Geraldo Rivera has written a new book, “The Great Progression: How Hispanics Will Lead America to a New Era of Prosperity.” According to the Today Show the book “details the evolving role of Hispanics in shaping every facet of American culture.“ You can read an excerpt of the book here.
The award-winning journalist of Puerto Rican and Jewish decent brings up some interesting figures in his book, including predicting that Latinos will be compose the majority of America’s population.
“In 1950, there were 5 million Latinos. Today, there are more than 46 million. And the recent downturn in illegal immigration due to the lack of good construction jobs in our faltering economy will only marginally slow the pace….”
“If current trends hold, 25 percent of the U.S. population will be Hispanic by 2040, and by the end of the twenty-first century, the United States will be a majority-Hispanic country. Put another way, there are people alive today who will be around to watch America take its place as the world’s largest Hispanic country by population. Perhaps more surprisingly, it is already number two behind just Mexico and already ahead of Spain.”
Rivera, who regularly appears on Fox News, talks about the power of Latino voters and how they express their power at the ballot box. Using the 2008 election as an example he writes how Hispanic Americans, upset at the negative rhetoric of some immigration extremists, who unfortunately sometimes identify with Republicans, voted down conservatives and helped Obama to victory.
“…Meantime, real-world Hispanic American citizen voters looked around and realized how insulting the conversation had become. In November 2008, Latinos made the Republican Party pay, and the price was steep: control of Congress and the White House. In record numbers Hispanics voted and in the end made a major, if not the decisive difference in the elections. By several sober analyses, including my own, there but for almost 12 million Hispanic voters John McCain would be president. But “I told you so” is not what this is about. The surge of Latino voters happened and, in a larger societal sense, is happening, and this book is about what that means.”
I haven’t read Rivera’s book yet. I do look forward to learning more about his point of view.
Like many I believe that Latinos can, and will, connect with the Republican party, but it will take hard work from all in the GOP. Latinos and Republicans have a lot of issues in common - improving economic opportunities, the power of small business to create jobs, creating more educational choices, and understanding that the most important unit is the family.
I look forward to the 2010 and 2012 races to see how politicians on the right side of the political spectrum connect with Latino voters. It’s important for candidates and elected officials to talk about immigration reform. Especially the need for safe, legal immigration without insulting the millions of immigrants, and their descendants, working and voting in this country.