DALLAS – Conservative Latinos pushed back at an MSNBC contributor’s claim that Latino voters are in a “crisis” because so many have distanced themselves from the Democratic Party and voted for President Donald Trump in 2020.
“What we’re seeing right now is a cultural identity crisis that we are undergoing as a community that is completely splitting and dividing Latinos,” MSNBC contributor Paola Ramos said earlier this week.
Mercedes Schlapp asked a group of conservative Hispanic leaders to respond to Ramos’ charge during the panel, “Common Values, Common Interests & Common Culture: How Conservative Latinos Will Influence the Future of American Politics” at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference.
Is it true their community was facing a “crisis,” Schlapp wondered.
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“No, absolutely not,” said Betty Cardenas, the Republican National Hispanic Chairwoman. “We are waking up. I think the Latinos are finally waking up.”
Maria Salinas Miller and Bianca Gracia of Latinos for America First were also quick to refute the MSNBC contributor’s assertions.
“Yes, it’s a crisis for the Democrats,” Miller told Fox News, turning around Ramos’ argument. “Because we’re coming for those votes.”
“There’s the misconception or the myth that just because we’re minorities that we’re supposed to vote Democrat, and we’re trying to tell them that’s not what we align ourselves with…We base our vote based off of our value system,” she continued. “Those tend to be most aligned with Republican candidates.”
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Consistently, the conservative leaders cited socialism, abortion, and education as the top policy issues for their demographic. Cardenas urged Hispanic parents to start making inroads in their local communities, as many are concerned about what children are learning in government-run, union-controlled schools.
“The education our kids are not our values,” Cardenas explained. “The same education…is not what our children are getting now. Social studies has completely been discontinued. And now they put some programs that are completely against our values and it’s teaching our kids more on sexuality.”
The only way they can make a difference, she said, is to “go and vote” and take back their local cities.
Gracia spoke to socialism specifically as a reason Latinos are fleeing the Democrats, noting that struggling countries like Venezuela and Cuba, where protests recently erupted amid a burgeoning economic crisis, are an important lesson for the U.S. to protect freedom at all costs. President Trump took his anti-socialist message to Hispanic communities in the 2020 campaign season while progressive lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. promoted socialist progressive policies.
“The Democrat Party is pushing a message of socialism and communism which do not resonate with our communities at all,” Gracia explained. “They have fled communism and socialism…and they don’t want it here in this country.”
“The Democrat Party has left us,” she concluded.
“Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy joined in slapping down Ramos’ argument in a recent segment, calling the narrative “racist.”
“The Hispanic voter is getting more sophisticated and more nuanced,” Campos-Duffy said. “And they’re not responding to the, ‘they’re all racist,’ thing that the Democrats are trying to say.”
“Hispanic voters are looking and saying which party is going to protect my wages, protect my neighborhood, protect my family and my Christian values, my pro-life values,” she added.
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Despite his eventual loss to President Joe Biden, Trump won 38 percent of Hispanic voters in 2020, a 10-point bump from 2016, according to analysis from the Pew Research Center.
“We’re done with the pandering,” Cardenas said. “We don’t want fake politicians that come and lie to us and just come every election cycle. We’re holding them accountable. President Trump promised something, and he kept his promises, and we saw the results.”