The 2016 presidential election is one of the most important in many years. Not only the White House is in play but also the Senate and, after Judge Antonin Scalia’s death, even the future of the Supreme Court. Whoever gets the most votes will be the winner in November, and, in this case specifically, it will depend on who can bring the most voters to the polls.
For Latinos, it’s very important to participate because this race will decide the future of President Obama’s executive actions – which, if canceled, would leave millions of people exposed to deportation. Also at stake are the survival of Affirmative Action programs, consumer protections at the Supreme Court, and a legislative balance provided by a Senate able to stop the excesses of the House of Representatives.
Today, none of the three main Republican candidates are trying to appeal the moderates, as they seek to secure the support of the conservative base. And the two front-runners do not even seem interested in tacking to the political center, as usually happens in the general election.
Donald Trump’s populist strategy seeks to expand the electorate by attracting the right-wing disillusioned vote, comprised by the 45% of voters who did not participate in 2012. Ted Cruz, for his part, hopes to bring to the polls millions of evangelists fed up with a political system that, according to them, ignores and even persecutes their values.
Most likely you can find Latinos in those sectors, because Hispanics are everywhere. But both strategies completely ignore the Latino electorate and its priorities – be them economic, social or on immigration. Latinos have rarely come across a challenge of such magnitude.
Every election we hear the same phrase about the power of the Latino vote. This year it must be made a reality. Otherwise, the future of the country could be very bleak if Trump or Cruz get effective control of the three branches of government. It is crucial that those who can become citizens act immediately so they can register and vote. Voting is the best defense against politicians who ignore and attack out community’s interests. Act now!