The 2020 US presidential election has not yet been officially decided. Some things, though, are indisputable and already a matter of truth. A big surprise for many was the fact that a staggering and surprising number of Hispanics voted for the incumbent 45th president. How can this be explained?
Trump picked up 10 million more votes in 2020 than in 2016. That only tells us, though, part of the story and misses a key tectonic shift within the political landscape. Yes, Joe Biden did manage to pull off some surprises with the legal votes he garnered. According to The New York Times, Biden managed to snatch from Trump certain sectors of white-collar, affluent, college-educated republicans from red counties. These country-club republican types never took in kindly to Trump’s mannerisms, his hostility towards globalist schemes and only voted for him in 2016, because they detested Hillary Clinton more.
This victory lap for the Democrats, however, was brutally dwarfed by the Hispanic exodus to the Republican candidate. This lays witness to a far bigger conquest, not just for the GOP, but for what Trumpism stands for. It is on this seminal point, that most in the press and the Democratic Party have failed to comprehensively appreciate, much less express. This is, indeed, a nightmarish, devasting reality for the Democrats.
The largest minority in the US is embracing the new Republican Party. The moat that Democrats devised long ago to keep Hispanic voters within their files, has been leveled. It has been Trump’s policies, not his persona or the GOP’s electoral strategy, that justifies this unshackling.
What Democrats say
The generalized train of thought put forth by the Democrats to explain this debacle has been that the Republicans successfully managed to brand them as socialists. That is partly correct but grossly misses a far more important point. The Black Lives Matter (“BLM”) movement and riots have been highlighted as being another contributing cause, although summed up for fractional reasons and thus ignoring the organic whole of the issue with BLM. Both characterizations of the underlying factors, put forth by the Democrats and their surrogates in the press, are oversimplifications and miss the mark.
The Democratic Party’s failure to connect the proper cause and effect demonstrates that it has, both, mutated as an institution into something far different than what it once was and has its worldview so genetically embedded, that it lost its ability to objectively address the issue.
Democrats that reject being labeled as socialists can thank Barack Obama for that. The 44th president metamorphized the party of Andrew Jackson. Its inoculation of Marxists and Islamists transformed the Democratic Party structurally and altered its objectives. Gone was reformism and simple welfare-state exaltation. Its purpose became a systemic overhaul. Personalities like Bernie Sanders and the “squad” are not the outcasts of the party, they are simply the extroverts. Hispanics quickly caught on.
Hispanics in the US, for the greater part, reject socialism. One can point out in commonsensical terms and argue persuasively that Americans of Cuban, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Bolivian, Ecuadorean, Colombian, Brazilian, Argentinian, Uruguayan, Salvadorean, Guatemalan, Dominican, Panamanian, Chilean, and Peruvian descent have, within varying degrees, all witnessed firsthand the impact of communist aggression carried out by domestic players with extraterritorial assistance from, first the former USSR and China, then from Cuba with the collaboration of Iran, Russia, and North Korea. The bad wrap that socialism has earned in Latin America is well deserved and partially explains its rebuff by Hispanics in America.
To suggest that Hispanics were conned and bought into the narrative of the socialist tagging without a careful examination is folly. The difference between socialism (Cuba, Venezuela) and social democracy (Norway, Finland, Sweden) is one that Hispanics easily deciphered and never fell prey to the semantic maneuvers of the Democrats, i.e., “democratic socialism” (non-existent). Additionally, many aspects of socialism clash with Hispanic idiosyncratic values such as religiosity, traditional family bonds, and respect for tradition. In other words, they are inherently conservative.
The Lefts “long march through the institutions”, an understanding originally coined by the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci and later rehashed in the 1960s by German activist Rudi Dutschke, engineered a path to permeate the institutions of democracy and capitalism with Marxist belief dogmas, seeking to render impotent the hallmark pillars of a free republic.
