When Marco Gutierrez, the founder of Latinos for Trump, warned last week that increased immigration could lead to “taco trucks on every corner,” he was widely and understandably mocked. Commentators lined up to sing the praises of mobile Mexican food, from conservatives lauding free enterprise to liberals decrying xenophobia. Given the deliciousness of tacos, many opined, “Taco Trucks on Every Corner” would make a compelling platform for a politician; the Arizona Democratic Party changed its marquee to use the phrase.
But it was clear enough what Gutierrez meant. Plenty of Americans do see the increasing prevalence of foreign cultures in the U.S., including Hispanic culture, as an unwelcome invasion. They resent having to press 1 for English when they call customer service; or they worry that yoga encourages satanism, or that women in headscarves mean creeping sharia. Trump’s campaign appeals powerfully to these people, with his assertion that “we don’t have a country anymore” and his nostalgic vow to make America great again, presumably by returning it to a time before Taco Bell, Univision, and the George Lopez show.
Is this what Americans want? In the U.K., the surprising result of the June Brexit vote revealed a larger than anticipated grassroots revolt against the culture of diverse, immigrant-friendly cities. Is there a Brexit-like silent majority in the United States, too, of Americans so unsettled by diversity and multiculturalism that they want to banish taco trucks?