Memo From Middle America | Hispanic Voter On Rubio: “He’s Cuban. I’m Mexican.” (What Happened To “American”?)
January 31, 2016, 03:23 PM
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As VDARE.com’s Washington Watcher has said, no-one really has the faintest idea who will win the GOP Iowa caucuses on Monday night. But (again) the usual suspects are trying to talk up a surge for Florida Senator Marco Rubio anyway, for example Is the sun coming out for Marco Rubio in Iowa? By Sean Sullivan, Washington Post, January 30, 2016. So it’s worth repeating that whatever else Rubio offers, improving the GOP’s standing with Hispanic voters is not one of them. As VDARE.com has been saying for years, there is no uniform “Hispanic” identity that would respond to a Cuban-American candidate. (Last November, I wrote “Memo to GOP: Rubio is a Cuban. Most Hispanics are Mexicans. It’s not the same thing.” ) And, right on cue, the Main Stream Media has just discovered this:
Maria Herrera, a 62-year-old retired casino housekeeper, feels no affinity for Marco Rubio even as he aims to make history as the first Hispanic president of the United States. As she explained: “He’s Cuban. I’m Mexican.”

“Rubio says things that are not good for Mexicans,” Herrera said, adding that she supports Hillary Clinton. “I would never vote for him just because he’s Latino…”

Wait, is she saying they’re not both Americans?
…in several key swing states—Nevada, Colorado, Florida and Virginia—most Latinos are not Cuban. Most lean Democratic—and identify more with their country of origin than with the broader terms, Hispanic or Latino, for those from Spanish-speaking countries.”

[‘He’s Cuban. I’m Mexican.’: Can Rubio and Cruz connect with Latino voters? by Mary Jordan, Washington Post, January 10, 2016]

Ironic. Rubio supports Amnesty and yet he is still rejected as not being “good for Mexicans.” There’s more going on here than just their immigration positions.

Note that the WaPo’s Jordan claims Rubio and Texas Senator Cruz, also Cuban, “are [each] competing to be the first Hispanic in the White House,” as opposed to the President of the United States.

It would be disastrous for American union in the long run if they did embrace some pan-Hispanic identity. But such an identity is not how most people classified as Hispanics think of themselves. As Steve Sailer wrote in VDARE.com way back in 2001:

Republicans concoct hare-brained schemes like Newt Gingrich’s attempt to grant statehood to Puerto Rico in order to win over the fast growing Mexican immigrant population. Since Republicans don’t know much about minorities, nobody told Newt that Puerto Ricans aren’t immigrants, aren’t fast-growing, and aren’t Mexicans. Republicans tend to feel that "minorities is minorities." If you do something nice for one group, they’ll all appreciate the gesture.
Now, in 2016, WaPo’s Jordan has discovered the existence of “long-standing tensions between Cuban and Mexican immigrants,” except both communities seem united in their opposition to the immigration positions of Cruz and even Rubio (maybe they’re confused as to what they are, understandably). This, we are told, “could dash the GOP’s hopes that Cruz or Rubio could do what few Republicans have been able to do in a presidential election: attract significant Hispanic support.”

Jordan writes that “Mexicans” in Las Vegas were interviewed for her article, including several who were illegal immigrants and others who weren’t eligible to vote. Why Mexicans who couldn’t vote were interviewed is a separate question, but those “Mexicans who are citizens” (a revealing phrase) said they were voting for Clinton.

Most importantly:

Mexicans who make up so much of the workforce said it would be far more meaningful to elect the first Mexican-American president than the first Latino. Many said they would vote for a non-Latino over a Cuban American. In two days of interviews, not a single Mexican said he or she supported Rubio or Cruz, and even some Cubans said they don’t plan to support either Cuban American candidate. [Emphases added].
So much for Rubio as the Great Latino Hope.

The supposed revelation that Cubans and Mexicans are different is only a surprise to do those who have no experience with either culture. Being married to a Mexican, having lived there, and continuing to visit Mexico regularly, I’m well aware of Mexican culture. And when I visited Cuba I noted extensive differences—racial, historical, and even culinary.

And Cubans were more difficult for me to understand. That’s not surprising, as I resided in Mexico a decade and a half and continue to spend over a month in Mexico annually. My wife is Mexican and we converse in Spanish.

Years ago, before we ever visited Cuba, my wife had told me a joke about Cuban pronunciation. When I visited Cuba I discovered that the joke was accurate!

But there’s also a significant difference in how Mexicans and Cubans are treated under American immigration law—with the latter given far more favorable treatment. Mexicans have always resented this.

WaPo’s Jordan also reported the tensions between Mexicans and Cubans. One restaurant owner was quoted as saying: “Eighty percent of the Mexicans don’t like the Cuban people.”

(As for the Cubans, they mostly favored Rubio over Cruz. In fact, Cruz was so unpopular, Trump had more supporters.)

Republicans will meet disappointment if they insist on viewing “Hispanics” as a bloc. As Democratic strategist Andres Ramirez told Jordan, some Hispanics would vote for a particular candidate “just because they’re [sic] a Latino, just like some people will vote for a woman because she is woman — but that is not the majority.” As for Maria Herrera, who led the article:

“[S]he was more interested in having the first female president than the first Latino president. What Clinton says is more appealing to her than what she hears from Rubio or Cruz.”
In fact, Donald Trump has garnered support among Hispanics because many believe he will create jobs. A poll of Hispanic voters from mid-December ranked Rubio as the least popular of five candidates: Trump had a 24% favorability rating, followed by Ted Cruz at 22%, Jeb at 20%, Carson at 13% and Marco Rubio at 11% [New Poll Shows Trump Leads GOP Field Among Hispanics, Records 24% Favorability, by Tim Dionisopoulos , MRC TV, December 21, 2016]. A new poll confirms Trump the favorite among Latino Republicans with 38% as opposed to 15% for Cruz—and just 8% for Rubio! [Trump winning over Latino Republicans, poll says, by Marlsa Schultz, New York Post, January 31, 2016].

Personally, I doubt the majority of Hispanic voters would support Trump. But there’s no reason to believe he’ll do worse than a typical Republican. He might well do better among assimilated and working class Hispanics concerned about jobs.

And the MSM claim that “Latinos,” whatever they are, will turn out en masse to vote against Trump has little evidence to suggest it. Indeed, most Latinos seem uninterested in voting. Latino turnout was under 50% in 2008 and 48% in 2012, down to 27% in the 2014 midterms.

As James Fulford reports, Latino voters are likely to be a non-factor in Monday’s Iowa Caucuses. In the 2008 caucuses 3,500 of 50,000 Latino voters bothered to show up. (In the overall state population, about 20% of Iowans participate in caucuses).

And yet, the Narrative rolls on. We are told there is this “Hispanic” vote which will defeat anyone who opposes it, unless there is a “Hispanic” put up to appeal to them. And the MSM is even pretending this is going to be crucial in Iowa [Iowa Latinos left high and dry by presidential candidates, by Matt Vasilogambros, National Journal, January 21, 2016].

The truth is, there’s no reason to believe any of this. Any party or campaign which believes it is almost certain to fail.

Unfortunately, they call the GOP the Stupid Party for a reason.

American citizen Allan Wall (email him) moved back to the U.S.A. in 2008 after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here ; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.