The Rise of Hispanic Religious Republicans - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Rise of Hispanic Religious Republicans

The New York Times is famous for its anthropological studies of conservatives — what wags have called “gorillas in the mist” coverage. The newspaper’s latest anthropological installment is “The Rise of the Far-Right Latina.” That smearing label tells us less about the three Hispanic Texas Republicans profiled in the piece than it does the paper’s hysterical liberal bias and the left’s general obtuseness. Even prosaic conservatism, grounded in the country’s history and traditions, qualifies as “far-right” to woke reporters like Jennifer Medina, who never bothers to examine in the article the “far-left” character of the Democratic Party and progressive movement that is driving Hispanics into the arms of the GOP.

Medina does correctly report that Rep. Mayra Flores and other Hispanic politicians in Texas gravitated to the GOP not because of any moderate outreach by country club Republicans but because of the party’s perennial platform in favor of patriotism, faith, and the traditional family. Flores ran on the slogan “God, family, country.” (To the Times, this is bafflingly reactionary.)

“For years, Texas Republicans tried to win the Hispanic vote using a Bush-era brand of compassionate conservatism,” Medina writes. “The idea was that a moderate’s touch and a softer rhetoric on immigration were key to making inroads with Hispanic voters, particularly in Democratic strongholds along the southern border.” But that’s not what Hispanic voters wanted, she says, observing that Flores won her seat in a deep blue congressional district by “shunning moderates” and “wearing her support for Donald J. Trump on her sleeve—more Marjorie Taylor Greene than Kay Bailey Hutchinson.” (READ MORE: What the Victory of Mayra Flores Portends for the Democrats)

One hopes the GOP leadership is taking note here. Its success with Hispanic voters is contingent upon rejecting the wokeness of the Democrats, not aping them. It is the glaring contrast between the parties that explains the defections of Hispanics to the GOP. They come from a traditional culture that has little time for the gender and race obsessions of the Democrats and instills a work ethic that makes Hispanics more interested in capitalist opportunities to escape poverty than left-wing lectures about it.

This is true not only in North America but also in South America, where aspirational Hispanic evangelicals are pushing countries like Brazil to the right. Much like the failure of socialist wokeness in America, “liberation theology” leaves upwardly mobile Hispanics in South America cold. They want a hand out of poverty, not sermonizing about it.

Medina works hard to make Flores, Monica De La Cruz, and Cassy Garcia (the latter two are congressional candidates in Texas) look extreme. But this effort fails. For the most part, the women, dubbed by the GOP a “triple threat,” just hold standard conservative views on abortion and illegal immigration and simply want to live in a country that is recognizably American. The simple nationalism that Trump offers is comprehensible to them, if only because they come from a culture that takes such nationalism for granted too. What’s not understandable to them is a party that celebrates open borders, flag boycotters, and the desecration of its country’s history.

Woke media liberals and Democrats grow ever more myopic, too sheltered in their secularism and boutique causes to grasp the ordinary motivations of alienated Hispanics.

The man-bites-dog story is not the rise of Hispanic Republicans but the almost total indifference of Democrats, supposedly so sensitive to minorities, in losing them. Even as Hispanics ditch them in droves, they continue to prattle on about “gender fluidity” and critical race theory.

Medina, of course, portrays Flores as a religious weirdo. “As she moved into her congressional office across from the Capitol, Ms. Flores, an evangelical Christian, eyed the bare walls. She planned to put up a large photo of the SpaceX launch site in her district as well as images of Jesus,” Medina reports. “She had campaigned with the support of evangelical churches; her pastor carried out a ‘Make America Godly Again’ outreach effort and traveled to Washington for her swearing-in.”

Oh my. It apparently shocks the Times that not everyone shares its militant secularism. In response to the article, Flores has commented witheringly on the media’s hostility to her:

I was born in Burgos, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and raised with strong Conservative values to always put God and Family first. I have received only hate from the liberal media and constantly [been] told by the left to go back to Mexico. They don’t support us immigrants, they only use us for political power and don’t care about our well-being. I am here now and I won’t allow them to continue taking advantage of my people. The NYT knows nothing about me or our culture. Somos gente de Dios, Familia y Travajo [We are people of God, Family and Work], Si Señor!”

Indeed, woke media liberals and Democrats grow ever more myopic, too sheltered in their secularism and boutique causes to grasp the ordinary motivations of alienated Hispanics. Only a newspaper blinded by its own extremism would treat Texas’s “triple threat” as a bizarre “far-right” curiosity.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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