States.
However, many liberals were struck by Harris’ unpopularity among Latinos, so they are turning to controversial explanations to try to decipher why the first woman vice president is not penetrating the hearts of Latinos. The main scapegoat found is conservative radios in South Florida.
Conservative radio shows behind Kamala Harris’ unpopularity?
For Fernand Amandi, president of the consulting firm Bendixen & Amandi International and an analyst at MSNBC, Harris’ unpopularity among Latinos is about a conspiracy by South Florida talk radio.
“There currently appears to be a pro-active, clearly organized effort to demonize and malign the image + reputation of VP Kamala Harris on Spanish-language radio in South Florida,” Amandi wrote on Twitter.
In other words, according to Amandi, listeners calling radio stations are not simply average people upset with Harris’ performance and the general results of the Biden administration, but a concerted effort to “demonize” Harris through fake listeners who are being used to malign the vice president in the Hispanic community.
Fernand Amandi was contacted by El American for comment and further explanation of his theory, but there has been no response so far.
Amandi’s unsubstantiated claim quickly went viral within the liberal Twitter audience, garnering over 1,000 RTs and over 2,500 likes, as well as over a hundred quotes.
Among the most prominent quotes was from Reed Galen, co-founder of the controversial Project Lincoln, who said, regarding Amandi’s theory, that this is “not an accident” but “preamble to what will be full-throated accusations of ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ against the VP.”
Political commentator and founder of BlackWomenViews Media, Reecie Colbert, also quoted Amandi as saying, “What everyone needs to understand is that the attacks on VP Kamala Harris are not organic. It’s not organic from the media nor is it from social media & radio. There is a concerted (yet decentralized) effort to damage VP. Be clear- this is coming for anybody succeeding [President] Biden.”
Likewise, Ameshia Cross, a Democratic strategist, commented without evidence that the calls from listeners “is the most well organized smear campaign that is firing on all cylinders and leaving no stone unturned.”
“The lies, the barrage of misogynistic, racist and outright abusive attacks against the VP should worry us all. VP Harris is the first Black woman to ascend to,” she added.
“These claims are absurd claims,” say radio hosts and journalists
Agustin Acosta, radio host at Actualidad radio station, and who hosts the program “Cada Tarde” with Carines Moncada, spoke with The American in response to criticism from progressive analysts against conservative radio stations in Miami.
Acosta said Latinos are unhappy with Vice President Kamala Harris in particular, and the Biden administration in general, for the direction the country has taken in this first year of Democratic rule.
“Let’s extrapolate this situation outside the United States to a fictional country/territory. A new government arrives and the results are: the worst inflation in the last 40 years, increased insecurity, a tremendous border crisis and even shortages of certain products; how do you pretend that people are not upset?” said Acosta in a phone call.
“The truth is that if I were an analyst linked to the Democratic Party I would be extremely concerned about how listeners in Miami are calling to criticize the vice president. Because it’s the people who are speaking.”
Beyond the discontent of Latinos and Americans in general with the current Democratic administration, there is another question that arises from the criticism: why are liberal journalists/analysts promoting the narrative of a supposed “conspiracy” on conservative radio?
For Acosta “the answer is simple, if you are winning a factual debate, having absolutely all the arguments on your side, in this case, the bad economic direction of the country or the security concerns, then the counterpart has no choice but to attack your moral integrity. That you are a conspirator, a liar and a manipulator. That is why they attack conservative radio stations.”
Another Latino journalist, Luis Leonel Leon, agreed with Acosta’s view.
“It is not strange that a large part of the Latinos in South Florida disapprove of the administration of Kamala Harris and of course of Joe Biden, one of the least liked presidents in history. Something that even pollsters biased towards the Democratic Party and the left in general have recognized,” León, who in addition to being a journalist is also a Cuban documentary filmmaker and currently writes for the Spanish portal La Gaceta de la Iberoesfera, told El American.
León commented that, in his opinion, reality is being “manipulated as if society’s discontent with its rulers were a question of origin, culture or race.”
“Why should only Americans with Anglo-Saxon roots disapprove of the Biden-Harris administration, and why should those of Hispanic origin approve of such an incompetent and anti-American government?”
A fury against Miami’s radio stations
This is not the first time that conservative radio stations have been attacked for their political views by progressive analysts and people linked to the Democratic Party. Liberal media such as HuffPost or mainstream media such as NBC News have criticized conservative radio stations in Florida for allegedly spreading “disinformation” and dividing Latino families in Miami.
Likewise, former Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who lost her seat in the last election, went so far as to publicly call on Congress to hold Miami radio stations and Florida Republican politicians accountable “for spreading dangerous misinformation.”
“It is a danger to our communities and our democracy. No más mentiras [no more lies”],” she said.
As Carines Moncada told El American, former congresswoman Mucarsel Powell “signed a letter asking the FBI to investigate the media and information they publish on conservative social networks and has asked them to cancel our program, as well as asking the same of our advertisers.”
Moncada commented that this is due to the fact that it was the conservative radio stations that “moved the vote to defeat” two former Democratic congressmen: Mucarsel Powell and Donna Shalala.
Other Democratic Party politicians, such as Reps. Darren Soto (D-FL) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), also tried to manipulate the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prevent the sale of Radio Caracol Miami because, basically, the buyer Carlos Vasallo is a conservative businessman.
“What differentiates us from them is that we would never ask them to cancel their programs. We live in a free country and everyone has the right to think differently,” Moncada said. “We are not on the side of those who cancel, censor and insult. We are on the side of truth, freedom and love for our homeland, which we will defend as if we were born in it.”
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.