Many people are calling the upcoming midterm elections the most important in recent memory. For nearly two years, the Trump administration has pushed their agenda with the benefit of a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate. This advantage has helped the President get two of his nominees on the Supreme Court, pass one of the largest corporate tax cuts in American history, advance his draconian immigration policies, and keep the congressional investigations about Russian collusion under control. However, if the Democrats win enough seats on November 6th in the House or the Senate to gain control of either or both chambers, the fate of the Trump presidency will change dramatically. For starters, if the Mueller investigation yields any real evidence of illegal or unethical activity on the part of Trump or his campaign, a democratic-controlled House will almost certainly pursue impeachment proceedings and order investigations into a wide array of areas including Trump’s personal business and financial dealings. There is no telling where that might lead. Aside from the Mueller investigation, if the Dems win in November, the Trump legislative agenda would encounter substantial roadblocks and the passing of any legislation without substantial bipartisan support would be impossible.
On the other hand, if the Republicans regain control of both chambers, barring the most egregious proof of criminal activity from Mueller, Republicans would most likely conduct a superficial investigation that would result in no action against the President. There is even the real possibility that Trump would view a Republican sweep in the midterms as evidence of his political invincibility and immediately fire Rosenstein and Mueller rendering the independent counsel’s investigation DOA. Plus, if the Republicans maintain control of congress, the President would enjoy two more years of being able to pass almost any bill he wants.
Clearly, there is a lot at stake for both sides. Midterm elections typically have much lower voter turnout that presidential election years. This has historically favored Republicans because young people who are more likely to vote Democrat turn out to vote at lower percentages than older people who tend to vote Republican. However, the party of the sitting president almost always loses seats in the midterms. The general opinion for this year is that a higher voter turnout among minorities and young people will favor the Democrats and a lower turnout will favor Republicans. Latinos, who also have a history of low voter turnout, have the power to swing elections in a number of tight races in Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Jersey, California, and Nevada. A high turnout of Latino voters will most likely be good news for Democrats.
This leads me to have mixed emotions about the upcoming elections. I’ve made no secret about the fact that I think the President’s divisive rhetoric on a number of issues, especially with respect to Hispanics and immigration, is not only bad for Latinos — it’s bad for the country. The separation of families at the border, the fate of Dreamers, and the deportation of hardworking immigrants threatens our standing as the moral leader of the free world and drastically undermines our potential for economic growth in the coming years. While most of the world is struggling to attract young workers, our government is looking for ways to purge our country from some of our best and brightest — which is stupid.
On the other hand, the Democrats who are currently in office, generally say all the right things about Hispanics, but have a track record of doing almost nothing in terms of legislation. They talk a good game but that’s about it. This leaves Latinos, at least politically speaking, in a pretty bad spot right now. Think about it, Republican leaders and conservative journalists like Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson express their disdain for Hispanics with impunity, and Democrats, who are good at feigning outrage, do almost nothing. In summary, Democrats take Hispanics for granted and therefore believe they don’t need to do anything to win Hispanic support, and Republicans don’t even try.
What does all of this mean for the midterms? First and foremost, Latinos need to vote and I hope they vote for the most moderate candidates on their ballot. Our country is divided right now, and the last thing we need is more extremists in office. Some people might be surprised to know that the first president I voted for was Ronald Reagan. I’ll admit that I didn’t know much about policy back then, but I liked the way Reagan made me feel. To use a quote from an Abraham Lincoln speech, he appealed to the better angels of our nature. He made me proud to be American. I felt the same way about Barack Obama. No matter where you stand in terms of political ideology, you just had to appreciate the honor and dignity that both Reagan and Obama brought to the office of the presidency — I certainly did.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about the silent majority in the middle. I truly believe this to be the case. I believe the majority of Americans want government policy and political leaders who lead from the center and strive to serve all Americans — not just the ones in their base. On November 6th, I hope Latinos turn out in a big way. I hope they reject the divisive rhetoric coming from the candidates in their state and districts and I hope they hold their elected officials accountable once they are in office.
WE NEED TO GET THE EXTREMISTS OUT OF POWER AND REPLACE THEM WITH CANDIDATES WHO APPEAL TO THE BETTER ANGELS IN OUR NATURE