Being a conservative Hispanic can be difficult. Democrats have seemed to remain in control of the demographic for quite some time, but since the 2016 election, Hispanics have been becoming more independent and politically diverse. What began as a slow move to the center in has materialized two years later with Hispanics looking away from the Democratic Party and toward independent thinking. Democrats have reason to be worried about Hispanics thinking as individuals, since the party is moving further and further toward socialist communal thought.

From 1980 to 2012, Democrats won well over 20 percent of the Hispanic vote in every presidential election; but in 2016 something strange happened, in Latino communities across the South West, Hillary Clinton fell 3 to 8 points behind President Obama in votes from just four years earlier. In some counties, Clinton lost 17 percent of Hispanic votes compared to Obama in 2012. This signals a distance between the party and the Hispanic people.

This June, a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill found that President Trump’s overall approval rating rose to 47 percent, just two points shy of the highest approval rating the president has had since he came into office. This hike was assisted by a 10-point climb among Hispanic voters.

Even more interesting, the poll used an online survey of registered voters with a partisan breakdown of 37 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, 29 percent independent, and 2 percent other. Meaning a poll with a slight Democratic majority, the party which has claimed a monopoly over the Hispanic vote, produced evidence of a new Hispanic interest in conservatism.

But this should not be as surprising as it has been framed.

Democrats view Hispanics as a safe, single issue voting bloc. They have long believed that claiming Republicans are racist will allow them to maintain control over the demographic. They view all Hispanics; legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, and Hispanics born in this country; as one in the same.

Democrats refuse to see Hispanics as unique individuals and that is racist.

The truth is, a vast majority of Hispanic-Americans are legal immigrants. In fact, many fled oppressive governments in search of the freedom and individual opportunity available in the United States.

My own mother left Argentina with her parents during a period of military rule. My grandparents chose to embark on a journey to leave their home country as economic conditions worsened and individual liberties were limited. They left to give my mother a better life.

For the millions of Hispanic-Americans from Venezuela, Colombia, México, Cuba and across Latin America, they have seen firsthand what a disrespect for rule of law, big government policies, and limiting individual rights creates. It is the reason many of these people came to our country.

The left has convinced a large number of Hispanics that the Democratic Party is the party that is best for them. Though now, as the left legitimizes a domestic socialist movement and call for open borders, Hispanics are reconsidering.

Try convincing a Cuban or a Venezuelan that socialism is the best platform. It will be hard.

Try explaining to a legal immigrant who spent years and thousands of dollars finding a safe way to bring their child to the U.S. that open borders are a good idea. You will have trouble.

Considering this, it is unsurprising that in a matter of weeks the Walk Away Campaign on Facebook has gained over 100,000 followers. This group, also represented by the #WalkAway, encourages people, particularly people of color, to tell their story of why they walked away from the Democratic Party.

Users regularly post videos or messages explaining how they came to realize the party did not represent them. While many of these individuals are Hispanic, similar trends discussed above can be seen across racial and gender identities.

In the group, one Facebook user explains that she marched in the Women’s March and knocked on doors for Bernie Sanders, but when she saw the violence done by ANTIFA, she decided to dive deeper. She soon realized limited government was safer than big government. Another user explains that the only thing comparably as difficult to coming out as gay for him was coming out as a Republican. In fact, he received equal backlash from his gay community and his liberal friends. He was shocked by their new-found intolerance for him.

The group is flooded with Hispanic-Americans, black Americans, gay Americans, and other minority groups choosing to bond over the fact that they are American rather than their differences.

The Democratic Party cannot stick all minorities into a single box and claim they all think and vote the same. The heart of conservatism is valuing the individual, whoever they are. As Democrats move closer and closer to collectivist mentalities and identity politics, Hispanics are refusing to be fooled by false promises. We have seen them before and know America is better than that.

NATALIA C
CABINET