News & Politics

'BuzzFeed': Rubio and Cruz Don't Have Latino Cred Because They're Not Mexican-Americans

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Ben Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, stand on stage during the Presidential Family Forum, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

No, really.

In an election of firsts, there is something else unique, sensitive, and awkward beginning to stir controversy that could shape the Latino vote. With Cuban-American senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in position to win the Republican nomination, many Hispanic voters may be presented with a novel choice: a Latino candidate for president, but one who probably doesn’t share their family’s cultural background.

While Rubio and Cruz’s fight last week over immigration policy — and their immigration records — were the main event at the last debate, there’s a demographic dimension that is beginning to surface as progressive activists and others begin leveling harsh accusations at both candidates partly informed by shared Latino backgrounds, but fueled by divergent cultural experiences.

Close to two-thirds of Hispanics are Mexican-American, while only 3.7% are Cuban. That disparity, and the ways Mexicans and Cubans have historically been treated by the U.S. government when they reach American soil, have created historic tensions between the two groups — and distinct political experiences. In 2013, when Pew Hispanic asked about leaders in the Latino community, Cuban-Americans identified Rubio, while Mexican-Americans ranked Sonia Sotomayor and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

This is yet another one of the weak, ethnic-parsing hit pieces that are mistaken for analysis by leftists. The author takes over 2000 words to say “No” to his headline.

Seeds of discontent must be sown, however. Can’t have the downtrodden feeling good about anything over in Left Land, can we?

Five academics who spoke with BuzzFeed News from across the country said Cubans are viewed as the most pampered Latino immigrant — that other Hispanic groups “chafe” at their special immigration status.

Geraldo Cadava, a Northwestern University professor writing a book on Hispanic Republicans said “tensions between Cubans and Mexicans threatened to tear apart” the leading advocacy group for Latino conservatives, the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, in the 1970s and ‘80s. He said beyond immigration, issues of race and class were also present because Cuban-Americans have traditionally been more upwardly mobile.

Mark Hugo Lopez of Pew Hispanic said he has found that among Latinos, Cubans are among the most educated and more likely to own their home, while Mexicans experience higher poverty rates and bigger families.

There’s a lot that could actually be examined there — especially the connection between “higher poverty rates and bigger families” — but that isn’t really the purpose of the article. Once they trot out the academics to fan the class-warfare flames, you can almost see the DNC fingerprints on it with the naked eye.

Some of us look at upwardly mobile people to see what we can learn and perhaps imitate, others just reflexively resent them.

What’s that you’re thinking? I haven’t provided enough evidence that this is merely boilerplate Democratic class warfare propaganda?

Anna Ochoa O’Leary, the head of the University of Arizona’s Mexican-American Studies department, argued there is a “privilege” that accompanies Cuban political candidates.

“Cuban candidates speak from a point of view of privilege where they haven’t struggled like other Latinos,” she said. “They come from a very different background and I would say they’re less likely to vote for those candidates after watching them fight over who slams the door the hardest.”

This quote is from a Mexican-Irish-American woman who heads up a department at a large university in a city (my hometown) with a significant Mexican-American population that has dominated business and politics there since before I was born.

The struggle is real, y’all.

I’m typing this from the second largest city America, where we just had a term limited mayor named Antonio Villaraigosa.

Let’s keep playing that lack of upward mobility card though, leftists.

I do worry about my liberal friends suffering permanent damage to their backs from constantly being forced to move goal posts like this.

Just four years ago, the Republicans were being denounced for being the party of old white men. As we move deeper into the 21st century, the Republican presidential field has progressed significantly on the diversity front while the Democrats are fielding a group so white it’s practically translucent and so old they’re missing parts of debates for bathroom breaks. Naturally, the diverse candidates on the GOP side are now not the right kind of diverse.

For the time being, leftists get away with the arbitrary assignation of diversity credibility because the media lets them. There will be thousands more words written in the next several months about how worrisome Marco Rubio is because he’s fluent in Spanish, rather than embracing him for it. If they repeat that he’s scary often enough, he’s scary.

After eight years of having President Obama’s Harvard Law degree flung around by the media as if it were a super power, we don’t see much about it lending anything to the ideas of one Senator Ted Cruz, who happened to have had a more stellar career as a lawyer before going into politics.

But hey, a woman named O’Leary says they’re not Latino enough.