The Latino vote: A minority with a majority force
When it comes to reforming national politics, minorities are always the key, although the big parties insist on bypassing them.
On Tuesday, December 12, a Democratic candidate won the Senate race in Alabama after 25 years of Republican control. According to polling data, 47% of voters said they supported the Democratic Party, while 43% said they supported the Republican Party. As CNN said in its analysis, "It doesn't take a political genius to conclude that Republicans have a brand problem". And if that problem is evident in the conservative heart of the country, what happens then in the rest of the territory?
While President Trump has managed to put the Republican Party in the eye of the hurricane, it is the voting population that has determined the course of national politics.
With a majority in both Houses, the GOP has gradually become a party behind a president and not the other way around, as is often the case in the best democratic scenarios.
And this political phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by the American community in general, who has resorted to the polls in an impulse to rebuild a crisis through the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right.
Elections such as the governmental ones in Virginia - which resulted in a Democratic governor, a transgender legislator and two Latino women representatives -, those of the Municipal Council in Minneapolis, those of the mayor of Montana and those of Charlotte, are just a sample of the popular response to the staunch conservatism that aims to establish the new agenda of the White House.
But not everything is blue and red in national politics.
The constant risk of bipartisanship is the annulment of independent opportunities (see the case of Bernie Sanders, for example) and the risk that "a lesser evil" may not be the solution to the root problems.
Although the Republican Party is going through one of its worst identity crisis in history, its democratic counterpart doesn’t have all the answers for the population that urgently needs an optimal representation within the legislative bodies.
After the tragic defeat of the 2016 presidential elections, no representative of the Democratic Party dared to evaluate damages within the same Party. None, except the Democratic activist Karen Bernal, who organized the so-called "Democratic Autopsy”, a research coalition to get to the bottom of the Party’s representation and scope problem.
Much of the findings of this investigation rest on the same point: the party's efforts continue to focus on an aggressive battle against the Republican Party, instead of advocating the participation of minorities and underrepresented social groups.
Before the elections in Alabama, the Autopsy already claimed that "after having suffered a lack of participation by the population of color in the 2016 general election, the party seems to be losing ground with its most reliable voter block: the African-American woman.”
According to data of the Black Women's Roundtable published in July 2017, the Democratic Party would have lost "11% of the support of black women, while the percentage of women of color who claimed to be represented by no party increased from 13% in 2016 to 21% in 2017."
And the picture is not very different in the case of the Latino population.
The Hispanic Caucus of the Congress criticized in its moment the strategy of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, assuring that "it had not contracted enough Latino consultants who had experience working with the communities".
The constant omission of racial minorities within the national political machinery is a mistake that no party seems to want to amend.
According to the analysis of Latino Decisions - a platform of research and political opinion - 42% of the Latin American community in the United States tends to vote for a Latino representative in their community, versus 34% who usually support the candidates simply for being part of the Democratic Party.
Given this data, the recommendation is obvious: it doesn’t matter the internal crisis that Donald Trump’s Party may be suffering nor the outdated strategies that the Democratic Party intends to maintain in view of the 2018 elections; the real solution to the tortuous path that the US government seems to be choosing is to give a voice, once and for all, to the real driving force of the country: the immigrant community.