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The Republican candidate for the US presidency, Donald Trump, during a campaign event in Selma, North Carolina (USA). Photo: EFE

[OP-ED]: Don't Let Trump's Fascists Intimidate You into Not Voting

It won’t be pretty, it could even become ugly, but even if it does Latinos cannot allow fascists and racist bullies to intimidate them into not casting their votes and send public enemy Donald Trump packing once and for all on November 8.

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It won’t be pretty, it could even become ugly, but even if it does Latinos cannot allow fascists and racist bullies to intimidate them into not casting their votes and send public enemy Donald Trump packing once and for all on November 8.

The intimidation of Latino and black voters is exactly what a ragtag menagerie of Ku Klux Klan members, and assorted neo Nazis and white supremacist militias, well aware that Donald Trump will never get the minority vote, will attempt on Election Day. Of course, as it has happened before, it may turn out to be nothing more than the empty bluster of a ridiculous bunch of cowardly bullies.

The fact is that Trump and his white supremacist devotees know Latino votes will play a decisive role in the coming election, so it’s not surprising for them to do everything in their power to try to stop Hispanics from getting to the ballot box.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Latinos now make up a record 12% of all eligible voters. Their numbers have reached 27.3 million this year, an increase of nearly 4 million since 2012 alone. And they overwhelmingly lean favor the Democratic candidate over the GOP bully who has built his campaign on threatening and vilifying them. A big turnout of Latino voters can make the difference for Clinton and the Democrats in battleground states like Florida, and even Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. 

That’s why the racist groups plan a “show of force” in different parts of the country to “monitor” polling places. Their purpose is to bully Latinos and blacks into forfeiting their right to elect a President that, contrary to Trump, will not abuse, persecute and disrespect them and their families.

“Imagine having a president who demeans women, mocks the disabled, insults Latinos, African Americans, the disabled, POWs, who pits people against each other,” Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, said in Arizona on Wednesday. “We really don’t have to imagine what it would be like, because everything he has said and done — both in his career and this campaign — is a pretty good preview.” It certainly is.

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The sorry army of fascists and bigots, empowered by Trump’s white supremacist candidacy, and with the excuse they fear a “rigged election,” feel they can get away with pushing around Clinton’s sympathizers. 

Yet there is too much at stake for Latinos –as well as for blacks and other minorities-- to allow these hateful bullies to deprive them of their right to vote. The disgraceful Republican candidate has been successful in winning the profound contempt of the Hispanic community, the great majority of which will never help elect such a bigoted bully.

“The possibility of violence on or around Election Day is very real,” Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Politico in an interview. “Donald Trump has been telling his supporters for weeks and weeks and weeks now that they are about to have the election stolen from them by evil forces on behalf of the elites.”

Trump lies once again when he calls on his followers to be vigilant on Election Day about a non-existing voting fraud and an imaginary rigged election. It is us, Latinos, blacks, women, and Muslims who must be vigilant and willing to decisively push back against intimidation attempts by Trump’s racist bullies who, in reality, are terrified of a massive Latino turnout on November 8. 

Yes, it is a wonderful feeling to know that we, Latinos, can put an end to the Trump nightmare with our votes. Let’s not miss this unique opportunity.

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