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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Ferrera’s Open Letter Clarifies GOP’s Trump Problem

“America Ferrera: Thank You, Donald Trump!”, Lauren Moraski’s CBS News report on the actress’s perceptive open letter on Trump’s Mexican-bashing at HuffPo, should provide cause for concern among smarter GOP strategists. As Moraski quotes Ferrera:

“You’ve said some pretty offensive things about Latino immigrants recently, and I think they’re worth addressing. Because, you know, this is the United States of America, where I have a right to speak up even if I’m not a billionaire. Isn’t that awesome?” she wrote.
“Anyway, I heard what you said about the kind of people you think Latino immigrants are — people with problems, who bring drugs, crime and rape to America. While your comments are incredibly ignorant and racist, I don’t want to spend my time chastising you. I’ll leave that to your business partners like Univision and NBC, who have the power to scold you where it hurts. Instead, I’m writing to say thank you!”
“You see, what you just did with your straight talk was send more Latino voters to the polls than several registration rallies combined!” the former “Ugly Betty” star wrote in a blog post published Thursday, adding, “Remarks like yours will serve brilliantly to energize Latino voters and increase turnout on election day against you and any other candidate who runs on a platform of hateful rhetoric.”

Ferrera then provides an instructive lesson in political math for the clueless tycoon:

Do you know why that’s such a big deal, Donald? Because Latinos are the largest, youngest and fastest-growing constituency in the United States of America. That’s right! You are running for President in a country where the Latino population grew by over 49 percent from 2000-2012, while the rest of the country grew by 5.8 percent. What’s more, we are the future. The median age of the average Latino is 27 years old, compared to 42 years old for white Americans. In case you need a translation, that means there are a whole lot of Americans who are Latino and have the right to vote. And, we’re not going anywhere.

With his remarks stereotyping immigrants of Mexican origin as criminals, drug smugglers and rapists, the tone-deaf Trump crossed the line from silly gasbag to dangerous demagogue. Other Republican presidential candidates have hinted at similar stereotypes, albeit with less blustering stupidity. GOP leaders are apparently divided on how to respond, and the more they equivocate, the worse for them.
No matter. Ferrera is surely right that Trump’s comments could swell Latino voter registration, and that alone is very bad news for all Republicans. Once they enter the polls, the GOP’s 2016 prospects head further south.

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