Hispanic votes will decide the next inmate of the corporate jail called the White House. It will not be the first time that the Hispanics will decide the fate of presidential contenders President Bush and Sen. John Kerry. It was the Hispanic vote, which put the Kennedy in the White House. It was the Hispanic vote, which brought Carter to the White House. And it was the Hispanic vote, which pushed this present corporate prisoner George W. Bush in the White House.
The rise of the Hispanic Power on the political horizon of this country is an amazing story. Even the word American-Hispanic was used first time in 1950s. Before that Hispanics of today were called Californois, Nortenos, Tajanos, and Mantos. In 1970s, the word American was dropped and Hispanics were identified as only Hispanics. This is terminology, which is used to identify Hispanics today.
The one factor, which played the key role in making Hispanics kingmaker of the United States of America, is their numerical strength. At this moment they are 40 millions strong. Every eighth American is of Hispanic origin. Any presidential contender cannot ignore these numbers. It does not matter whether he is Republican or Democrat. Their numbers in different regions of the country and in different states make them maker or breaker not only in the presidential horse race, but in state and city elections also.
Note how their sheer numbers can affect the outcome of the presidential elections. In the Northeast, 13.3 % Hispanics reside as compared to 20.5 % Non-Hispanic Whites. Northeast consists of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. In the Midwest, 7.7 % Hispanics resides as compared to 27.7 %Non-Hispanic Whites. Midwest represents Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. In South, 34.8 % reside as compared to 33.3 % Non-Hispanic Whites. Southern states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. In the West, 44.2 % Hispanics lives as compared to 19.2 % Non-Hispanic Whites. West includes: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Note from another angle the future role of the rising star Hispanics. It is the age factor between Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites. Young population means more potential for an ethnic group or a nation. Aging population means less potential of an ethnic groups or a nation. Hispanic are 34.4 % under the age of 18 years as compared to 22.8% Non-Hispanic Whites. Hispanic are 60.5 % between the ages of 18 to 64 as compared to Non-62.9% Hispanic Whites. Hispanic are 5.1 % 65 years and over as compared to Non-14.4 % Hispanic Whites.
Another factor, which make the Hispanic vote a decisive factor in the presidential election, is there concentration in some states. For example, in New Mexico they are 42 % of the state population. In Arizona they are 25% of the population.
How to lure the Hispanic votes? Different presidential contenders crafted different strategies to bag the Hispanic votes. Speaking in Spanish, showing concerns for the issues important to Hispanics, requesting the services of the Hispanic leaders, offering cabinet posts to the Hispanics, naming Hispanics to the White House staffers, consulting the Hispanic leaders in decision making process about Hispanic are some of the tactics which presidential candidates used to get the attention and the votes of the Hispanics.
Cases in points are: It is said that candidate Carter was the first to address the Spanish audience in Spanish. George W. Bush also cashed his Spanish language while running for president. Kennedy campaign formed viva Kennedy organization in Southern west. President Nixon gave the Hispanic leadership a final say in allocating the government fund to the Hispanics. Candidate Bush allocated $ 2 million for Spanish language advertisements. These Spanish advertisements targeted five states with large Hispanic population.
Realizing the importance of the Hispanic votes, Democrats and Republicans are trying to win the ‘hearts and the minds’ of Hispanics. In the coming election, it will be Hispanic governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, who will chair the national convention in Boston. The first presidential debate sponsored by the Democratic National Committee will be translated in Spanish and broadcasted statewide.
Republicans are also trying to increase their share of the Hispanic votes. President Bush flirtation with the guest-worker program was painted to win the Hispanic votes.
Some analysts are trying to minimize the importance of the Hispanic votes. They are labeling the Hispanic votes as a block vote an ‘artificial box.’ and a myth. They point to the different national origins of the Hispanics. They claim that there are no similarities between Mexicans Americans, Cuban Americans, and Puerto Ricans and among other Hispanics. They also assert that the Hispanics are unable to form a united front.
This analysis is flawed for many reasons. Hispanics are one of the most monolithic groups in the world. They share the same language all over the Hispanic World. They share the same culture and their aspirations in America are the same. If Europeans Americans from different countries and from different cultures can be sandwiched in one group why cannot then the Hispanics from different countries. How is culturally a French similar to a Russian? Even in the European Community, every nation speaks its language. French speak French, British speak English, Germans speak German, and Spanish speak Spanish and so on.
Hispanic should be very careful about the Republicans. They are trying to lure the Hispanics on their side. They know that the Afro-Americans are wedded with the Democrats. They do not hope to chip the Afro-American away from the Democrats. But they hope that they can increase their share of the Hispanic votes.
The ideological division between the Hispanic and Afro-American will make them less effective in politics. At this moment they are 80 million if they pull together. But if they pull on the opposite side, it will be suicidal for both of them. They will not be in a position to bargain with the either party.
Both presidential candidates heavily depend on the votes of the minorities. Hispanic, Afro-American and Asians are about one hundred million. In other words, every third American is a member of Community of Color. There first demands should be a vice president from these communities. New Mexican governor name is heard again and again as a potential vice-president. If this happens, it should be welcomed. Second, in some election cooperation between the Communities of color was not exemplary. Any candidate of the Community of Color should have the full support of all the member of the Community of Color. They should avoid pitting the member of their own community against each other whether it is a mayoral, council, assembly, state senate, governor, House of representative or Senate election.
It is not chance that there is no Hispanic or Afro-American Senate in the U.S. Senate. The reality is White Democrats does not vote for a candidate who is member of the Community of Color. It is not a chance that Bronx President Ferrera could not win even the Democratic primary in spite of the fact that Community of Color is 65 percent of the New York City population. Whites are only 35%.
Time has come that number should be counted and cared. The solution is not to desert the Democratic Party but to control it with sheer numbers. Then used it to get the fare share. Is it racism? No. It is fairness. When majority is not willing to give the fair share, minorities have the right to demand it and get it. And beware who are posing Hispanics as a threat to the U.S.A. He is the author of the ‘Clash of Civilization.” His new book hints on these lines. Source. Hispanic Tuesday. Archer Book. U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Demographic Supplement to the March 2002 Current Population Survey. League of United Latin American Citizens.