Politics & Policy

Hispanics and the American Dream

A new initiative helps promote the ideals of liberty, hard work, and self-reliance.

The Obama economy has not been kind to Hispanics.

Hispanic unemployment remains in double digits. Since 2008, Hispanic family income has dropped by $2,500 and 2.5 million more Latinos have fallen into poverty. And yet, when polled, Hispanics remain optimistic about their future, with a full 76 percent saying they believe their children will do better than they. This is in stark contrast to the majority of Americans, who tell pollsters that they do not expect their children to fare better economically. While today most Americans are gloomy about the prospects for future generations, Hispanic Americans are still bullish on the American dream.

Hispanic optimism for the future isn’t just the stuff of dreamers (no pun intended). America’s most entrepreneurial demographic (Hispanics start businesses at twice the rate of the average American) intuitively and culturally understands that America doesn’t just need dreamers — it needs doers. Hispanics work hard and are willing to make tremendous sacrifices for the next generation. As Senator Marco Rubio puts it: “My father stood behind a bar in the back of the room all those years, so one day I could stand behind a podium in the front of a room.”

This enduring belief in the American dream and the virtues of hard work is especially remarkable when one takes into account the rigorous, concerted, and decades-long campaign waged by liberal politicians and progressive community organizers to lure Hispanics into a lifestyle of entitlements and government dependency. The Left has spent millions of dollars trying to convince Americans, especially minorities, that the American dream is dead or rigged to benefit only the rich and well connected. To address these perceived institutional barriers to success, they tell minorities that they need big government and redistributive programs that inevitably erode personal initiative.

But, despite the best efforts of those peddling racial grievances and “free stuff,” Hispanics remain stubbornly attracted to the ideas of economic liberty, self-reliance, and entrepreneurship. The notion of “making it in America” taps into deep-seated cultural pride for Latinos, who value the dignity that comes from work and earned success. And helping to foster these ideas is The LIBRE Initiative. Founded in 2011, it is the only conservative organization on the ground, in Hispanic neighborhoods, countering the efforts from the left by educating and empowering Hispanics to prosper on their own terms. Hispanics don’t want more programs to make them comfortable in their poverty. What Hispanics really want is more opportunity: the freedom to work, leave poverty behind, and rise into the ranks of the middle class and beyond.

This month, The LIBRE Initiative is launching the “Share the Dream” campaign, centered around four short, powerful video stories of real-life Hispanics who have achieved their American dream through hard work and sheer grit. My own family is a classic example. My dad, grew up poor in a copper-mining town in Arizona. The eleventh of 15 children, he learned to be resourceful and entrepreneurial at a young age, shining shoes at local bars and starting his own piñata business at the tender age of twelve. That work ethic helped him achieve a 32-year distinguished military career, a bachelor’s degree earned in night school while raising a family, and, eventually, a masters degree and a second career as a college instructor. Today, his four adult children all have post-graduate degrees, careers, and lives that have surpassed my father’s wildest dreams. All of this was accomplished in the span of two generations, and confirms my parents’ “only in America” motto.

These are compelling and emotional stories that LIBRE hopes will remind Hispanics and all Americans of the original reason so many families sacrificed so much to come here. Every American deserves a shot at the American dream. “Share the Dream” powerfully demonstrates that the dream is still alive, and Hispanics — with our incredible work ethic, drive, and resourcefulness — are poised to make ours come true.

— Rachel Campos-Duffy is an author, pundit, and mother of seven. She is a spokesperson for the LIBRE Initiative, an organization that promotes economic liberty, empowerment, and opportunity for Hispanics.

Most Popular

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More