MAGA in the RGV

Mark Yzaguirre

Mark Yzaguirre

Mark Yzaguirre is an attorney in Houston, Texas. Opinions are solely his own. You can follow him on Twitter at @markyzaguirre

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar JoeSal
    Ignored
    says:

    “That being said, there is a particular sort of small-town, leave-me-alone conservatism that has a lot of support among Latinos.”

    I’ve been thinking how to explain this for months, and here you did it in one sentence.

    Excellent work.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to JoeSal
      Ignored
      says:

      Its not a philosophy confined to Latinos in Texas. I see it in spades in the white communities in southern Mississippi.

      Which is ironic because they keep voting for Republicans who very much don’t want to leave people alone.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to JoeSal
      Ignored
      says:

      There is a book called (I think?) “The 11 Nations of America”. It looks at distinct cultural areas that have emerged and what has informed them. We divide ourselves into Red and Blue, Republican and Democrat, Conservative and Liberal. But, really, it is a lot more complex than that. It is easy to paint the Northeast as a “thing” but Boston and NY are different.

      Republicans in Montana are different than Republicans in the Deep South. If we had more options, they’d probably vote differently.

      As divided as we are (or seem to be), there are also blurry lines.

      We may be on the verge of a RapRock situation. Eep!Report

  2. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Really well done. Considering the many dialects of Spanish that are spoken south of the US-Mexico border, it should come as no surprise that Americans of Spanish descent have a broad spectrum of political views. Frankly, being a Latin American historian’s kid, the results you describe are mundane and unsurprising.

    They also point out that while the Democratic Party keeps trying to be a Big Tent, they fail (as another Latinx recently pointed out) at competent election campaigning. They can’t really dial in on regional or local issues very well (e.g. oil in Texas) and they don’t down select local candidates who can win. I love me some Beto O’Rourk but he isn’t the guy (and initially it will have to be a guy) to run the Hispanic vote blue in Texas.

    Thanks for writing. I look forward to your future contributions.Report

    • Avatar y10nerd in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Re: Beto – it’s interesting because he might not be a great guy to juice the vote in the RGV, but is pretty good at juicing the suburbs plus the youth vote in Texas outside of the RGV.

      So there’s an interesting question about whether Dems in Texas (including me in this) thought that we would eventually win with a a large Hispanic wave are shifting to a model were we don’t include that in our eventual hope (just winning enough so that it isn’t a disaster) and we make up our numbers in the cities and burbs?Report

  3. Avatar y10nerd
    Ignored
    says:

    I actually grew up in Zapata County in the 90s and 00s and 1/3rd of my Facebook news feed is that (along with my whole family being from there.

    Some additional thoughts:
    https://twitter.com/FernyReyes2/status/1323878085658333185?s=20Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    Excellent post, looking forward to more!Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    One swallow does not make a summer, so those who are suggesting that the Latino vote, specifically the working-class Latino vote, is firmly moving towards the GOP need to calm down a bit.

    I do think that the working class Latino vote is one of those votes that can be won by appealing to it.

    Republicans, if they are not stupid, can be less unappealing to working-class Latinos than Democrats that are being stupid.

    If Republicans ever learn how to appeal to people (as opposed to merely being less unappealing), the Democrats will be in big trouble… and with more demographics than merely the Latinos.

    But betting on Republicans not being stupid is usually not the way to bet.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I met a guy through a work retreat once who offered a really interesting perspective. I’m paraphrasing, but he essentially said:
      “If the Republicans ever figured it out, Black folk would vote for them. We’re small-c conservative. We’re anti-drug… not pro-drug war but we see what drugs can do to our communities and we don’t like it. We’re old school. But they can’t figure it out. So we don’t vote for them.”

      How representative of Black Americans was he? I don’t know. But he himself held very liberal political beliefs. However, he felt that culturally, there was a lot of overlap between Black Americans and Republicans. But Republicans just pushed them away time and time again.

      I can’t say if he was right or is right (we had this conversation over 10 years ago). But it was a really interesting perspective for me to wrestle with.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        Obama got 96% of the AA vote in 2012. 96%! Like, that’s 24 out of 25 people! That’s absolutely *NUTS*.

        I mean, under normal circumstances, I’d say that that was something to look at with regards to election fraud. But then you look at Romney. And you look at Obama.

        Yeah. 96% sounds about right.

        There has to be outreach to the black community. And none of this bullshit “you know, Abraham *LINCOLN* was a Republican!” outreach either. Have a talk. Answer questions. Deal with being yelled at. Sit down and talk some more. Go home, go to bed, sleep on it. Go back later. Talk some more. Disagree about some stuff. Explain why. Listen to why they disagree.

        On one level, you’d think “this ain’t hard!”
        On another… if it’s so easy, why haven’t they done this?

        And they always fall back on the “You know… Lincoln was Republican…”Report

    • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      If Republicans ever learn how to appeal to people (as opposed to merely being less unappealing), the Democrats will be in big trouble… and with more demographics than merely the Latinos.

      A truism if there ever was one. Like you, I’m not holding my breath.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      “If Republicans ever learn how to appeal to people…”

      But to borrow a page from the other discussion post…what could they do to be more appealing? Literally everything they say is stuff that Latino voters agree with, except that it’s Republicans saying it and Latinoes just can’t get past that. Because they grew up with a steady drumbeat of “Republicans are bad, Republicans deport you, Republicans hate you, Republicans want to lock the border gates” and they just can’t ever not be thinking that.

      The future of American politics is the Democrats splitting into some kind of Worker’s Party and Progressive Party, and the Republicans just die.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        Maybe it’s the wall or the child separation or the outright hostility. Who knows.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        To some extent, aesthetics is a lot of it. It’s fashionable to be left and the lefter you are, the more fashionabler it is… In *SOME* subcultures. These subcultures include media, however.

        But what they could actually do?

        There has to be outreach to the black community. And none of this bullshit “you know, Abraham *LINCOLN* was a Republican!” outreach either. Have a talk. Answer questions. Deal with being yelled at. Sit down and talk some more. Go home, go to bed, sleep on it. Go back later. Talk some more. Disagree about some stuff. Explain why. Listen to why they disagree.

        They don’t even necessarily have to agree at the end of the day! They have to talk, though.

        They have to talk.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I will say that they’d probably get a lot of traction from looking at stuff like Yanez shooting Castile and saying “that guy ought to be in jail”, and not following it up with a “but, ya know, maybe…”Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        You elect one guy who says you’re all rapists and you never hear the end of it.Report

  6. Bryan O'Nolan Bryan O'Nolan
    Ignored
    says:

    Mark, this is a fantastic piece. Thank you for explaining the nuances of an otherwise muddy-to-the-outside-observer section of the American Electorate.Report

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