With the first presidential primaries coming up in February of 2016, only four months away, candidates from both major parties have intensified their campaigns and have released individual outlines for policies that they intend to implement should they be elected. The Republican candidates in the primaries have been the center of attention from the media across all platforms. From conservative news outlets like Fox News praising the candidate’s policies to liberal and central leaning sites reporting on said policies for entertainment, the Republican primaries have American audiences hooked.
At a televised rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, Donald Trump, in an obvious attempt to appeal to Latino voters, paused during his speech, gestured off stage, and then walked to the front row to bring up Myriam Witcher, a woman who claims to be Colombian, to share her message with the audience.
“I’m Hispanic and we vote for Mr. Trump!” proclaimed Witcher.
As a Latino from a large immigrant community, I can confidently say that Latino voters do not feel any admiration towards Trump, and the polls reflect that. According to the most recent polls by CNN, 82 percent of Latinos hold a negative view of Donald Trump, with 68 percent of them feeling very strongly about this view. This does not match up with Trump’s constant claims that he will win the Hispanic vote.
CNN reporter Brooke Baldwin asked Witcher if anyone from Trump’s campaign had attempted to reach out to her.
“Nobody. It’s not something. I just only talk to God and my computer and my heart. That’s it.” Witcher responded.
Trump released an outline for his immigration policy that called for the mass deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Trump talked about the construction of a massive wall on the U.S.’s southern border, while also mentioning he would force the Mexican government to pay for it. The nature of his absurd policy can not possibly be embraced with such positivity and enthusiasm as demonstrated with Witcher, who has earned a reputation as an embarrassment of the Spanish-speaking community.
Various viewers took to social media to accuse Witcher of fraud and have questioned her claim to being of Colombian nationality. She was met with a lot of criticism on Twitter. Her account, @MyriamWinner, tends to be filled with pro-Trump propaganda. People have begun to doubt on social media whether she was really a random member from the audience at Trump’s rally.
Witcher’s lack of a Colombian accent suggests falsehood. Trump is constantly being reminded that to win the general elections he is going to need to win Latino voters. With his outrageous remarks and inauthentic guests on stage, he will surely fail to accomplish this task.
Witcher’s appeal was obviously a scripted attempt to reach out to the Latino population, and it is no wonder it failed to feel authentic. This ill-thought political ploy is an insult to Latinos, and only further alienates our communities from the Republican Party.