Some parties just don’t learn.
When the Democrats won 1.7 million more votes than Republicans in 2012, pundits blamed the Grand Ol’ Party for becoming the party of old white men. Many argued they were too exclusive in their branding and needed to broaden the base.
Besides women, Latinos are an obvious target for Republicans. Blacks are somewhat of a lost cause, having voted for Democrats almost unanimously since FDR (93 percent of black voters picked Barack Obama in 2012). And Fox News will start reporting news before members of the LGBT community begin voting for the “Smear the Queer” party in any significant numbers.
Latinos, however, are prone to the Republican message largely because most are still steeped in a Catholic immigrant culture that prides itself in its meekness, hard work and perseverance. Contrary to what Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly might insist live on air, most of the Latinos you’ll meet wouldn’t accept a handout even if they desperately needed it. Latinos practice meekness almost to a fault.
And just as Latinos aren’t able to swallow their pride to ask for financial help, the Republican Party that seeks to woo them doesn’t seem capable of biting their tongues long enough to gain a few Latino votes.
Look at what happened this week.
On Saturday the famed Republican commentator and human stick-bug Ann Coulter explained to the audience gathered for the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (held at the Gaylord International Hotel) why voting for Democrats would lead to more Latino immigrants — and, thus, the ruination of America — saying that Democrats “want more immigrants, particularly illegal immigrants, because they need brand new voters, just warm bodies, more votes … Amnesty goes through, and the Democrats have 30 million new voters.”
I don’t know where Ms. Coulter pulled that number from. It couldn’t have come out of her ass because, again, she’s a human stick-bug.
Most estimates for the number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States are about a third of Ann’s figure. But we shouldn’t be too hard on her. It’s not like Ivy League lawyers are supposed to be strict about facts or anything.
During that same appearance she brushed away the plight of DREAMers by revealing how they’re really created:
When you hear them going on and on about ‘Oh, the children, the children!’ The ‘children’ under the DREAM Act include kids– young men who snuck across at age 17. Some of them are in their thirties now. … This nonsense about families being broken up and ‘Oh, the children!’ It’s not as if people crossing the border illegally in the back of trucks marked ‘pico de gallo,’ hiding in barrels, running from the border guards — it’s not like they did not know what they were doing was wrong. Everyone acts like they stumbled into the country. ‘Oh, gosh! I didn’t know that was illegal.’
Then, only a few days later, as if in a show of support, the House GOP passed the ENFORCE Act, which would allow Congress to sue Pres. Obama for not enforcing the nation’s laws. The law’s about much more than immigration — health care, education and drug policy are thrown into the mix, as well — but it could force the president’s hand on immigration, too.
The presidential memo directing immigration agencies to halt deportation proceedings against any undocumented person who was brought to the States as a child — known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — would probably be out the door on day one. And the marches and rallies demanding that Pres. Obama shrink the rate of deportations would also end, since the law would basically force immigration agents to deport any undocumented person they found.
That would mean a lot more “families being broken up,” especially Latino ones. It also means that, instead of endorsing a pathway to citizenship — something supported by an overwhelming majority of Latinos — the only path Republicans want undocumented immigrants on is a path out of the country.
Finally, while Republicans were seeking ways to attack the Latino community from the House floor, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party’s own wunderkind, offered his assessment of the real issue plaguing America’s inner cities:
That’s this tailspin or spiral that we’re looking at in our communities. Your buddy Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard, those guys have written books on this. Which is, we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working, and just generations of men not even thinking about working and learning the value and culture of work. And so there’s a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.
There’s no need to make a big deal out of what Ryan said. It’s by now common knowledge that most Republicans — and even some Democrats — believe laziness created the ghettos and keeps them going.
At any rate, must I state that the Republican Party does not stand with the average Latino voter?
This is the party that wants to see millions of Latinos, their friends and their family members ripped from their homes, their loved ones and their dreams. This is the party that thinks the unfortunate DREAMer is really just an opportunistic criminal. This is the party that believes places like Humboldt Park and Little Village are poor because the people who live there are lazy and filled with men who don’t know the meaning of hard work.
It’s a midterm election year, which are notorious for their low voter turnout. Even in a presidential election year, Latinos only show up to the polls at a rate of less than half.
Maybe Latinos don’t know the value of voting.
But, por el amor de Dios (as my grandma would say), register and vote this year. Because this, the Republican Party, is the same party that usually wins big when the rest of us are too lazy to vote.
And the country can’t afford more Republicans in government.