Geraldo Cadava On The Past And Future Of Hispanic Republicans

Historians in the News
tags: Republican Party, conservatism, Latinx, Hispanic


Rosina Lozano (RL): I don’t think Latinos were shocked to see family members campaigning for Trump in 2016 or posting their support for him on Facebook. I think almost every single person can talk about people within their own families who are Republican and more conservative. Your book really helped to explain how that could be: why somebody could support Trump, despite the rhetoric and despite so many of the values that the Republican Party has latched onto.

Geraldo Cadava (GC): Within the Latino community, we all have stories about the Republican aunt or uncle who can make dinnertime conversations uncomfortable. But we don’t really count them as part of the political history of our communities—or when we do, we view them as oddities or curiosities.

RL: That’s why I’m absolutely excited that your book The Hispanic Republican now exists. The Latino community in America is an incredibly diverse group that has very different ethnic, generational, class, and racial realities. Your book will be fantastic for people hoping to understand parts of their families better, or—if readers are not part of the Latino or Hispanic community—to understand how there is so much political support for the Republican Party among that group.

GC: My interest in the topic actually stemmed from watching my grandfather’s own political evolution, as a Democrat who voted for Reagan in 1980 for a very specific reason: that Reagan was promising to put more money back into his biweekly paycheck. Ever since, he has embraced the Republican Party wholesale on all kinds of issues: border issues, cultural issues, everything. Political scientists still argue about how that process happens, how someone moves from supporting one particular issue to embracing the party’s whole platform.


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