Here’s what we heard in many end-of-the-year retrospectives: 2010 emerged as the Year of the Conservative Voter.
And it’s true. Fed up with health care “reform,” runaway spending and lingering unemployment, Americans across the country ushered out many of the liberals who supported President Obama’s big-government agenda.
But here’s what you didn't hear: This conservative wave included some Hispanic-American voters. That fact inconveniently flouts the conventional wisdom -- that liberal candidates can consider Hispanic votes to be in the bag. It interrupts the usual narrative. So it must be ignored or explained away.
Take when Francisco Canseco mounted a serious challenge to Ciro Rodriguez’s congressional seat in Texas’ 23rd district. An Oct. 28 New York Times article described Canseco as “a wealthy lawyer and developer who has allied himself with the anti-tax movement known as the Tea Party.” You know, those people. Rodriguez, meanwhile, was described as being “from the working-class streets of south San Antonio.” Canseco was there to “split the Latino vote and carry the banner for white conservatives angry at President Obama’s economic and health care policies.”
This may come as a shock to the Times, but conservatives, white or otherwise, are not alone in disagreeing with the president’s policies. Conservative solutions have universal appeal. Small government, a strong defense, individual freedom -- these principles attract voters of every age, race and economic background.
And yes, that includes Hispanics. They’re part of the reason Canseco unseated Rodriguez. They helped turn Marco Rubio into a senator-elect in Florida, Brian Sandoval into the first Hispanic governor of Nevada, and Susana Martinez into the first Hispanic governor of New Mexico.
“They are conservative people,” Rodriguez said of Hispanics. The idea that liberal candidates, whether Republican or Democrat, can take their support for granted is an insult, quite frankly. Many Hispanics want a government that serves the people, not the other way around. Acting as if this goal is the exclusive property of any one ethnic group is absurd. Conservative values run deep among Hispanics.
Rep.-elect Canseco, after all, didn’t win by pandering. He ran on the same pocket-book issues most Americans care about -- a failed stimulus, out-of-control spending, and a health care “reform” that heralds still more government meddling.