|Will Latinos turn Trump into electoral piñata?|
You remember? His spiel that Mexicans were rapists and drug dealers, and that erecting that barricade along the U.S./Mexico border would be a significant boost to the national security?
TRUMP AND HIS operatives always figured it couldn’t hurt them to talk like that because there just wouldn’t be enough Mexican-Americans to cast ballots. And such talk likely would inspire the nativist element of society that Trump is counting on to prevent him from electoral embarrassment come Tuesday night.
Now I don’t doubt that the xenophobes amongst us will be motivated to turn out and vote. Heck, I don’t doubt that in the isolated parts of the country, they will be dominant and will create political maps with large swaths of red.
Tainted, in the ideologues’ minds, by those pimples of blue that represent the urban areas where people (including voters) actually live.
But the complicating factor from the Trump perspective is the Latino vote – which has been on the rise but also shows signs of significant numbers of Latino voters can be apathetic.
WHICH IS WHAT makes the Miami-based Latino Decisions group intriguing. It shows an anticipated record-high Latino vote for the 2016 election cycle. As many as 14.7 million Latinos casting ballots in the Tuesday elections.
With some 79 percent of those anticipated to vote for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. Another 3 percent are expected to be amongst the contrarians voting for Libertarian or Green candidates.
Trump may well have motivated people with their ethnic origins in the rest of the Americas to think of Hillary as their friend. We laughed sarcastically when she tried comparing herself to a friendly abuelita, but we clearly see Trump as that Yankee imperialist whose view of Latinos is one of how he can exploit us by building his garish hotels in our neighborhoods, and get some of us to work for as close to minimum wage as he can get away with.
Kind of like the way our organized crime interests tried turning Havana into their hotel/casino paradise – which motivated certain people to give power to a tyrant like Fidel Castro.
IT DOES SEEM like Trump will have no one else to blame but himself if he does not prevail. If he had kept his mouth shut and been the least bit respectful, perhaps he wouldn’t have people already turning out at early voting centers to ensure they cast their ballots against him.
Then again, a Trump that is respectful would not really be Donald Trump. His brash bluster and arrogance is what makes him (and he alone) think he is fit to be president.
Of course, if a strong Latino vote really does turn out to block Trump’s presidential aspirations, THAT is what will be perceived by the ideologues as the “rigged” element of this year’s election cycle.
Because as they probably see it, only people like themselves ought to be allowed to vote – just like in the old days, which weren’t nearly as great as some would like to believe they were.
PERSONALLY, I’LL BE watching for all the bits of evidence that crop up to indicate just how strong a Latino vote will turn out to be – because it could be the evidence of the growing strength of the Latino electorate.
As in Trump may have opened up the can of worms, so to speak, that his ideologue-types would have preferred remained sealed shut.
Because as the Latino vote (which back in 1992 when Bill Clinton became president only accounted for some 4.3 million votes) continues to grow (a record-high 11.2 million in 2012 that will be shattered again this time around), it will only be more difficult for the xenophobes amongst us to prevail.
Which means that in the end, those of us with an interest in growing Latino political empowerment may wind up thanking Trump for being the guy who made the masses realize how stupid his attitudes truly are!
EDITOR’S NOTE: A website for those who want to view pictures of people smashing piñatas in the image of Donald Trump. Or, you can just wait until Election Day and see how severely we vote against him.