Latinos to Power

Since the unforgettable Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four elections, a constitutional rule now limits the amount of time a president can occupy the White House to two terms. If it were not for that, Barack Obama — who in the last two years of his second term has offered his best and brightest — could become president once more. Why? Because today he is the only politician in the U.S. who could gather the votes of Latinos, African-Americans and those who disagree with Chinese imperialism.

The 2016 campaign has begun and we can see two distinctive tendencies. The first one: The set of Republican candidates who will seek to conquer the Oval Office. The second one: The hegemony that Hillary Clinton has, for now, over the Democratic process to replace her former enemy, then ally, and afterward, boss. In the meantime, there are 50,000 new Latino voters every month and about 55.4 million U.S. citizens of Latino origin who already represent over 17 percent of the country’s total population.

Latino voters have not only been the key to the 2008 and 2012 elections, but are now also demanding policies that go beyond the “hola, amigos” or the “hasta la vista, amigos,” the few phrases in Spanish that some U.S. politicians have directed at them. Obama did not have the strength to pass the immigration reform, but he had the courage to present it and to accuse the parties, especially the Republicans, of a lack of political sensitivity and intelligence for not approving the reform.

Today, Latinos — with more than 70 percent of their voters born in the U.S. — have nothing to do with the days in which Ronald Reagan, for election purposes, decided to legalize almost 3 million immigrants. Back then, they and their children were ashamed to speak Spanish. Now, speaking it gives them an advantage, ability and something to defend themselves with. Besides, we must take into account that the majority of Latino voters follow Univision, the Hispanic network that is currently running an extensive condemnation campaign against Mexican politics and their president.

Latinos, who have a different way of life from African-Americans, are asking the contenders and the parties for offers and policies that are not based on Social Security, food coupons or government charity. Today, the Latino community aspires to rule. It seeks success, not charity. It has become more competitive and will speak up more and more with time. It appears that neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties are able to build a political offer that goes beyond the fact that they need Latinos only to win.

Obama’s ability to talk to them, despite being the president who has deported more Latinos in the history of the country, could be a decisive factor when tilting the Latino community’s vote. On the other hand, an indisputable fact: The demographic growth of minorities in the U.S. shows that Asians and the Chinese — who are not the same — will become, in the coming years, one of the most important minorities, which will mark a significant change.

Latinos and African-Americans never depended on their past. They have sentimental values linked to their origins, but they do not have the political structure to repeat a culture based on their ancestors. However, the Asian community will always respect their elders, regardless of whether they came from Taiwan or Shanghai. Therefore, whoever manages to control them will control their vote.

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