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My Growing Concern with The Latino Vote (Why instead of moving forward we continue to fall backward)

Updated: May 9, 2023

Once again I find myself participating in an election season and, once again, I find myself dreading the outcome. Not just the results of the elections, but the aftermath of what is to come. If I sound worried, it’s because I truly am. As I see it, there is one side of the political pendulum that will never ever be satisfied with a fair game; they deny election outcomes, push disproven conspiracy falsehoods, promote theft and spread FEAR. Especially towards newly naturalized citizens, who now have earned the privilege to vote in our elections – many of which belong to the Latino voter base.

Come on a quick journey down memory lane, with me, to about 45 years ago. This was when my mother, on my 18th birthday, took me to a voter registration event at our local church. Mind you I wasn’t too interested, just as many of our youth are today. I was focused more on my college applications and graduation that were due that following summer. Afterall, these were more pressing matters that had a more direct effect on my life. But my mother managed to put it in simple terms for me; she managed to communicate to me the importance of voting when she said “Nena, if you don’t register, then you’re not a concerned citizen, nor a concerned American. If you don’t vote then you don’t have the right to complain, me entiendes?” That statement has stuck with me, all the way until today at my 64 years of age.

I began to take that pearl of wisdom seriously when I started seeing my stepfather wake up earlier than usual, to simply stand in line for hours only to be rationed one full tank of gas until he could get some more later that week. Some of you reading this may have even lived during that very specific time in our nation’s history. He drove a taxi part-time and he had to have his tank full at all times. When they say that events from the past can, and may repeat themselves, they weren’t joking. The NYC that I lived in during my teen years was all about the Three D’s (Death, Destruction and Debt!). There was a memorable front page with Mayor Beame showing President Ford stating “DROP DEAD NYC”. No Bailout for New York City. So, the more I read, the more I shared with my crew; my school friends and with my family.

That’s when I got bitten by the activist bug and joined with my school friends ASPIRA. I embarked on a voter registration mission to get as many of my classmates within my age, and nationality, to register to vote (Including my Stepfather). Yet despite all of our efforts, many still would not register and if they did, would not go out to vote. Stating “Once we get them in, they keep us all out! So why should I vote? They simply don’t understand us or I don’t who to vote for.” The difficulty in getting people to participate in our elections is almost no different today than it was back then – especially for Hispanic voters. Back then it was misinformation, today it is still more of the same, but now it is presented with a new twist: a very specific political party tries to emotionally manipulate this block of voters by sounding false alarms about the “threat” of SOCIALISM and COMUNISM. According to this party, the Democratic Party is merely pretending to love America; they’re only pretending to be capitalist.

This time around it’s not just about the economy – it’s more about the outright lying

to a voter block and pitting families against one another, simply because of what has been

injected in them by wolves in sheep’s clothing. They say that the other party wants you to live like you did in your former country of origin. In other words, the other party is a demonic socialist entity, wanting to take what is rightfully yours away. That, my friends, is an example of tactics meant to misinform us and take advantage of our collective fears as a group. And it ironically comes from the same party that wants many of our members to go back to our native lands! The same party comprised of people who get mad when we speak Spanish in a country that supposedly celebrates freedom of speech and the very same party that voted for a man who believed most southern immigrants are dangerous!

It is projected to be that the Hispanic voter population will exceed 34.5 million in 2022, up 5 million from 2018 (According to the Pew Research Center), so imagine what these figures will look like come 2024. Keep in mind that the Pew Research Center has viable information that is being tapped by both parties. The information there should be looked at by voters, not just politicians. Many of us voting Latinos are unaware of the vital information gathered by this agency and others available with the click of the mouse. Anyways, this is why they are trying so hard to get our votes at any cost – they know they cannot win the future without us. Because the future of this country truly belongs to us. But make no mistake: they do not care about us.

But back to my concern with the Latino voter. More and more I am seeing Latinos being conditioned by groups and organizations of which unfortunately are not truly in-tune with what differences there are within our Hispanic demographic. It is only recently that both parties are beginning to delve deeper into these areas. But unfortunately, there is one political party that has outplayed the other by utilizing the weapon of FEAR. The fear that this nation may turn into a Chavez/Maduro’s Venezuela, or a Castro’s Cuba. My advice to those of you falling for this trick is: don’t concern yourselves with such falsehoods. Simply re-read the history of this nation, which I am sure you had to learn forwards and backwards in order to earn your citizenship during your naturalization process. Ask yourselves - am I being told the truth? Am I searching for answers in the right place or am I taking a shortcut and allowing someone else’s opinion to convince me otherwise? Is this person, or group, even reliable?

If you came to this country for a better life, then ask yourselves what many Americans ask themselves also day in and day out. Are you ok with your Social Security being gutted and taken away? Are you concerned about adequately safe, affordable housing? What about the right to choose when it comes to your body, your lifestyle and your future? These are but just a few questions I have, as a Latina voter. There are many more issues affecting us directly and indirectly where my Latino voters are not placing much emphasis on. And this concerns me.

So, I ask you, les pregunto mi gente, which is it? Are you going to do your homework and research factual information versus lies? Are you going to fall in line like a cult and vote for someone who does not have the qualifications or tack in dealing with what’s important? Are you falling for the same old red-scare tactics of the Cold-War? The same message we saw in 2010, 2012 and 2016? The country is still here and still free. Listen, eschucha, I have lived in this GREAT nation since 1958, I have lived through SIX democratic Presidents and not one of them have tried to overthrow the government, not one of them have tried to impose socialist agenda on this nation. You’re being misled. But as for me, many of you have let me down, you’ve let yourselves down, and our future Latino generations down, by living in the past and allowing those who know your fears of the past to manipulate you into believing that it will happen here. I pray that you all realize sooner, rather than later, how vulnerable you were and how “THEY” took advantage of you. Hopefully you can remedy this at the polls. So, to ALL my fellow Latinos – register to vote, vote locally and nationally. Never give up your heritage for a simple candidate/party. But most of all, get educated/informed and always ask this simple question: WHY / PORQUE?!

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