THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2022
How Uvalde voted: We start with a question about the pompous peacocks who pose as our blue tribe's "thought leaders."
The question we ask would be this:
Is it possible that Amanda Flores, age 43, knows some things our high-ranking thought leaders do not? More broadly, is it possible that we bicoastal blue tribe members might have something to learn from her recent comments?
Flores lives in Uvalde, Texas. Like 82 percent of that city's residents, her ethnicity would (presumably) be Hispanic.
In the aftermath of the Uvalde mass shooting, Flores spoke with the Washington Post's Bailey and Lott. She used a term we ourselves wouldn't use. But she also placed her community's extensive "gun culture" within a particular context:
BAILEY AND LOTT (5/31/22): As she sat at the memorial for the victims last week, Amanda Flores said she knew all 21 victims of the rampage, but still does not believe that the tragedy should turn into a debate over gun ownership. Flores, 43, said she and her family members own firearms and view them as essential tools to keep their family safe in “a border town.”
“With all of the problems we have right now with the immigrants crossing over, you don’t know how many fast-speed chases go through here, we need them for our protection,” said Flores, whose grandson was at Robb Elementary when the shooting began but escaped uninjured. “All of them coming in, they are coming in as illegals, they can have guns. And what are we supposed to do? Throw rocks at them?”
We wouldn't use the term "illegals" ourselves. But it's Flores who actually lives in Uvalde, and she said her family members own firearms to provide protection against (some of) the people who are involved in high-speed chases through her "border town."
In truth, Uvalde isn't exactly a "border town" in the most literal sense. The southern border is roughly an hour away.
That said, is it possible that we could learn something, or could at least find something to think about, in what Flores said?
Also this! Is it possible that we have something to learn from the way Uvalde voted?
Uvalde County (population roughly 24,000) is 73 percent Hispanic. The bulk of the county's population lives in Uvalde City, the county seat (population roughly 15,000; 82 percent Hispanic).
Uvalde County is roughly three quarters Hispanic. We haven't been able to find reliable data concerning the way Uvalde City voted. But this is the way the county voted in the last two presidential elections:
Uvalde County, 2016 election:
Donald J. Trump: 53.9%
Hillary Clinton: 43.1%
Uvalde County, 2020 election:
Donald J. Trump: 59.7%
Joe Biden: 39.4%
In the 2020 election, Trump won the county by more than twenty points! The county is roughly three-quarters Hispanic. The math seems to do itself.
By all accounts, Uvalde City is "heavily armed." Also, Uvalde County went for Trump by a substantially larger margin the second time around. Is it possible that our self-impressed tribe can begin to learn something from this?
Just last night, MSNBC presented an hour-long report by Paola Ramos about the Hispanic vote. According to the leading authority, "Paola Ramos (born 1987) is an American journalist. Ramos is a correspondent for Vice and is a contributor to Telemundo and MSNBC. Ramos' work focuses primarily around Latino issues."
We'll have more on Ramos' background tomorrow. Most significantly, here's part of Willie Geist's interview with her from yesterday's Morning Joe:
GEIST (6/1/22): Premiering tonight on MSNBC, a new limited series called Field Reports With Paola Ramos explores the continuing rightward drift, in some places, of Latino voters ahead of November's midterm election.
One of the big themes of the piece in this limited series you've put together that will air tonight on MSNBC is not treating Latino voters and Latinos in America as this monolith, which frankly a lot of progressives, I think, have in the past, making assumptions about their views on issues like immigration and others.
What did you find in your conversations?
RAMOS: Of course, I think that's the big story, right? Donald Trump did do ten points better in 2020 than he did in 2016, right? And I think many people dismissed that, right?
I think many people just saw the banner of Joe Biden winning that 60 percent of Latino voters. But I think that ten percent shift is really important.
Even after all the hubbub served by Nicolle Wallace and the like, Donald J. Trump did (something like) ten points better with Hispanic voters the second time around.
Votes are peeling away from our tribe in ways we may not understand. Those votes are peeling away from our tribe among voters we may not understand, among voters we may not respect.
Those votes are peeling away from our tribe in the face of the cartoonized portraits our corporate-selected elite "thought leaders" have offered us down through the years. Within our cartoonized Storyline, we Dems were going to win every election once our nation's ongoing demographic shift put white voters in the minority.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. That said, our thought leaders are largely empty suits, with the always accomodating Geist possibly numbered among them.
Down in Uvalde, Flores' family members feel they need to be armed for self-protection. Flores fears the high-speed chases which come through Uvalde, high-speed chases involving people she presumes to be armed.
We can't speak to the accuracy of her perceptions. We can suggest that liberals and progressives should learn to respect the American people, humbling though the process may be. And we can tell you this:
As a general matter, our tribe has been very surprised by the way Hispanic voters have shifted away from our candidates and from our enduring wisdom. As a general matter, we blue tribals have been so thoroughly clueless that, when George Zimmerman was first described as a "white Hispanic," many of us were baffled by such a baffling term.
(Within the U.S. Census, large numbers of Hispanics identify as white. A substantially smaller number identify as black, or in some other manner.)
Here in our deeply self-impressed tribe, we tend to live within our cartoon portraits of the way the world works. Within those silly cartoonized portraits, white crackers are drawn to Donald J. Trump, and perhaps to "gun culture"—white racists and nobody else.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our tribe is often quite unimpressive, especially at the "corporate news" end. Our thought leaders give us our cartoonized portraits, which feed our propaganda.
That propaganda is all around us; almost surely, it doesn't serve our interests especially well. Tomorrow, we'll look at some of that propaganda, starting with some peculiar passages in the portrait of Uvalde recently offered by Neil Meyer in the Washington Post.
Meyer is a good, decent person. We liberals are so deeply embedded within our cartoons that we may not be aware of the endless ways we push their pleasures along.
Tomorrow: Why is our blue tribe (sometimes) so loathed?