When social scientists study Latino attitudes in politics, they find that as a group we generally feel that we cannot personally create change in government. This is troubling, because when any group of people feel that they cannot affect change, they are less likely to participate at all. We as Latinos must participate in the conversation about America’s future in order to create the change that we want to see.
Latinos are considered a “sleeping giant” in American politics, meaning that we have a tremendous amount of power, but we don’t realize it. Learning more about Latino participation in politics helps to complete the big picture of American politics as a whole.
Political experts in both Democratic and Republican camps believe that their party must secure the Latino vote in order to achieve victory in the 2016 presidential election. There is a high population of Latinos in battleground states including Colorado and Florida. Due to rising Latino populations, other states will become battleground states by 2016, such as New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and even Wisconsin. By the year 2020, Latinos will outnumber non-Hispanic whites in Texas. Our votes will be crucial in deciding the next leader of the free world.
It is an amazing thing to realize the very real influence Latinos have in American society. Although we know that just because we have a shared culture it does not mean we all share the same societal views or political beliefs, a unique opportunity presents itself in the current political environment.
Now, more than ever, our voices can be heard.
Politicians are listening; pundits are listening; our own people are listening.
Let us awaken the sleeping giant ourselves. Let us believe in our own power to produce results within a system that is just as much ours as it is any other American’s. No matter what your political views are, let your voice be heard.
Be the face of the Latino electorate.