By: Karolam Ramirez
“Hispanics are conservative, they just don’t’ know it yet” –Ronald Reagan.
It is true that many Latinos identify with the term Liberal and Democrat. But what is also true is that it is not always for the right reasons.
Every time I come home from college for the holidays, I always seem to get asked the same question at dinner parties from my parent’s Hispanic friends when they find out that the Ramirez’s daughter is a conservative. “Why are you a Republican and not a Democrat? What about immigration? Are you heartless to your own race?” The last question always gets to me, but I’ll start out with what is wrong with the first. Yes, although true that I am a Republican, a lot of people always assume upon hearing the word conservative that it automatically means one is a Republican. Being conservative is a type of philosophy while the Party is more about where you stand on the social issues. There is a linkage, just like most liberals are Democrats, but this just goes to show that people who do not take the time to look and read into what they “stand for” should not be quick to form an opinion. For my parent’s friends, as for most of the uninformed Hispanic society, they tend to sum up the Republican Party as a bunch of “inconsiderate racists” based on what they’ve only heard on the media.
Liberals have been successful at using the media to their advantage and the message they’ve sent out across is that being a Latino in this country means that they will be discriminated against and they will need a good amount of government help to be able to succeed. While liberal policies emphasize that it is the government’s duty to solve other people’s problems, conservatives believe in personal responsibility, innovation, and that the job of a government is to provide freedom so the people can pursue their own goals. This defines the American dream. It was with these ideals that the original American immigrants came into this country for. Similarly, Hispanics share the same hard work ethic and the idea that you can make your own future if you work for it. Another set of values that we both hold of importance together is family values. Hispanics are extremely family oriented peopleand conservative values hold the family’s best interests in mind. One of the last major controversies I would like to cover, although there are many more to talk of, is the stereotype that is engraved into the Hispanic mindset that the Republican GOP party is only for the “rich”. This is not true. The party is for entrepreneurs and businesses, and Hispanic entrepreneurs represent the fastest growing segment of small business owners in the U.S.
A subject that drives a direct wedge in between Republicans and Latinos is the immigration issue. You could list out all the ways why Hispanics would make good conservatives, have it make sense, but once you get to the point of how those who enter the country illegally should not obtain the same rights as citizens and a push for stronger border control, any points that were made previously to that are completely disregarded. However, there is a way to address this border question. Most Latinos should understand that no country can just keep open its border to all who want to cross it illegally; this is a blatant disregard for the law of the land. Here in the US, we still have to have a country of laws. After all, this is what makes our economy productive, effective, and strong.
Ever since I was old enough to understand sentences, I was taught of my self-worth and perhaps more importantly, of the worth of my freedom that is accessible to me in America. My parents have taught me to be proud of my heritage, but to keep in mind that I was also born American. As a result of this, I require the American government to do what is best for its citizens before seeing to the well being of others.Conservative Hispanics do exist; we just need to learn how to make our voices be heard in contrast to the very loud cries of the liberals. Until this happens, Hispanic liberals will keep labeling all conservative ideas as “racist”, and I’ll keep having to come home to dinner parties as the Hispanic who doesn’t “know her place” among them.