After the recent debate many pundits, including this one, took to their perches and pontificated on how the president didn’t measure up. But what many of us were forgetting is that the president’s performance wasn’t meant for us, be we for or against his reelection. It was meant for voters and, despite first impressions, he seems to have done decently there.
Though, with one group he seems to have done better than decently. He did well, very well. And that group is Latins.
No, not dead Romans, but what is usually called Hispanic or Latino. Not only did they not mind the screaming, they loved it. They really like the president’s tough guy bravado and interrupting, as it’s also a part of their culture. How do I know this? I grew up in that culture. It turned me into an Anglophile. But that’s just me.
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Even the Latin television networks, in very unscientific post debate polls, showed the president clobbering Biden 2 to 1. Why? Well, as said, they like Trump’s machismo. But also Latins are bereft, at least when it comes to politics, of the greatest sin in politics and perhaps the most annoying trait of anybody, anywhere, at any time: earnestness.
Oh, about matters of the heart and other secondary public topics Latins are absurdly earnest. One look at a telenovela will confirm that. But in politics the opposite is true. Just think, when a Latin Banana Republic throws out a government for a junta the generals are not sensitive types. I mean, Augusto Pinochet was not warm and cuddly. Only the less testosterone crazed Western nations delve into that political staffing pool, with predictably disastrous results. No? Two words: Jimmy Carter.
Though conservatives have our earnest types too. But they usually get caught in an affair with a stripper or barking up some religious tree. But the good thing about conservatives as that we realize that as a group politicians are one level below child molester on the moral scale. So we shrug, chalk it up to business as usual, and move on.
On the other side of the aisle, of any aisle, there is nothing quite so loathsome as a sanctimonious and earnest politician or “activist.” You see them all over the place, covered with their own drooling saliva, when a question of public policy comes up. With cold eyes and fists clinched, they feel duty bound to instruct us all on our failure to meet their self-described high moral standards.
Latins, being a rather fun loving and decadence inducing people, and I say that as a compliment, don’t usually fall for the hayseed hokum of the moral arbiter of the hour, be those nitwits a bluestocking spinster screeching about diversity or an excruciatingly sincere wee slip of a man lecturing on any topic that he has little or no personal knowledge of or experience in. They prefer the bully boys and the bruisers who talk directly and walk with a masculine swagger. Since the Democrats got rid of the species after Bill Clinton, Trump has picked up the slack. He won’t get a majority of Latin votes. But he could pick up over forty percent.
And not just from the usual Latin Republican coalition of Cubans and South Americans. For as we’ve said before, Latins are absolutely not politically monolithic. Hence even the term Latin vote is misleading. But the president, because of his aggressive manner, is starting to pick up steam with Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans, traditionally Democrat groups. If that continues, a rude surprise will await Democrats on election day.