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Latinos and the future of political parties
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By David Conde

There are long time Republicans leaving the organization because it appears that it is becoming something other than a party and other than Republican. The Party is splintering and many in the membership are looking for alternatives.

The Trump faction that has taken over the Republican Party is a fringe group that gives voice mostly to White nationalists and to a drive to hold on to power. This group is willing to give up democracy if it means that it can continue to predominate.

This posture was dramatically evident in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Although many Republican Senators admitted to believing the former President to be guilty of inciting insurrection, the majority in their ranks voted not to convict.

So the Republican Party is the Party of Trump made up of extreme activists and a dwindling base. Republican elected leaders are caught in the middle and for now think they have to toe the line if they want a political future.

This evolving situation is extremely important to the Latino community because one third of its political presence and activities are in that party. Latinos that are not part of the right wing fringe element are also caught in the middle of this relatively new dynamics and wondering where to go.

Sometime ago, I had a long conversation about this with a friend that happens to be a Latino Republican. He was thinking of leaving the Party because of this and the embarrassment and discomfort with the new reality.

As an advocate for a strong two-party system and the need for the Latino community to have a voice in both, I advised him to stay and work from within the Party to bring it back to its original intent. Today, I would have to think long and hard before giving him the same advise.

Over the years, I have come to accept the notion that it is the American way to take things as they are created and work to improve them through incremental change. If we look at history, we can see that, by and large, this approach has worked well for the country in most areas.

The hardest to address for improvement, however, has to do with accommodations for ethnic, racial, gender diversity and equal economic opportunity. These appear to be the most difficult issues to solve as the divide between rich and poor is growing and demographic minorities are becoming the majority.

Although the current national political focus appears to amplify the historical issues between Black and White Americans, Latinos constitute a center-piece in both areas going forward. Also, the dynamics of a socioeconomic upward mobility spark by Latino immigrants and a reinvigorated Latino national space calls for political accommodations that one party cannot satisfy.

One of the major reasons for our divided country is because we are in a century-long “changing of the guard” and the Latino community is driving to have a major say in the results. I am convinced that the Latino historical journey in the 21st Century is one of the American epic stories that will inspire a new democratic order.

The social, economic and political forces that will guide Latinos and create a greater country will run a wide-ranging gamut from Liberal to Conservative and vice versa. There is no one political group that can represent all of those things.

Currently, Latinos are part of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Whatever the future changes, they will want to be included.





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