The Future of the U.S. is Hispanic. This is not a political statement, it’s a demographic reality.
Unlike political statements that can change with the wind, demographic realities are fixed in stone. As I have said before, short of major pandemics, errant meteors or mass genocide, demographics won’t change.
Hispanics currently make up approximately 16% of the U.S. population. That is projected to grow to approximately 30% by 2050. All other ethnic grouping either remain static (Blacks – 12% to 12%), diminish (White 60% – 45%), or grow slightly. So the trend is obvious and inevitable. The future of the U.S. is Hispanic.
That should mean Hispanics will become more powerful politically in the coming years. However, there is a cultural element that will suppress that movement, at least in the short term. That issue is the traditional Hispanic culture of patriarchy.
When I lived in Puerto Rico, one of my close friends and associates once told me something I have never forgotten. He said, “Always remember, Puerto Rico only practices democracy one day, once every four years. The rest of the time it’s a patriarchy.” I also remember the president of the Puerto Rico Senate stating publicly that he thought it inappropriate for the P.R Legislature to be lobbied. We, the patriarchs, know best, was the message.
My work in Latin America, over many years, has convinced me this is a pervasive Hispanic trait. Simply stated, it is the tendency to expect leaders to make all the decisions, just like the head of the family. The people expect that, and the leaders expect that.
Hispanics in the U.S. are notoriously bad at organizing themselves, politically. That is partially because there are so many factions. Cubans, TexMex, Puerto Rican, Dominican etc. Each group feels it’s a family, and the idea of cross-Hispanic cooperation is difficult, to understand or to implement.
However, over time, the younger generation of Hispanic American citizens will learn from their adopted culture, and move away from patriarchy. When they do, the future of the United States will be Hispanic. Demographically, they are moving closer to becoming the majority of the population, bar none, and their political ambitions will not be too far behind.
The movement has already started with Senator Marco Rubio, and several of President Joe Biden’s cabinet appointments. However, realization of their own demographics, and the resulting power, has yet to be understood by the various Hispanic communities.
Any U.S. politician, who hopes to be around over the next few decades, will have to recognize and accept this reality. In fact, early recognition is an almost guaranteed path to power.
Hispanics have a better record of integration in the U.S. than do Blacks. Black leaders, over the past fifty years, have tried to create a counter-culture. Understandable, but, in my opinion, self-defeating for the future. That, and static demographics, will confine them to always being a minority. Hispanics, on the other hand, have integration inclination and demographics on their side.
They also have another, unrelated, scenario that could help their rise to power.
If the U.S. continues its slide towards autocracy, the Hispanic concept of patriarchy will become more relevant. It is therefore possible that the two forces will, at some point, merge. The frightening result could become a reflection of South America – an autocratic, patriarchal, Hispanic leadership of the country.
Either way, the future of the United States is Hispanic.