It’s not necessarily “new,” mind you, but the term “Latinx” is just insanely unpopular among the Hispanic/Latino community.
We have known for a while that Hispanic/Latino voters simply aren’t using the term for themselves. A measly 5%, as of an August Gallup poll. What’s more, Hispanic Democrats in Florida really dislike the term. Hispanic voters aren’t just not adopting the term, they’re rejecting it outright. It would appear that the Democratic Party deciding to label a minority group themselves, rather than the minority choosing how to identify themselves, isn’t super popular. Despite that, young and far-progressive Democrats, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have been using the term more and more frequently.
The recent gubernatorial election in Virginia provided more evidence that the Democrats are struggling to hold on to those voters, however, and it’s going to continue to get worse. A report from Politico this morning explains why: Democrats insist on using a term that actually offends nearly half of Hispanic/Latino voters.
Only 2% refer to themselves as Latinx, while 68% call themselves “Hispanic” and 21% favored “Latino”/“Latina”
40% said Latinx bothers or offends them to a degree & 30% said they’d be less likely to support a politician or organization that uses ithttps://t.co/w5uzYBxT3n
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) December 6, 2021
As Democrats seek to reach out to Latino voters in a more gender-neutral way, they’ve increasingly begun using the word Latinx, a term that first began to get traction among academics and activists on the left.
But that very effort could be counterproductive in courting those of Latin American descent, according to a new nationwide poll of Hispanic voters.
Only 2 percent of those polled refer to themselves as Latinx, while 68 percent call themselves “Hispanic” and 21 percent favored “Latino” or “Latina” to describe their ethnic background, according to the survey from Bendixen & Amandi International, a top Democratic firm specializing in Latino outreach.
More problematic for Democrats: 40 percent said Latinx bothers or offends them to some degree and 30 percent said they would be less likely to support a politician or organization that uses the term.
Hispanic voters are not shifting to the right solely because of the term “Latinx,” mind you. But it is a symptom of one of the things that is hurting Democrats with those voters.
As the Politico piece explains, Spanish is a gendered language. There are masculine and feminine forms of several words. The language itself doesn’t really support the gendered language of the modern progressive left, which seeks to be inclusive of those who identify as trans and non-binary.
There’s also a bit of a language barrier there.
But Spanish words do not end in the letter X, which is pronounced “eh-kees,” and some Spanish speakers argue it’s tricky to know how to pronounce Latinx in their native tongue.
The term “Latinx” is used by a handful of far-left Hispanic politicians and activists, but its primary usage is perceived to be from rich, white elites who are out of touch with the Hispanic community and its needs. A more “inclusive” designation isn’t needed right now.
What’s more, the Democrats have repeatedly misread the room where Hispanic/Latino voters are concerned. They aren’t a single, unified group of voters. They are perhaps the most diverse minority in the United States, with several points of origin. Mexican-American voters are different from Cuban-Americans voters, who themselves are different than the various immigrants or descendants of immigrants from various Central and South American countries. These things matter.
There is a deeper cultural issue that ties into this: Hispanic/Latino voters, despite their multiple points of origin, typically share a couple of traits. They are typically far more socially conservative than the progressive left is, largely due to their deeply religious roots. They do not accept the LGBT+ culture war as readily as the (largely white) progressive left does. “Latinx” is a word that further divides the Hispanic community from the Democratic Party and, yes, the Republicans have seized on this fact.
They are also very wary of socialist policies, with many of their families having come to America to escape those very regimes in the first place. The more the left continues to push for these agendas, the more they will continue to lose support from those voters. They are supporting the very ideologies that chased their families out of their home countries, and the Democrats don’t seem to realize that not only are those policies not working here, but they are also actually hurting their own chances to hold on to power.
It’s always funny to hear Democrats take about the Republican culture war, by the way, when this is just more evidence that the Democrats are the ones constantly at war with culture. They are at war with Christian culture. They are at war with American culture. And they are apparently at war with Hispanic/Latino culture.
They, ah, appear to be losing.