End the duopoly

The past and future of Latinx voters.

Robert F. Kennedy and Herman Badillo in rhe Bronx in New York City during Badillo’s campaign for Bronx borough president, 1965. (Bettmann / Getty) When considering debates about political formulations as nebulous yet as desperately crucial as “the Latinx vote,” it can be vexing to consider those Latinx who vote Republican. In the age of Covid-19, Black Lives Matter protests, and radical right Trumpism, how could they exist? What common ground could Latinx voters possibly find with the Republican Party and its current fusion of fascistic nativism and deadly bottom-line billionaire capitalism? After all, are Latinx not, in the eyes of the Trump faithful, the living embodiment of the dire threat that Samuel P. Huntington saw to “the distinct Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers”?

Viewed from New York City, the center of the Northeast left-liberal bubble, where Latinx politics has long been driven by Puerto Rican Democrats, it can be easy to forget that going back to the 1960s, a substantial number of Latinx voters nationwide have consistently voted for Republican presidential candidates. And while Hispanic Republican support peaked at 40 percent for George W. Bush in 2004, the sobering reality is that Trump’s Latinx support was somewhere between […]

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