A Word from the Former President

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

For the most part he seemed to have dropped out of sight. Former U.S. President George W. Bush has rarely been seen or heard from. Personally, I take no pleasure in reporting anything the former president does at present. However, he does have an important message for not only his brother Jeb Bush running for the Republican candidacy for the office of president but also to all of the Republican candidates. That message is NOT to ignore nor denigrate the Latino vote. Are you listening Donald Trump?! According to George Bush, any Republican candidate who ignores the Latino vote does so at their own jeopardy. And frankly, Bush is right. The Latino vote can be a deciding factor in a close presidential race. One example is what happened in 2012. The former Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, lost the election largely because the overwhelming number of the Latino vote went to Barack Obama. Romney got 27 percent of the Latino vote, while Obama got the rest. This vote in so many ways broke the Republican Party.

What is totally weird is that the Republican Party in large part has not learned this hard lesson. Strangely enough, Donald Trump has been viciously attacking Latinos (primarily Mexicans and Mexican Americans), and this is costing him and the whole Republican Party what can become a swing vote. There is no question that Trump has become the poster child of the angry white (non-Hispanic) vote, but this will not be enough for the presidential election. In some ways, it is not enough now—the Republican candidate Ben Carson is now stealing Trump’s thunder. But the message should be clear to any and all Republican candidates—the Latino vote is important, and attacking Latinos can amount to killing one’s chances at becoming president. For it is important that the President of the United States represents all Americans, and no one part of the electorate. Former U.S. President George W. Bush’s message to all of the Republican candidates should be loud and clear on that point.

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