After they were crushed in the 2012 election, Republicans wrote a post-mortem document that advised the party to reach out to Latino voters more than any other group if they wanted to be a viable political entity. Romney lost Latinos by 44%, – an increase from the 2008 margin of 36%, which was a huge jump from John Kerry’s advantage with those voters of only 9% in 2004. It was a disaster. And in that same time Latinos have gone from 8% of voters to 10% of voters in 2012, and that is expected to continue rising.
And now along comes Trump. Thanks to his blatantly racist rhetoric and attacks on Latinos, it now appears that Latino immigrants are signing up to become American citizens just to stick it to the current Republican front runner.
Over all, naturalization applications increased by 11 percent in the 2015 fiscal year over the year before, and jumped 14 percent during the six months ending in January, according to federal figures. The pace is picking up by the week, advocates say, and they estimate applications could approach 1 million in 2016, about 200,000 more than the average in recent years.
While naturalizations generally rise during presidential election years, Mr. Trump provided an extra boost this year.
Trump started his campaign by calling Mexicans drug traffickers and rapists, and it has only gotten worse as the national spotlight has shone on his campaign. He’s gone after blacks, Muslims, women, and Asians among others. But his campaign of hate against Latinos has been non-stop, even targeting the current and former presidents of Mexico.
And his target audience has responded. Trump fans have beaten up Latinos, while citing their hero for their motivation, as children have begun using Trump’s rhetoric about building a wall on the southern border in order to insult Latino kids.
The Republicans have turned a blind eye to racial intolerance for a long time, choosing to court the support of racists in close elections while pretending not to hear their hate speech. Trump’s rise shows that it’s too late, and that this strategy could now spell complete doom for the Republican Party.
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