Why The Conservative Latino Voice Matters
Values that many Latinos in the U.S. choose to hold dear are deeply linked to who we are as Americans, transcending political affiliation, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. They are the beliefs for which our founding fathers sacrificed their livelihoods and the dream for which many traverse land and sea to find. The Latino population forms an undisputed part of this American experiment, counting for more than half of the overall U.S. population growth since 2010. The 2020 election reflected the diversity of this community, with President Donald Trump gaining a historic number of Latino votes from numerous Democratic strongholds. For anyone paying attention to Latino culture, this shouldn’t be a surprise. The Latino population and its political leanings are a rich reflection of native-born Hispanics who identify with American culture alongside generations of immigrants who fled corrupt ideologies propagated by their nations of origin.
Ironically, conservative Latinos have consistently been overlooked, and are instead relegated to an irrelevant corner of the presumed Latino experience. The gender-inclusive term “Latinx” for example, is foreign to 75% of the Latino population, with only 3% actually using the word. Leftist aims at treating Latinos as an experiment are irresponsible and selfishly dishonest, as they completely ignore the very beliefs that have defined Latino culture for hundreds of years. When examining the data, the conservative Latino voice can be found in both the emerging generation of Americans seeking to mold their political identity and the immigrant newcomer fighting for a life that only this nation could afford.
The importance of faith cannot be understated for the vast majority of Hispanics in the United States, with 69% identifying with Catholicism. However, this begins to shift amongst the American-born generation and their children, with only 16% of the immigrant population identifying as Protestant as opposed to 30% of first-generation Americans. So, what does this mean?
As witnessed since 2016, Protestant support for the conservative movement has strengthened immensely. 92% of Latino evangelical Protestants cite religion as highly important, in contrast to 66% of Latino Catholics. This trend points to a growing conservative segment within a younger population typically associated with liberal thought. Although first and second-generation Hispanic-Americans are more likely to be religiously unaffiliated and supportive of abortion and gay marriage, the data suggests that a highly faith-driven, younger population is also emerging, bucking any Leftist attempt at exclusively labeling Latino youth as poster children of the Democratic Party.
Faith isn’t all that drives the conservative movement amongst Latinos, however. The Republican Party platform has consistently courted Latino voters since the 1970s, with the President’s recent expansion of the Party being a more surprising example for those who misunderstand the Latino experience. Cuban and Venezuelan Americans, hailing from impoverished socialist nations, were the most vocal of the anti-Leftist Latino groups during the 2020 election cycle, although they weren’t alone. Mexican Americans in South Texas identified with the President’s push for economic growth, expressing frustration with stagnant Democratic leadership. Entrepreneurship & individual economic prosperity are integral pieces of Latino culture across nationalities, with the number of Latino business owners growing by 34% since 2009 and outpacing the U.S. economy’s growth by 14% during President Trump’s tenure. Mr. Biden’s promise to essentially end the oil industry and repeal the Trump tax plan won’t likely allure this entrepreneurial population, making economic nightmares such as the Paris Climate Accords or Green New Deal absolute political disasters when aiming to build back lost Latino votes.
Clearly, the Conservative Latino voice makes headlines. Perhaps, it shouldn’t. Instead, it should be accepted as a matter of fact, based not only on traditional indicators but steady trends that have nurtured the conservative Latino ideology in spite of patronizing liberal rhetoric & destructive economic policies. Although most registered Latino voters are Democrats, growing pockets of registered Latino voters are largely unaffiliated, reflecting a highly diverse electorate whose political nuance goes far deeper than what Democrats have been running on for decades. Instead, what drives many Latinos, whether politically affiliated or not, are the foundational principles that have made this nation the success that it is, promising a more prosperous future based on the freedom to fully pursue it.