The Republican share of the hispanic vote has dwindled from a high of 40% in 2004 to 20% in 2008. But it doesn’t have to be this way; it could be 60 or even 80%. Republicans needn’t write off this segment of the population, and we certainly shouldn’t stupidly alienate it if we want to have a say in how our government is run and our country evolves in the next generation.
In general, hispanic citizens are hard-working, self-reliant, pro-family, pro-Judeo-Christian values; pro-Life, pro-school choice. These qualities should endear it to the conservative movement and the Republican party. There are plenty of hispanics in America, even those who participate in the Spanish-language talk radio forums (that I listen to and occasionally participate in), who are appalled at Barack Obama’s economic policies, his brownnosing of foreign leaders and entities, and the reclassification of foreign terrorists as common criminals subject to constitutional protections.
All the conservative movement and the Republican party would need to do to win this segment back to its side is make a sincere outreach appeal and stop appearing to foam at the mouth every time the topic of immigration, legal or illegal, comes up.
Conservative principles of limited government, free markets, free people, duty, honor and country, are not limited by ethnic origin, color or religion, and they do not stop at the border. There is no reason that conservatives can not support liberal (small ‘L’) free-trade policies with other countries and immigration policies that recognize the need for and benefit from immigrants both at the very low and the very high end of the education and skill levels, where they compliment our native-born medium-level average. There is certainly no good capitalist economic argument for undue restriction of trade or immigration.
This doesn’t mean roll over and play dead when Democrats nominate leftist socialist hispanics to high office, as in the case of Sonia Sotomayor. We have to take principled opposing stands and promote our people, of whom we have plenty ‘of color’. But it does mean refraining from painting 12 million people with a broad brush as some kind of criminal underground. To the contrary, reach out, educate this population in American civic values, and win them and their voting citizen cousins to our cause.
To do the right thing by their own principles and to win elections once more, conservatives need to TAKE THE LEAD in liberalizing trade and immigration laws under the rule of law, to make it easier for honest people to come here legally in order all the better to isolate the miscreants who violate our borders for criminal and/or terrorist purposes. By taking the lead in immigration reform, Republicans can take the election issue advantage away from the Democrats and prevent their worst and most irresponsible notions from becoming law over our impotent opposition.
Hispanics for Republicans? ¡Si, se puede!
- American Thinker: Conservative Republican Values and the American Hispanic Mind
- The United States Needs More Conservative Opinion in Spanish
- National Review Online: Bush’s “Real” Hispanic Numbers
- Cato Institute: Will Democrats Err in Immigration Reforms?
- Daniel Griswold: As Immigrants Move In, Americans Move Up
- Wall Street Journal: sunshine for McCain