Savor the SoCal Birth of the Taco Truck Party

Leo's, representing Mid-City
Leo's, representing Mid-City

Donald Trump is lagging enough in polls this summer that he's been waffling on immigration and laying down a cushion for a possible defeat with talk of a rigged election

So when Marco Gutierrez, founder of the group Latinos for Trump, warned last week that a presidential victory by a more immigrant-friendly Hillary Clinton could result in "taco trucks on every corner," it was really the last thing her Republican foe's campaign needed.

Americans responded, notes The New York Times, by collectively saying, Mmm, tacos! If this election is a referendum on tacos, Trump might not have a chance. Now a foursome of Southern Californians is rubbing some salt (and lime) on this GOP faux pas by creating — yes — the Taco Truck Party.

It's the brainchild of OC Weekly editor-in-chief and Taco USA author Gustavo Arellano (party president), L.A. Weekly Tacolandia curator Bill Esparza (secretary of taco relations), editorial cartoonist and television writer Lalo Alcaraz (minister of taco propaganda) and L.A. journalist and onetime Trump classmate Dennis Wilen (token gabacho).

"Some areas of the United States are light on taco trucks or have none whatsoever," the party's manifesto states. "We will talk to loncheros in saturated areas and convince them to become pioneers and move — to Montana, to Kentucky, to all of Trump’s headquarters just to fuck with him and his supporters. This reconquista on wheels will not only lead to job creation and an influx of immigrants, but tacos!"

The movement is clearly tongue-in-cheek. But beneath the surface, there's contempt for Trump's past immigrant-bashing.

"It is perfect that the election has been boiled down to this one essential binary — do you want tacos or no tacos," Alcaraz says. "People who don’t want tacos are headed to extinction. This country is made on the many influences and contributions of immigrants, and of people who have been around these parts longer than 1776. Voters need to wake up and smell the asada!"

Alcaraz called Gutierrez a Tio Taco — a Latino Uncle Tom — and argued that the #TacoTrucksOnEveryCorner social media explosion shows "how dead and gone the Republican party has sunk."

"Last time I checked," he said, "honest jobs and entrepreneurial spirit were good things."

Arellano, who appears to have sparked the slogan "Make America Asada Again," a beefy take on Trump's rehashed Reagan slogan, says the party has serious plans to help street vendors.

"Tacos present a unique opportunity to get voters to care for Mexicans," he said. "Bill, Lalo and I want to see where we can take this. We're serious about helping out taqueros any way possible. At the minimum, we want to sell posters and T-shirts and donate the proceeds to a nonprofit that helps street vendors. Oh, and #fucktrump."


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