Thursday, November 15, 2012

¡Latinos are a growing political power!

The Pew Hispanic Center came out with a new study this week meant to reinforce the idea that the growing Latino population will be a political force in future elections far beyond what influence they may have had this year.

Numbers on the rise
Of course, I have heard from those who want to deny that truth to such extremes. They don’t want to believe it possible – most likely because it means their rants become less and less relevant with the passage of time.

WHAT IT ALL comes down do is the population trends of today.

Because as things are now, the median age of white people living in this country is 42 (meaning half of all white people are older than, while the other half are younger than).

But for Latinos, the median age is 27. And when it comes to those of Latin American ethnic origins who were born and raised in the United States, the median age is only 18.

That is a huge amount of people who will be of voting age in future elections – even if they couldn’t cast ballots now.

THE PEW STUDY goes so far as to say that by the year 2030, the number of Latinos eligible to vote will nearly double (from about 23 million this year to an estimated 40 million in 18 years).

Of course, I’d say that it means Republican partisans can undo the damage brought on by their more xenophobic members in recent years. That’s a lot of young Latinos who probably haven’t given elections or government much thought.

They are clean slates that perhaps they can appeal to. Although if some of the rhetoric being spouted these days is any indication, perhaps they won’t. It’s going to depend on their own stubborn streaks.

Although I’d also point out that the kind of voter bloc that a Latino group becomes will depend on ourselves as well.

FOR OF THE 23 million Latinos who were eligible to vote this time around (out of about 53 million overall), it seems that some 12 million cast ballots, but 11 million didn’t bother.

It may well have been 10 percent of the overall electorate in 2012 was Latino (a record high), but it could have been so much higher if others of our brethren had got up off their nalgas and taken a trip to the polling place.

There will always be those who are apathetic (just as there will always be those who persist in behaving like nitwits).

But perhaps we need to focus our attention on getting those apathetic ones among us to ponder this matter a bit more seriously.

FOR THE WORST thing that could ultimately happen is if those individuals wind up being the guiding force behind all those young people – turning them into a future generation of Archie Bunker-like people.

By that, I’d have you recall that on the old “All in the Family” show, actor Carroll O’Connor’s “Archie” character himself was turned away from the polling place because he didn’t bother to keep his registration valid – even though wife Edith did!


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