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Cultural wars burn Trump’s Latino gains with blue collar

Parra, who dislikes the “defund” slogan but does not aim to stop police violence, said Trump’s improved position with Latinos in the midst of protests reflects a little-discussed issue in Spanish society: anti-blackness. It is an attitude held by other Latino commentators as well as Black Lives Matter protesters.

In context, the debate over Trump’s gains with Latinos is a microcosm of the broader lines of error in American politics that break with race, class, gender, age, religion, region, and culture. The GOP increasingly represents an older, strongly white conservative coalition of working class people, churchgoers and small business owners. Meanwhile, the younger Democratic Party includes a more progressive assortment of highly educated whites and people of color from all educational backgrounds.

“Something with them [Hispanic] voters are more important than what we might call cultural issues that many people on the left are obsessed with, ”said Ryan Enos, a political geographer from Harvard University who was among the first to tweet a graphic showing the connection between Hispanic voters and increased support for Trump nationwide.

“Most Latinos in this country are working class,”

; Enos said. “One has to assume that this identity of being working class is more important than this identity of being Latino.”

Drama in the valley

In Texas’ majority-Spanish-speaking Rio Grande Valley and along the Texas border, where Trump did good to a Republican, progressive organizer Ofelia Alonso pointed out that “Latino” is a broad and imprecise term for members of an ethnic group where people identifies. as a black, white, native, Asian, Middle Eastern, or mixed race.

“Many people who voted for Trump while they are Latinos, they are also white,” she said, pointing to the city of Harlingen as a Trump-supporting “white city with money” or South Padre Island, where “The demographic class and race is different from other parts of the Rio Grande Valley. More people have money and they are really organized around the fact that they may not be taxed that much and they feel the need to protect their wealth. ”

Biden fared far better with Latin American voters in the more populous Latino-heavy areas around Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. But overall, Trump lost the country’s majority Spanish counties by a combined 12-point margin to Biden. In 2016, Trump lost them by 20 points.

From the start of his candidacy, through the primary and well into the parliamentary elections, Biden’s outreach to Spanish voters came under criticism from critics in his own party. In southern Texas, Alonso said, Biden gave the community “nothing to organize around.” The president-elect at times distanced himself from voters who were not threatened by socialism or “fired the police” – or who supported Sanders.

Rep.Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York, a Democratic socialist like Sanders, spent the days after the November 3 election similarly back on moderates who accused Latinos of Biden’s close call for fluctuating states or the loss of non-voting Democrats. She noted that moderate candidates who refused her help lost their races.

But unlike those congressional seats, Ocasio-Cortez’s Bronx-based district is more progressive, though that did not stop Trump from performing better there. Preliminary election results show the president earned 29 percent of the vote in the district compared to the under 20 percent he received in 2016 against Hillary Clinton.

In Texas, Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar questioned his losing colleagues, pointing out that their California counterpart Gil Cisneros was defeated in a race in which his opponent presented him in emails about socialized medicine containing Sanders’ picture. .

“What Trump did is understand the fundamental values ​​of Latin Americans,” said Cuellar, a Conservative Democrat who survived a primary challenge from the Justice Democrats group that helped drive Ocasio-Cortez to Congress. He said Latinos along the border are deeply patriotic, businesslike and favor the development of fossil fuels because of the jobs it entails, he said. Oil industry jobs and law enforcement were the two biggest issues Republicans ran on.

“It simply came to our notice then. When they talk about taking oil and gas jobs away, it’s real, ”Cuellar said.

Republicans tarred Democratic candidate Gina Ortiz Jones in her run for the 23rd Congress District in Texas as a “radical socialist,” according to one of her consultants, who did not want to speak on record and described the candidate’s biography as a “hat trick for conservative terror. : a woman, a person of color and homosexual. ”

Miami chaos

As the Trump wave rose in Latino communities along the Texas border, it was a tsunami in Miami-Dade County that drowned two Democratic congresswomen, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala.

Miami-Dade is the state’s largest county with the largest Latino population. Trump lost there by nearly 30 percentage points in 2016. He lost it by just 7 points in November, the result of spending four years devoting time and attention to communities scarred by left-wing dictatorships and guerrillas: Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Colombia.

“The fear of socialism is real and engraved for those of us who fled dangerous places in search of the American dream,” Mucarsel-Powell tweeted on Wednesday.

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