I was visiting my family in Rio Grande City, Texas, a small border town across from the Mexican town where I was born and where I spent the first 15 years of my life. We were visiting around the family table, but the TV was on in the background. Donald Trump started to give his speech announcing that he was running for president. After he finished his speech, one of my family members asked me what I thought. I said “Oh, it is just a publicity stunt, nobody will vote for him.” I have been proven wrong by millions of voters who chose Donald Trump as the candidate of the Republican Party.
In the Spanish edition of CTHoy we have included two articles by Ron Sider and James Dobson where they explain their reasons for supporting Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Every election has a certain level of anxiety associated with it, and this election certainly does. The issues of race, ethnicity, and religious affiliation contribute their part to that sense of anxiety.
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 78 percent of white evangelicals prefer Trump, while 17 percent prefer Clinton. So, even tough the general voter is a lot more conflicted about whom they will support with their vote, white evangelicals seem to have already made up their minds solidly behind Trump. In spite of all the issues Trump has related to morality and his character, white evangelicals still find him the most attractive candidate.
The black community has unequivocally rejected Trump as a candidate. One poll has 1 percent of blacks voting for trump, while another poll gives him 6 percent of the black vote. The vision for the future of America that Trump presents has no appeal to the black voter. Added to that is the fact that the black vote has consistently been on the Democratic side for decades.
The Hispanic vote is a little more nuanced. According to the Pew Research Center’s poll, 80 percent of those who prefer Spanish or who are bilingual favor Clinton, while 11 percent favor Trump. Hispanics who prefer English resemble more the patterns of the overall voter with 48 percent in favor of Clinton and 41 percent in favor of Trump. One can see that the anti-Hispanic rhetoric by Trump has impacted the Hispanic voter. Because Trump’s anti-Hispanic rhetoric has an anti-immigrant focus, it is understandable that the farther away you are as a Hispanic from the immigrant community (in terms of language and culture), the more the Hispanic elector is willing to overlook the overall anti-Hispanic tone of the Trump campaign.
One of the characteristics of the Hispanic population in the United States is that we have a lower rate of registered voters, 58 percent, compared to Blacks who have an 87 percent rate, and whites who have a 95 percent rate, according to a gallop poll. This places our Hispanic community at a serious disadvantage in terms of getting a hearing and impacting the election process. We represent 17 percent of the population, but we make up only 8.12 percent of registered voters. Some of that difference in rate can be attributed to Hispanics who are residents but not citizens, and therefore cannot vote.
Christ’s command to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar means at its most basic level that we must contribute with our taxes to the wellbeing of the state (Mark 12:17). Many of us who come from a Latin American evangelical perspective grew up with a natural distrust of government and public life. We obeyed the command to pay our taxes and were diligent in obeying the laws, but we wanted no part of elected office and had little trust in participating in the political process.