As the reeling Republicans and strategizing Democrats debrief about 2012 national election results, they should remember six things about the Latino community.
Here's the bottom line for both parties and all those working to increase political participation in this country: the 2012 electorate, which includes millions of Hispanic voters, has become an American reality that should be embraced by all.
It is not an overstatement to say that the Latino vote delivered the presidency (and several Senate races) to Democrats. Now it is time for President Obama to quickly take advantage of the momentum.
It is puzzling that both parties would suddenly look to immigration as a way to lock in Latino support for 2016. Not only is immigration not completely synonymous with the Latino vote, but there's also the fact that some immigration reform has already happened.
Many Republicans might believe that President Obama and Democrats win this high a percentage of Latino support because of their policies on immigration. This would be ignoring the fact that, while immigration reform is important to Latinos, it's not the only issue for us.
On Tuesday November 6, 2012 I did what many supporters of President Obama did; election protection. We were sent mostly to battleground states to make sure the rules were followed and every voter got to vote.
Obama's win was not about a racial moment or something else. It was about the proudest of black moments and the signifier of cultural shifts soon to transform our world.
Perhaps, instead of trying to "win the hearts and minds" of the folks in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Republicans could start doing so here at home, with all Americans.
I've written here my reflections on my experience as a Cincinnatian, as a Latino and as a person involved with the president's campaign in Ohio from its inception -- a story that has taken more than a year and a half to complete.
There were many rhetorical points upon which the Republican Party lost Latinos. This is what handed Obama his victory and, had the rhetoric on Latino issues been reversed, we may very well have a different president come inauguration day.
The demographic winds of change are sweeping America. This new destiny will transform Arizona -- and hopefully within a couple of election cycles render voter suppression scams useless.
A look at margins of victory across the individual states paints a vivid portrait of a country that has changed enough demographically that the Republicans will no longer be able to fight popular policies that benefit the Latino community like the DREAM Act.
While Tuesday's election was an undeniable rejection by tens of millions of the politics of racial animosity, there should be no illusion that the racial panic being exploited by key leaders of the Republican Party and conservative movement is coming to an end anytime soon.
The effects of last night's election will be felt all over Washington -- including, possibly, a site favored by supporters of the National Museum of the American Latino, adjacent to the Capitol.
They've come out of the shadows to fight for their families and themselves. And now, the ones who can have shown that they will vote -- and that makes me explosively optimistic about our shared future.
When the new Congress convenes in January, power will once again be divided between a Republican House and a Democratic President and Senate. So what does it mean for the environment and green politics?