NY Times Plays Catch-Up with TLC on Hispanic Political Realignment

by V. Lance Tarrance

It is noteworthy that the New York Times published, ” …for the world to know,” the developing story of party realignment for many U.S. Hispanics who have said they have “been moving to the GOP .”

This is not “new” to Texas Latino Conservatives (TLC) who, as a Texas organization,  have been researching this “Second Realignment Wave” in Texas (2 statewide opinion surveys in 2022 and 2023), particularly diving deep into shifting opinions in South Texas and the Metro Outer suburbs. In fact, TLC has isolated 2 key groups in Texas who have become either disenchanted with the Democrats on the economy and/or hostile to the leftward drift toward socialism of the Democrat leadership.

So, TLC has been “ahead of the curve” on the party shift in Texas, just  now being noted by the New York Times. Read the discussion and smile!

Republicans have spent years drawing Latino evangelicals into their fold…

 

May 5, 2024

On a recent Tuesday evening, two teenage boys approached their pastor, Camilo Perez, before Bible study. They wanted his take on a debate that had been gnawing at them. Their friends from a local public high school had been talking about discrimination against Latinos. Did the pastor agree? Does the government give white people more power?

 

“No, no, no. That’s not true. We are not in oppression. Everybody here has the same rights,” Mr. Perez recalled telling the boys in a mini-sermon that hit on some of his favorite themes: freedom in the United States, scarcity and repression in Latin America and the dangers of what he views as liberals’ notions of victimhood.

“This is an agenda against the country,” he told them. “They are trying to put confusion in your mind, and they are trying to bully you to be against your country, against everything.”

 

It was not the first time the pastor’s counsel was more worldly than spiritual. As he ministers to a growing flock of 250 families in the dusty suburbs of Las Vegas, Mr. Perez has transformed from a leader who rarely acknowledged politics to an eager foot soldier in the cultural and political battles in his adopted country.

 

It is a path traversed by a growing number of Latino evangelicals, a group that is helping reshape and re-energize the Republican coalition. Long the party of white, conservative Christian voters, the G.O.P. has for years quietly courted Latino religious leaders like Mr. Perez, finding common ground on abortion, schools and traditional views about gender roles and family.

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Soon after Mr. Perez found a permanent home for the church, in an industrial park in Henderson, a suburb south of the Las Vegas Strip, he and his wife, Rebeca, began making plans for a school.

He had begun to clash with the secular world. When he tried to set up “Good News clubs,” where he could pray with children after school, most public schools rebuffed him. His son said a teacher had asked skeptical questions about the family’s religious practice and long days at the church, Mr. Perez said. He was uncomfortable with his children being taught by gay and lesbian teachers.

“We are a conservative family, but they were against religion and against our families,” he said.

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Over time, Mr. Perez became persuaded that Mr. Trump and his party were empathetic toward law-abiding Latino immigrants. He is skeptical that, if elected, Mr. Trump will follow through on the mass deportations he has promised.

In Mr. Trump’s bluster, Mr. Perez hears echoes of strongman leaders who have recently won elections in Latin America — and he welcomes the tough tone.

“We see problems all over, from the countries we come from to here,” Mr. Perez said, pointing to gun violence and abortions as examples. “We want order, strength. People want to feel sure that they have some protections, that things aren’t out of control and things are going to get better.”

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