What Accounts for the Rise of Conservative Christian Right-Wing Latinos?

My father taught me that we came to this country to work. I refuse anything that is free, and I don’t leech from anyone. 

I remember him with pride in his eyes, his head held high, and determination in his soul. When he would drive me to school in his 1979 Super Sport El Camino—loaded down, as it was, with two lawnmowers, one Weed Eater, and the other essentials of a small mowing business—those quick 10-minute drives were often filled with gems of wisdom. 

I didn’t fully understand those lectures on life at the time, but one day, as I am sure he understood, I would come to treasure them. My dad, the single father, immigrant, and self-employed man had every reason to lay down, cry, and feel sorry for himself. He didn’t. Rather, he woke up every morning, said his prayers, and—rain or shine, freezing temperatures, or the hottest record-breaking heat of Houston—he was off to work. He was determined to work hard and make ends meet. No matter what. 

There were no sick days. Ever.

This is what is normal to the vast majority of legal (and even some illegal) Hispanic immigrants. They come with a huge sense of pride, dignity, and work ethic. They chose to leave their homes in search of an opportunity to work hard and build for themselves the American Dream.

Leftists condescendingly try to pander to us by insinuating we are not capable of earning a living without their assistance. They lie about us. They say we are victims of circumstances beyond our control. Now they are left wondering why the children of those hard working, God-fearing Latino immigrants are now the fastest-growing coalition of the Republican Party. 

Today’s political climate is alarming for the Left because they have taken for granted the votes of these families. For too long they have put us in a box. They see us as voters who are incapable of making it in this country without big government (read: Democrats) becoming our new god and savior. They falsely claim that we are incapable of living the American dream without their assistance. Our faith in God and the value of hard work, they say, won’t be enough. 

The truth is, they wanted us to remain victims so they could exploit us and use government to create a floor for us to dwell on permanently. They want us to serve them as serfs instead of engaging with us so we and our children can become middle class and beyond as they and their families have done.

The Latino population has many characteristics that allow us to align with America’s key values. Fortitude in the face of hardship and deep faith in God and family. When we are pandered and lied to, it reminds many of us of what we left behind: our homelands where a ruling class kept us down. We came here not to serve new masters but in search for our own American Dream. 

Recently, the media was in an uproar over Myra Flores’ election to Congress as a Republican from south Texas. This was earth-shattering in Manhattan and Hollywood, but no surprise to millions of Latinos like me. Our political realignment with the GOP makes perfect sense. Our faith, work ethic, and love for the country that has given us freedom and opportunity is driving us into the arms of the only party with a base that supports those values.

More and more people are waking up to the fact that voting conservative feels more like home. This is the home of their hearts, and why they are here in the first place.

When the members of the other party cluelessly compare us to breakfast tacos and pander to us with fake broken English it’s not offensive anymore, it’s comical. They look like a joke. It makes me feel sorry for those who are so disconnected from actual people that they struggle to stand on a stage and resonate with a populace of which they have zero understanding. They display no dignity in their work ethic or any clear perspective of us as a community. They have no idea what we want or need. They don’t even know us and they make it clear that they don’t really want to. These displays show us that everything is merely a shameless attempt to read from a script for political optics and to gain a vote. Then drop us like a bad habit, and only come back when that vote is needed once again. We are not stupid. We see what they are doing.

If Democrats really wanted to connect with Latino voters, they would connect with our values and faith. We have seen, more than many native born Americans, the failures of socialism—the lawlessness it promotes, and the emptiness purely secular values provide. “Si se puede!” to us means we can work hard for it and we will! America is our home and the GOP, if it wants to be, is the vessel that will ensure our values and our voices are heard.

About Crystal Sarmiento

Crystal Sarmiento is a certified behavior analyst and consultant as well as an executive and career coach, speaker, author, and founder of The ARI Source and Becoming a Lioness. Her book Becoming A Lioness was ranked No. 1 in Christian Leadership and won an Amazon Best Seller’s Award. She lives in Manvel, Texas.

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

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