Opinion: Latinos and the Rise of Trumpism
Updated: Apr 7, 2021
The Latinos for Trump campaign was originally founded as an online platform in early July 2016. Its overall purpose was to promote Donald Trump’s candidacy in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, since the organizers believed that Trump represented their needs. Latinos for Trump was a movement that shocked many, while motivating and inspiring others. Some found this group shocking because of Trump's historical anti-immigration policies and rhetoric, but those who admired him often had a personal history with socialism that led to their support of Trump.
In the 2020 presidential election, it was recorded that 30% of the Latino vote went to President Donald Trump. Historically speaking, it is not a big surprise, because since the Bush era there has been a huge political divide within this racial and ethnic group. George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign was known for appointing Latinos to head various grassroots groups, sending surrogates to speak with Latinos across the country and running ads on various radio and television channels. Because the Bush campaign made such an extensive effort, he won a greater share of the Latino vote in 2004 than any Republican presidential candidate before him. According to The New Yorker, since the Latino population had been rapidly growing over the past 30 years, the Republican Party had to work with them in order to win and proceeded to show their success in the 2000 presidential election.
Though the Republican Party had already established a base for Latino conservatives, the question emerges of why there was such a huge increase in support in the 2020 election. According to a BBC News interview, many of the Latino or Hispanic voters who supported Trump were first or second generation immigrants from Venezuela or Cuba. The reason why many of his voters came from this background is because they resonated with his anti-communist propaganda, as well as his opposition to abortion rights and other progressive policies that the Democratic Party had been pushing for over the decade.
Although these are some of the arguments that have been presented, there is also some speculation that those who support Trump do so because they are entranced by his macho allure facade. One article from The New York Times says that Latino men may admire his forceful and unapologetic attitude. They also recognize Trump as a symbol of economic success compared to his competitors.
Though this is just an overview of the growing support of Trumpism within the Latino community, it is always fascinating to understand the reasoning and history behind cultural phenomena such as this.
By Sofia Gomez, Podcasting Director