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Alex Padilla wins Kentucky Identity Politics Derby in California

When California Secretary of State Alex Padilla got the shock of a lifetime on Tuesday during a video call with his old friend, California Governor Gavin Newsom, he stayed in character.

As a California-based Mexican-American journalist who has covered elected officials for 30 years, here is my summary of how Latinos approach politics: We are passive, respectful, and respectful. We align ourselves and we do not challenge authority. We do not protest, demand, pressure or threaten. We accept what the powers that be give us with humility and gratitude, head down and hat in hand. We don’t strut, act right, or complain – even though, as anyone can see, we have a lot of reason to complain.

Radiated by Republicans and taken for granted by Democrats, we are loyal to a fault of politicians and parties, even when we are betrayed. We don’t scream and scream. But, every once in a while – when things really go as planned and the person who should get the job gets the job – we’re known to cry a bit. This is how Latinos ride. We cry as we talk about what makes us feel small: our families, our country and our God.

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