A sign in Spanish urges Latinos to register to vote. Photo by Chris Stone

By Raoul Lowery Contreras

America’s share of fools elected Donald Trump, a lifelong Democrat, as President in 2016. They are the people — mostly with no history of being Republicans — trying to re-elect him.

These non-Republicans were cheered on by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham and other Fox News/OAN talking heads who manifest total ignorance of the demographic changes in America.

In every presidential election since 1968 in which Hispanic voters have been counted and studied, if 35% or more voted Republican, the GOP candidate won. Those winners included Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

During what amounted to a Republican epoch, only one Democrat denied a Republican candidate candidate a 35 percent slice of the Hispanic vote. That was a conservative Southerner, Jimmy Carter. 

So, when Limbaugh makes statements about Republicans unable to win the Hispanic vote, he displays surprising ignorance.

Despite a history of success in electing Presidents with Hispanic help, there are many Republicans intent on running Hispanics out of the party simply because they are Hispanic.

Rabid anti-Hispanic Republicans — like Trump and his nativist guru Stephen Miller — create an anti-immigrant atmosphere like California in 1994, when Proposition 187 appeared on the ballot. That racist measure denied state benefits to the undocumented, and put school officials and hospital admission clerks in charge of labeling anyone they wanted as an illegal alien.

Proposition 187 only made the ballot because the California Republican Party shelled out $350,000 for petition signature gatherers.

Raoul Lowery Contreras

It did so under direct orders from then Gov. Pete Wilson. His advisors deny Wilson’s complicity, but the party would never spend that sum without the personal approval of an endangered incumbent.

Wilson has not changed much. He returned to the public eye this week to endorse Donald Trump for reelection. The once moderate has joined those who are busy burying the great Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln.

Unlike Wilson, I will not surrender and I will not turn my back on the party I have supported since I was 11 years old and wore an “I Like Ike” button to school in the 7th grade.

I draw the line here and now. I will fight. And I am not alone. 

With Trump’s impending loss, Hispanic Republicans can fill the defeat-induced vacuum after Nov. 4. Voters in Idaho nominated Raul Labrador for Congress and he won. In New Mexico, Republican voters made political history by electing Susanna Martinez as governor. 

New Mexico, by the way, was the second state to have a Hispanic governor; California was the first. Both lawmakers were Republicans. The third state was Nevada with Republican Brian Sandoval serving as governor for two terms.

My fight is reinforced by those governors and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. We will not lose this fight to rebuild the Republican Party with Hispanic support.

There are 62 million Hispanics in the country with a million more born every year. They are America’s newest economic class with a business formation rate nearly double that of whites. Recent studies show that if America’s Hispanics were a separate country, it would be the 7th largest economy in the world.

The political clock starts ticking on Nov. 4. 

Raoul Lowery Contreras is a Marine Corps veteran, political consultant and author of the new book White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPS) & Mexicans. His work has appeared in the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.