“Why Hispanics Don’t Vote for Republicans”
Not surprisingly, their voting choices have nothing to do with the amnesty pander now being pushed by the same people who keep steering us down disastrous electoral paths and everything to do with why that very amnesty pander — that is, trying to co-opt the tactics of the left — will only in the long-term create more leftists and more leftism.
Heather McDonald, breaking down the numbers:
If Republicans want to change their stance on immigration, they should do so on the merits, not out of a belief that only immigration policy stands between them and a Republican Hispanic majority. It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation. Hispanics will prove to be even more decisive in the victory of Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, which raised upper-income taxes and the sales tax, than in the Obama election.
And California is the wave of the future. A March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds — “it favors only the rich”; “Republicans are selfish and out for themselves”; “Republicans don’t represent the average person”– compared with 7 percent who objected to Republican immigration stances.
I spoke last year with John Echeveste, founder of the oldest Latino marketing firm in southern California, about Hispanic politics. “What Republicans mean by ‘family values’ and what Hispanics mean are two completely different things,” he said. “We are a very compassionate people, we care about other people and understand that government has a role to play in helping people.”
And a strong reason for that support for big government is that so many Hispanics use government programs. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nearly seven in ten poor children in the state are Hispanic, and one in three Hispanic children is poor, compared to less than one in six non-Hispanic children. One can see that disparity in classrooms across the state, which are chock full of social workers and teachers’ aides trying to boost Hispanic educational performance.
The idea of the “social issues” Hispanic voter is also a mirage. A majority of Hispanics now support gay marriage, a Pew Research Center poll from last month found. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate is 53 percent, about twice that of whites.
The demographic changes set into motion by official and de facto immigration policy favoring low-skilled over high-skilled immigrants mean that a Republican party that purports to stand for small government and free markets faces an uncertain future.
It’s clear the left wishes to keep an open border in order to bring in future Democratic voters — specifically, those who make most use of government services and whose lack of social capital, from struggles with the language to poor education, from the start prevents them from moving into higher-paying jobs. That is, the left is importing future clients, whose votes can be had for a growing of the welfare state.
That the tone-deaf leadership in the GOP and the “conservative” opinion outlets are even considering the pragmatism of identity politics pandering is already quite depressing. But even more so is that they are in such a rush to copy the left’s playbook that they can’t even be bothered to understand what their own should be telling them. That goes for the editorial board at the WSJ, too, whose open borders stance is less about principle than it is about cheap labor.
The way forward with the Hispanic vote is to seal the borders, preach first principles, reaffirm the necessity of assimilation, show the way out of dependency, and reject things like “comprehensive immigration reform,” which won’t help you with Hispanics and will most certainly cost you what’s left of your base.