November 4, 2020

The state of Florida went Republican last night because of President Trump’s massive gains in Miami-Dade County — typically a Democratic stronghold. It was, most likely, the Cuban-American vote that swung it. The county still went for Biden, but the margin was so slim — especially when compared to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 performance — that Democrats, and pleasantly surprised Republicans, have been shaking their heads and asking the question: how did Trump, the beacon of the white working class, perform so well with Cuban-Americans?

The short of it is that Cuban-Americans, staunch Republicans due to the GOP’s anti-communism rhetoric, were always going to break for Trump. But the massive gains signal the birth of a broader political realignment, which aims to transform the Republican Party from a white working class party to a multicultural working class party. The coming days will show that it wasn’t merely Cuban-Americans who strongly favored the President in Miami-Dade, but also Venezuelans and Nicaraguans and other Latinos previously considered unattainable by Republican think-tankers. To put it simply, the President, to the dismay of Democrats who’ve labelled him xenophobic and racist for years, built a formidable Latino coalition.

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The driving force behind this realignment is the fact that the blue-collar sensibilities that drive the white working class also animate Cuban-Americans and other Latinos. Many Latinos, and especially Cuban-Americans, are ferociously patriotic and have a deep love for America, a country that grants them the ultimate immigrant dream: if you work hard, you get to play hard. The month leading up to the election has been one big party in Miami, with caravans, concerts, and massive boat parades. If you’ve been to one of these raucous events like I have, you realise that they have an all-American good-times NASCAR vibe to them. You might hear more Spanish than English and run into various salsa dancers, but there’s an unmistakable American energy to these get-togethers — it’s all freedom and fun and unironic Americanism.

Democrats, so often embarrassed by America’s more “uncouth” elements, are no doubt mystified by this jovial Latino Americanism, because they fail to see what is most obvious: Latinos see themselves not as Latinx, or even Latino, but as Americans.

Democrats increasingly miss the obvious due to their commitment to wokeness, an ideology that will never be popular with proud working-class Latinos. The elite media class and woke Democrats have somehow convinced themselves that in order to ingratiate themselves with Latinos they must talk down to them and act as white saviours to these poor “people of colour.” This is repellant to Latinos, but especially to Latino men, who are traditionally masculine and will never accept the victim label the woke love to thrust upon chosen minorities.

Post-election numbers will show that Latino men went for Trump in massive numbers — and not just in Miami-Dade — as the touchy feely, feminised wokeness of the Democratic Party is the antithesis of the machismo found in Latino male spaces. The Cuban-American UFC fighter and Miami resident Jorge Masvidal, who recently stumped for Trump, is a prime example of the type of guy drawn to the President’s bravado. There are many others out there like him. Masvidal, who is certainly rough around the edges and a certifiable badass, would make the Democrats cringe with his “problematic” tastes and beliefs; but he represents the young, urban Latino male — unlike the effete and focus-grouped Lin-Manuel Miranda, a Democratic Party favourite.

Which brings us to that lovely word so beloved amongst the young, hyper-woke consultants that so often set the tone for the Democratic Party: Latinx. I’m not saying that the usage of Latinx has led to the Latino realignment, but the commitment to a word that is incredibly unpopular to the group that it is supposed to signify, says it all and speaks to a greater Democratic failure: woke Democrats believe that merely assigning a group a label grants them dominion over said group.

Latinos, many of whom left countries that sought to impose their will on them, will resist this dominion at all costs. This should be common sense, but as the Democratic Party increasingly focuses on the fringe beliefs of woke elites, the failure to see the obvious will only increase. The “socialism is coming” angle of Trump’s Latino outreach, for instance, was considered fear-mongering by the Democrats, but it never occurred to them that this would be an extremely potent message to Cuban-Americans and other Latinos that had escaped repressive regimes and who actually fear socialism; instead of allaying the fears, they criticised the messaging.

It should go without saying but let me spell it out to the Democratic Party: Latinos come to America because they want to live in America, which means that they want to be Americans. They don’t want to be Latinx or “people of color” or token trinkets without agency. It’s right there in the name after all: Cuban-AMERICANAmerican. If you look, instead of label, you just might see it.