(The author is a Latino consultant for American Values 2024)
New York: The deep appreciation shown by the Latino community for the independent candidate RFK Jr., who is being supported by the American Values 2024 Super PAC, has a long history dating back to the early days of the Kennedy dynasty when President John F. Kennedy (RFK Jr.’s uncle) was assassinated. He became a sort of deity among all American minorities, especially in the Latino community, where seeing his image alongside Martin Luther King Jr. or Jesus Christ was common.
President John F. Kennedy was a staunch advocate for the fight against inequality and the civil rights of Latinos and other minorities such as African Americans and Indigenous people. This led to his election with 85% of the Hispanic vote in the 1960 elections.
Recently, we witnessed in New York the “CONNECTING THE DOTS FOR RFK JR” event organized by the American Values 2024 Super PAC to unite the Latino and African American communities around his candidacy. The event featured the presence of co-founder Tony Lyons, CEO Candace McDonald, Managing Director Trevor Fitzgibbon, Kevin Jenkins, African American influencer Alejandra Chaparro, Latino director Lilliam Banner, Latino organizer Esteban Cabrera, Latino consultant, and dozens of other African American and Latino leaders, many of whom attended in person, while others connected virtually from different states on the East Coast of the U.S.
This event historically recorded the demonstration of affection and warmth from Latinos towards the candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. RFK Jr.’s proposals go beyond the considerations mentioned earlier. Latinos also connect with his campaign on racial healing, civil rights, civil liberties, the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, the reconciliation of the American people, and the creation of an honest government. Additionally, environmental pollution, housing, and quality of life interest Latinos.
For these reasons, Hispanics will not hesitate to vote for Bobby Kennedy in 2024, as they are fed up with political demagogy, false promises from the National Democratic Committee, and the Washington DC establishment. According to the new Harvard Harris poll, Kennedy Jr. is the most favorably viewed candidate among White House contenders, with 47%, more than Trump with only 45%, DeSantis with 40%, and Biden with 39%. The poll with The Hill found that 52% of respondents had a favorable opinion of Kennedy, while 27% had an unfavorable opinion.
Several points connect the Latino community with Bobby Kennedy’s independent candidacy. The primary concern among Latinos is the economy, and ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION is a priority for RFK Jr.’s future government.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. believes that the time has come to reverse the economic decline of the United States, which marks a wealth gap not seen since 1920. The unsustainable public debt reached $33.17 trillion in January 2023 (according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury), along with a declining infrastructure and an obsolete industrial base, underscoring the need for change.
RFK Jr. proposes to restore the industrial infrastructure damaged by free trade policies. He focuses on enacting policies that favor small and medium-sized businesses, considered reliable sources of employment and the engine of American enterprises. This resonates in the Latino community for several economic reasons that I will mention below:
The Latino GDP in the United States surpasses $3.2 trillion in 2023.
According to a recent report on the Latino Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the U.S. conducted by the Business School of Arizona State University, the GDP of the Latino community in the U.S. for 2023 is $3.2 trillion, measured in terms of spending. This positions the Latino economy in the United States as the fifth-largest in the world, surpassing the economies of France, the United Kingdom, and India. Latino incomes in the United States amounted to $2.5 billion, while Latino purchasing power (LPP) was measured at $3.4 billion. Associated growth rates indicate that incomes grew by 4.7% annually compared to 1.9% for non-Latinos. Consumption and purchasing power grew between 2.1 and 2.4 times faster than their non-Latino counterparts, marking an undisputed territory that drives the U.S. economy.
Kennedy’s proposal aligns with the interest of the Latino community as it seeks to revitalize the country’s economy, with Latinos being the most productive minority.
According to the Pew Research Center, the Latino community is the most significant and fastest-growing minority in the United States. This increase is mainly due to young people, as every 30 seconds, a Hispanic turns 18. Therefore, the Pew Center projects that 36 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in 2024.