My friend Cesar works the deli counter at my neighborhood grocery store. He is Dominican, an immigrant, early 50s, and listens most mornings to a local Hispanic radio station, La Mega, on 97.9 FM. Their morning show is the popular El Vacilón de la Mañana, and after the first GOP debate, Cesar told me, they opened the lines to call-ins, asking listeners (mostly Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican) for their impressions. More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts. I later spoke to one of them, who identified himself as D.J. New Era. He backed Cesars story. We were very surprised, at the Trump support, he said. Why? Its a Latin-based market!
Hes the man, Cesar said of Mr. Trump. This week I went by and Cesar told me that after Mr. Trump threw Univisions well-known anchor and immigration activist, Jorge Ramos, out of an Iowa news conference on Tuesday evening, the El Vacilón hosts again threw open the phone lines the following morning and were again surprised that the majority of callers backed not Mr. Ramos but Mr. Trump. Cesar, who I should probably note sees me, I sense, as a very nice establishment person who needs to get with the new reality, was delighted.
I said: Cesar, youre supposed to be offended by Trump, he said Mexico is sending over criminals, he has been unfriendly, youre an immigrant. Cesar shook his head: No, you have it wrong. Immigrants, he said, dont like illegal immigration, and theyre with Mr. Trump on anchor babies. They are coming in from other countries to give birth to take advantage of the system. We are saying that! When you come to this country, you pledge loyalty to the country that opened the doors to help you.
He added, We dont bloc vote anymore. The idea of a Latin vote is disparate, which he said generally translates as nonsense, but which he means as bull----.
OK. Old style: Jorge Ramos speaks for Hispanic America. New style: Jorge Ramos speaks for Jorge Ramos.