There's a weird story about Glenn Beck in the New Yorker this week, how watching Michelle Obama's speech mentioning how Trump treats women was a come to Jesus moment for him. We'll have to wait and see how long that lasts.
Decency is a fresh palette for Beck, who, at Fox, used to scribble on a chalkboard while launching into conspiratorial rants about looming Weimar-esque hyperinflation, Barack Obama’s ties to radicals with population-cleansing schemes, and a Marxist-Islamist cabal itching to take over America. He once described Clinton as “a stereotypical bitch” and accused Obama of being a racist with a “deep-seated hatred for white people.”
That was the old Beck, he insists: “I did a lot of freaking out about Barack Obama.” But, he said, “Obama made me a better man.” He regrets calling the President a racist and counts himself a Black Lives Matter supporter. “There are things unique to the African-American experience that I cannot relate to,” he said. “I had to listen to them.”
Beck’s interactions with Donald Trump helped, too. He told a story of Trump summoning him to a guest room at Mar-a-Lago; Trump then telephoned him from an adjacent room. “We had this weird, almost Howard Hughes-like conversation,” Beck said. He left convinced that Trump was nuts. “This guy is dangerously unhinged,” he said. “And, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot Dangerously Unhinged.”
…“We’ve made everything into a game show,” he said, “and now we’re reaping the consequences of it.” Some of this may be Beck’s own doing. Trump’s conspiracy-peddling and doomsaying? That’s vintage Beck, who said that the Fourth of July used to move him to tears. But now, he said, our politicians and bankers have become crooks, our wars meaningless, and our values lost. “I’m at a Dadaist time in my life,” he said. “So much of what I used to believe was either always a sham or has been made into a sham. There’s nothing deep.”
Deep? Deep is how Trump's attempt to bully Americans of Hispanic descent appears to have almost wrecked, not only his chances to win the presidency, but the future of his and Beck's political party. A day before the polls opened Telemundo released one of their own, the final one of the 2016 cycle. It shows Hillary with an epic 62 point lead over Trump among Latino voters– that's 76% for Hillary and 14% for Trump. If that accurately reflects what happened today, it will be historic. The last 5 elections looked like this:
• 1996- Clinton- 72%, Dole- 21%
• 2000- Gore- 62%, Bush- 35%
• 2004- Kerry- 58%, Bush- 40%
• 2008- Obama- 67%, McCain- 31%
• 2012- Obama- 71%, Romney- 27%
Trump will have taken the smallest number of Hispanic voters since polling began. That shouldn't surprise anyone. What should is how many more Latinos are voting this year than in the past. As Lindsey Graham quipped to the NY Times over the weekend, “The story of this election may be the mobilization of the Hispanic vote. So Trump deserves the award for Hispanic turnout. He did more to get them out than any Democrat has ever done.”
Over the weekend, the national political media reported that the Latino electorate could be the key to a Clinton victory, as early voting numbers are showing historic surges in states like Florida, Nevada and Arizona.
Findings about early voting by Latinos from the NALEO/Noticias Telemundo poll would confirm that the surge is indeed a reality. According to this week’s poll, 50% of respondents said that already voted early or will vote before Election Day. Last week, Latino Decisions predicted that “between 13.1 million and 14.7 million Latinos will vote in 2016.” If so, it would be the highest number of Latinos to ever vote in an election cycle.
As for the importance of the 2016 election, 76% of poll respondents said it was more important than 2012, while 55% said they were more enthusiastic about voting in 2016 than they were about 2012.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis