March 21, 2016

ME GUSTA TRUMP: PORTRAIT OF A HISPANIC TRUMP VOTER: The New Yorker’s piece is dripping with incredulousness, reading like a portrait of a rarely seen (and dangerous) species:

John Castillo grew up in Lincoln Heights, the heart of Hispanic Los Angeles, in a tight-knit Mexican-American family. His father’s name was Juan, but his mother decided to name their son John. . . .

After the Marines, Castillo moved back to California and went to work for U.P.S. He’s now an inspector for an aerospace company. He was once a Democrat but is now a conservative and a Republican. The transition happened in the Marines. “The way they scream at you, it hardens you,” he says. “It makes you understand the importance of respecting the law.” He also thinks travel helped him get rid of a “naïve” point of view that he associates with liberal politics. He believes in the importance of the Second Amendment. . . .

His Twitter bio reads “devout Catholic” and “lifelong pro wrestling fan.” He’s also a fan of Spanish-language radio, and he retweets Pope Francis and the W.W.E. with equal enthusiasm. And he is also a passionate supporter of Donald Trump.

Fourteen per cent of Hispanic voters say they will “definitely support” the Republican candidate in November, and Castillo, who describes himself as an “American of Mexican descent, in that order,” is not an anomaly in his support for Trump. Although eighty per cent of Latino voters held an unfavorable opinion of Trump in a recent Washington Post/Univision poll, a fifth of Hispanic Republicans said they planned to vote for Trump during the Party’s primaries. That level of support has remained constant in states with a discernible Hispanic presence. According to entrance and exit polls, Trump got just under half of the admittedly few Hispanic Republican votes in Nevada and a quarter of them in Texas, surpassing Marco Rubio in both instances. Rubio won Florida’s Latino vote (seventeen per cent of all Republican voters) by a wide margin, but Trump’s backing among Hispanics remained at twenty-six per cent. .  . .

Over several recent conversations, Castillo explained his support for Trump in meticulous detail. At times, he sounded like the many white voters who have been inspired by the candidate.  . . .

When I responded that plenty of those whom he wants to protect could potentially be deported en masse by President Trump (there are a million undocumented immigrants living in Los Angeles County, more than in any other county in the United States), Castillo rejected the idea that his views were contradictory. I’d much rather live surrounded by my own people than any other,” he says, “but illegal is illegal.” And yet, there is a possibility that gives him pause: What if Trump keeps his word and rounds up Castillo’s friends and neighbors? “If he were to try that there would be riots and uprisings,” he says, blinking rapidly. “If he did that I would fight back.”

The New Yorker writer, Leon Krauze, is a Mexican journalist and Univision news anchor out of Los Angeles. He is clearly baffled that any Hispanic would ever even consider voting for Trump because of Trump’s pledge to crack down on illegal immigration. He clearly assumes that illegal immigration–and illegal immigration alone–is the only issue of concern to Hispanic-American voters, in much the same way that liberal/progressives often assume that abortion is the only issue of concern to women, or affirmative action or police brutality are the only issues of concern to blacks.

The notion that an Hispanic, black, female, Asian, LGBTQ, or any other American could put “American” before these identity politics-driven categories is baffling to progressives. Yet Trump won the support of almost 3 in 10 Hispanic voters in the Florida Republican primary, almost half of Hispanic voters in the Nevada Republican primary, and 26 percent of Hispanic voters in the Texas Republican primary (the latter two States’ Hispanic population being heavily comprised of individuals of Mexican heritage). These are remarkable numbers, considering that the other two closest GOP competitors–Rubio and Cruz–are Hispanic-Americans and native sons in Florida and Texas, respectively.

Of course no one really wants to point out this inconvenient truth: Americans are Americans, and they don’t always march to the progressive, politically correct tune.