It was not a sign of intolerance, but rather the emblem of a class with the luxury of being consumed by such issues trying to impose its values on working families trying to keep paying rent. Members of the Democratic Party are not content to live in a separate cultural bubble, removed from the realities of their blue-collar counterparts; they are so removed from the rapidly growing Hispanic working class that many of them literally speak a different language.
The growing cultural divide in America, in which Hispanics seem increasingly put off by progressive mottos and movements, is linked to the educational divide in America between educated and non-educated voters of all ethnicities. According to Pew Research, Republicans are increasingly dominating party affiliation among non-college white voters, who make up 57% of GOP voters. This in a country where 64% of voters do not have a university degree.
The Democratic Party is losing its mark among working-class white voters and Hispanics. This is especially pronounced among Hispanic males and non-educated Hispanic voters, who tend to be more Republican, much like their non-educated white peers. Latinos are increasingly voting the same as non-college whites, perhaps because they don’t see themselves as so different from them. Pew Research studies of Hispanic identity found that half of Hispanics nationwide consider themselves “a typical American”; less identified as “very different from a typical American.”
Despite all the talk of diversity within the Latino community and the now commonplace adage that the community is not monolithic, in fact what unites most Hispanics is that they represent a significant portion of unqualified blue-collar workers, and their presence on the labor market is only growing. The pandemic’s essential workers are disproportionately black and Latino, and as a decidedly younger demographic, Hispanic workers work in manufacturing, agriculture, and construction occupations in states with large Hispanic populations.
The Democrats have increasingly become a party shaped and dependent on white voters with college degrees. Compared to 40.1% of white adults age 25 and older, only 18.8% of Latino adults in this age group have a bachelor’s degree. Latinos are and increasingly will be a key component of the working class workforce, and their politics reflect this.
From 71% Hispanic support for President Barack Obama in 2012 to 66% for Hillary Clinton and 59% for Joe Biden in 2020, Democrats find themselves slowly but measurably losing control of Latinos, the segment of the electorate fastest growing. As Latino voters grow in numbers in key battleground states, they increasingly reject the minority construct promulgated by the media, academics and Democratic politicians and consultants.
The party capable of expressing the values of a multi-ethnic working class will be the majority party for the next generation. As we continue to watch the country’s culture war increasingly divided by education levels, it is highly likely that Latino voters will continue to move, even marginally, through the ranks of Republican voters. The country is on the verge of a major political change. As President Ronald Reagan once joked, quoting a Republican candidate for sheriff: “I didn’t quit the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me.