For those who may have thought Donald Trump’s presidential bid was a joke, it’s time to stop laughing.
There’s been a lot of talk about the power of the “Latino vote” this election cycle, but we are not just a demographic, we are a powerful force that will decide this election. And that power couldn’t be more necessary now that Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee.
As an American, a feminist, and the granddaughter of a political refugee from Cuba, I care deeply about encouraging the Latino community to register and mobilize to vote. Growing up, my grandfather taught me to value the democratic freedom we have here in the United States, a privilege that did not exist for him back home. He passed away long before I was able to vote but if my grandfather were alive today, he would be appalled that Donald Trump — an openly racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic candidate — may become President of this country.
The most terrifying part to me, is that his hateful rhetoric is actually resonating with voters across the country, as we have seen by his slew of primary wins that have solidified him as the nominee.
Trump would happily roll back women’s rights to the days of back alley abortions. He has said he would criminalize women who have abortions and the medical providers who care for them. And he would prevent millions from accessing basic health care at Planned Parenthood — an organization that provides health care to 575,000 Latinos each year and that is committed to serving patients regardless of their immigration status.
Not only is he incredibly sexist, he's a complete and unabashed racist. He has repeatedly called for a wall to separate Americans from Mexicans as if he was discussing a fence to keep wild animals out of his backyard. And his racism is not contained specifically to Latinos: He is racist against Muslims, saying they should not be allowed into our country, and we have seen him repeatedly incite violence against people of color who protest his rallies.
While Trump surges in delegates, his racist platform has reignited anti-immigrant legislation in states across the country. As the grandchild of immigrants and the daughter of someone with birthright thanks to the 14th amendment — a policy that Trump has threatened to repeal — I am deeply worried that a Trump presidency would tear my family apart, and I know I’m not alone.
We have a responsibility as Latinos to organize, mobilize, and vote. Beyond Trump, we have the power to shape the future policies that will impact our families and ensure that our priorities — as Americans who contribute to this country — become the law.
Fortunately for us, Donald Trump will never win the White House without us.
It’s time we come together as a the community take action and make our voices heard. It’s time we take to the streets and get everyone we know to vote, and thankfully, the revolution is already starting. Voter registration among Latinos has skyrocketed recently and a new poll found that 48% of Latinos are more enthusiastic about voting this year than they were in 2012. I’m thrilled to see that more than 13 million Latino voters are expected to cast their ballots in November, but we can’t stop there.
We can drive the final nail in Trump’s election coffin to bury his hateful policies, and let a new generation of strong and proud Latinos realize how much power and strength we all can have when we band together.
We cannot let Trump win. Thankfully we have the power to bring him down, it’s up to us.
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