The dominance of culture in a broad hegemonic capacity was the specific game plan. The Critical Theory notion promoted by the group of German communists commonly referred to as the Frankfurt School stated that all power relations and the ensuing injustices were determined by the oppressive prevailing system (referring to democratic capitalist systems).
Depending on the particular branch of Critical Theory, e. g., race, feminist, gender, queer, postcolonial, etc., the villain/oppressor could be white people, the patriarchal order, heterosexual men, European ethnocentrism, etc. This amalgam of oppressed/oppressor proposals, ladened to “solve” the perceived ills of society through cultural appropriation, broaden Marxism’s original tenets. This is what is popularly referred to as cultural Marxism.
Where does Trump success with Latinos come from
BLM, a Marxist revolutionary phenomenon manufactured during Obama’s reign, embraces Critical Race Theory. The Democratic Party, a political vehicle overrun by the far left in this “long march”, are in absolute concordance with the underlying madness of suggesting there is systemic racism in the US Hispanics, by and large, rebuff that premise.
Many latinos dismiss systemic racism as a flawed characterization of race and power relations in America has been widespread. This has influenced some pundits aligned with BLM to insinuate possible racist tendencies among Hispanics. This is absurd and ignores the historical reality of race mixtures and blurriness among actual definitions of being black (i. e., mulatto, mestizo, etc.) in Latin America.
Donald Trump, from day one, chartered a course that rolled back stellar executive actions, policies, and laws from the previous administration that accommodated socialism’s long-term ambitions. The defense of religious liberty, championed by Trump, challenged the sustaining principles of perceived grievances that were held together by interpretations of “injustice” stemming from broad Critical Theory interpretations.
In legal cases where religious liberty was challenged on confronting issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and contraception policies relating to insurance requisites, Trump-appointed judges’ offered solace to the faithful. By upholding key conservative principles, Hispanics established a bond with the president.
America’s policy toward communist tyranny in the Western Hemisphere took a 180-degree turn from the previous administration under Trump’s watch. Hispanics in the US took note. Under the guise of “engagement,” Obama refurbished the old and failed détente policy of the 1970s, the one which handed worldwide communism a field day. With communist Cuba, the infamous Castro-Obama pact was, in practice, reversed. More than 132 measures that facilitated cash transfers to the Castro regime were either abolished or administratively watered down.
The Maduro dictatorship, a colony overseer of Cuban communism, felt for the first time in decades, serious systemic challenges to its brutal existence. The failed narco-state that now socialist Venezuela is, had never experienced such confrontations from an American administration. Clearly, Trump understood that the problem of socialism in the Americas was one of integrated partners acting in collusion with subversive entities such as Colombia’s FARC and ELN, the Mexican drug cartels, Iran, China, Russia, and North Korea.
Seeing the threat in such multilateral detail, proved a boom in curtailing much-needed funds for these regimes to repress their people and cling to power. The Trump policy towards Latin America has remained one where freedom and respect for human rights became prominent objectives and established a higher moral standard in American hemispheric policy.
This whole picture is what the Democratic Party and pollsters callously missed. Rooted in identity politics socialism, today’s Democrats demonstrated their aggregate misunderstanding of Hispanics. This proved, as the voting patterns made clear, that despite the immense diversity in peoples from Latin America, a rich, conservative underpinning is the common denominator thread. Even within Hispanics that came to the US for non-political matters such as Mexican Americans, the fact that border counties across the American Southwest evidenced a dramatic upsurge in Hispanic voters choosing Republican candidates, was empirically proven.
Some have referred to this phenomenon as the New Right. Perhaps it is. The common bonds that are shared by this majority group of Hispanics are faith in God, love for their nation, bonding of family, respect for tradition, the embrace of the free enterprise system within a legal framework that upholds law and order, limited government with its powers separated between different branches, and the inherent value of each individual. These core principles, interestingly enough, were innately shared and championed by the Founding Fathers. This is good. Hispanics, it seems, will continue to add much-needed oxygen and spirit in this awesome fight to preserve the American Republic. It could not have come at a better time.
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.