For friends living outside Florida (the state with the prettiest name!), USA Today‘s Romina Ruiz-Goiriena interviews several Miami-Dade Trump voters to get an idea of the marbles, bats, and gumballs rattling around their heads. The quotes may shock my readers, but as a local I shrug. This is the lingua franca at supermarkets, gas stations, and unmediated family gatherings. From the article:
For many Americans, the idea of a presidential election devolving into a months-long battle for control of the nation may be unprecedented, but for many Latino supporters of President Donald Trump – many of whom escaped authoritarian regimes themselves – it raises old ghosts. There is no evidence of election fraud, but many fear covert socialists are in cahoots with the media in an attempt to rob a sitting U.S. president of power. “People used to say Communism can’t happen in Cuba, and look how that turned out,” De Castro said on a recent afternoon as she played with her great-granddaughter in her home in West Miami, a working-class Cuban American enclave in South Florida where the majority of votes were cast for Trump.
(Before I go on, let me correct De Castro. Communism, a shorthand for any kind of leftism, opposed the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado’s second term. The vassalage of Cuba of the United States would foment conditions inevitably leading to a leftist revolution.)
Afraid of facing an authoritarian regime in her eighth decade, Margarita De Castro expressed a horror I’ve heard in every election since 1980. John Kerry supported the Vietcong. Al Gore hated Elian Gonzalez. Bill Clinton was a Commie. Hilary Clinton was unspeakable. Barack Obama was not to be trusted because he had a funny name. And the “Hussein” part? Suspicious. The fear of the racially exotic explains the terror with which these Hispanic voters speak of Kamala Harris; I’ve heard “She’s another AOC” twice myself. Where these voters get their information will surprise none of my students, many of whom have deactivated their Facebook accounts, they say, because racist Tia Fefe of Hialeah posts Harris-as-monkey memes and picks fights with nieces and nephews (not seeing Tia Fefa on this most forlorn of Thanksgivings will come as a relief). Take the Columbian account Mr. Capacho en Vivo, peddling the following deliciousness:
…The Colombian account pushed QAnon conspiracies, such as the baseless belief that leading Democrats are part of a global cabal of Satanist child molesters. On Monday, the same account posted an edited, misleading video of Mr. Biden touching children, falsely claiming that he was a “superpredator.” By Wednesday, the video had been watched about 45,000 times.
No social media account of comparable reach and influence exists for the Democratic Party; its equivalent would need to spread apocalyptical twaddle about Trump and Mike Pence that Dems and liberals are by nature squeamish about spreading anyway.