Friday, October 7, 2016

Will Latino vote be our savior and devastate Trump camp come Nov. 8?

I’m not surprised by the tidbit from this week’s vice presidential debate that had Republican running mate Mike Pence trying to dismiss his Democratic opponent Tim Kaine’s repeated criticism of GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s attitudes toward Mexico as “that Mexican thing.”
PENCE: Wants us to back off 'Mexican thing'

As in wanting us all to think that Trump’s comments aren’t significant, and that we should disregard what may well be the most outrageous views put forth by the New York real estate developer as he tries to become our nation’s president.

A PART OF me knows we shouldn’t take Trump too seriously with regards to his comments about Mexicans now living in this country being “rapists” and “drug dealers,” along with the idea of a federal court judge from Indiana not being fair to him in a lawsuit because the judge is of Mexican ethnic descent.

The part of me that thinks of electoral politics in a purely strategic manner knows this is something that Trump said to catch the attention of the segment of the nativists and xenophobes in our electorate who he thinks can put him over the top come Election Day.

Trump may not have as irrational a hang-up with regards to Mexicans, or Latinos in general, as his rhetoric would indicate. He may even think more highly of us than he does of fat chicks, or any other group that he has chosen to demonize. Who's to say which of Trump's nonsense-statements ought to be taken seriously?

In short, we’re the political punching bag being used so that Trump can get the support of the would-be voters whom Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has dismissed as the “basket of deplorables.”

WHICH MAKES THE significance of the 2016 electoral cycle that we determine whether such tactics can continue to work in our ever-evolving society.
A key factor come Nov. 8?

There once would have been a time when it would have appeared to be common-sense political science strategy to single out Latino voters – they didn’t vote in large-enough numbers enough to matter.

Which brings up the comparisons to George Wallace, the Alabama governor of old who made his own presidential bids trying to get the votes of those people who yearned to keep the segregated way of life in this country.

How else to interpret, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”
Too many similarities between Wallace and Trump

WALLACE LATER IN life said of his own racially-charged rhetoric that it was a lesson he learned early in politics when he lost a campaign because his opponent tagged him with a label of being too friendly to black people.

As Wallace put it, his offensive rhetoric was because, “I will never be out-niggered again.” Does Trump think he won’t be “out-beaner’ed” this time around and thinks there are enough votes of people who’d encourage such thought?

The reality is that those kind of people often do live in such isolation, and really want to believe they’re the only ones that matter. Which means a Hillary Clinton presidential victory could be an earth-shattering event to their mentality; with some of them, I’m sure, still trying to recover from the shock of the past year years of having a president with too much melanin for their sensibilities.

Then again, it does mean that as much as Trump thinks he has hard-core supporters, he also has outraged enemies.

PARTICULARLY FROM THE Latino vote, which the Miami-based Latino Decisions group has said will be nearly insignificant for Trump. They said Thursday his Latino support will be somewhere between 9.5 percent and 20.5 percent, with next to no Latinos bothering with Libertarian or Green candidates.

Not just Madonna's kid breaking a piñata

Which means Hillary gains Latino votes – largely because we find the GOP opponent to be too much of un pavo to take seriously, except perhaps as part of a Thanksgiving Day dinner. Which may be the way we celebrate a Trump defeat and being spared the misery of such an egomaniac gaining electoral office.

The study says Clinton could very well take more than 72 percent of the Latino vote – which is what her husband, Bill, took in 1996. Or the 71 percent that Barack Obama received in 2012. Actually, 76 percent to 82 percent is figured most likely. Many Latino activist-types may wind up being praised for saving us from xenophobes shoving a Trump presidency down our throats – even if it means backing the woman who aroused our laughter when she absurdly tried comparing herself to a Latina grandma.

If only Trump could have kept his mouth shut about Mexicans, perhaps he might have had a chance. But then again, an ego-less, non-arrogant Trump would be about as real a concept as the 2016 World Series champion New York Mets.


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