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Defectors: The Rise of the Latino Far Right and What It Means for America by Paola Ramos (9/24/24)

Defectors: The Rise of the Latino Far Right and What It Means for America by Paola Ramos (9/24/24)

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From the author of Finding Latinx an award-winning journalist's deeply reported exploration of how race, identity and political trauma have influenced the rise in far-right sentiment among Latinos, and how this group can shape American politics

Democrats have historically assumed they can rely on the Latino vote, but recent elections have called that loyalty into question. In fact, despite his vociferous anti-immigrant rhetoric and disastrous border policies, Trump won a higher percentage of the Latino vote in 2020 than he did in 2016. Now, journalist Paola Ramos pulls back the curtain on these voters, traveling around the country to uncover what motivates them to vote for and support issues that seem so at odds with their self-interest. From coast to coast, cities to rural towns, Defectors introduces readers to underdog GOP candidates, January 6th insurrectionists, Evangelical pastors and culture war crusaders, aiming to identify the influences at the heart of this rightward shift. Through their stories, Ramos shows how tribalism, traditionalism, and political trauma within the Latino community has been weaponized to radicalize and convert voters who, like many of their white counterparts, are fearful of losing their place in American society. We meet Monica de la Cruz, a Republican congresswoman from the Rio Grande Valley who won on a platform centered on finishing "what Donald Trump started" and pushing the Great Replacement Theory; David Ortiz, a Mexican man who refers to himself as a Spaniard and opposed the removal of a statue of a Spanish conquistador in New Mexico; Luis Cabrera, an evangelical pastor pushing to "Make America Godly Again;" Anthony Aguero, an independent journalist turned border vigilante; and countless other individuals and communities that make up the rising conservative Latino population. Cross-cultural and assiduously reported, Defectors highlights how one of America's most powerful and misunderstood electorates may come to define the future of American politics.

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