After this year’s presidential election, many political observers have started talking about demographics. The main point being raised is that the GOP must focus on wooing Hispanics before they become a stalwart Democratic voting bloc like African Americans. Many people are correctly arguing that if the GOP does not reach out to Hispanic voters, it will be shut out from the American political system forever.
What I have noticed from the commentary, however, is that there is a narrow focus on just Hispanics. Political strategists are, as usual, ignoring the black vote. Without question, attempting to reach Hispanics without first reaching blacks is imprudent. While Hispanics are natural conservatives, and lots of public policy arguments can be advanced to convince Hispanics to vote for the Republican Party, the fact of the matter is that there is no strong historical link between Hispanics and the GOP. By contrast, there is a rich history between the GOP and African Americans. If Republicans cannot inform blacks of the fact that the Republican Party was founded as the party of civil rights for blacks—and that the party supports conservative policies, which has a history of being tremendously salubrious to the black community—then the GOP suffers from a fundamental communicative deficiency that will be an impediment to reaching any audience—Hispanics included.
This fundamental communicative deficiency can also be seen in the way right-wing political commentators have been scrambling to reposition themselves on the illegal immigration debate in order to appeal to Hispanics. Rather than logically detailing the reasons why conservatives do not believe in illegal immigration, many on the right believe the best thing to do is to take the liberal position on this issue. If both sides are going to be arguing the pro-illegal immigration position, why would Hispanics want to support the Republican Party, especially when the Democratic Party had the position first? It makes very little sense.
Republicans can win the Hispanic vote without shamelessly adopting the left’s position on illegal immigration. The way to do this is by first going after the black vote. I’ll explain.
If blacks start voting for Republicans in large numbers, Hispanics will likely follow. Hispanics are more likely to copy the political voting habits of blacks than blacks are to copy the political voting habits of Hispanics. In the same way that urban Latino culture has gravitated towards black culture, we will likely see the same occurrence in the political realm if blacks start voting for the GOP in large numbers. Earning a majority of the black vote will have positive unintended consequences as far as reaching other minority groups, especially since blacks are the original minority group. Even if Hispanics do not immediately follow blacks and start voting Republican, having large numbers of blacks as members of the GOP would dramatically improve the image of the party. It would rip to shreds the racist image that Republicans have been saddled with for many decades, and it would become a good starting point from which Republicans can proceed in reaching out to Hispanics. Hispanics, then, would look at the logic of conservative arguments, rather than dismiss the GOP as anti-minority.
The GOP has a harder message for the Hispanic community than for other minority groups. Telling people that their relatives cannot blithely walk into the country without proper documentation is a bitter pill for some to swallow, but it is nonetheless logical. Conservatives do not need to change position on illegal immigration. Conservatives need to change the tone of the message—and the spokespeople delivering that message. If the Republican Party is serious about winning this argument without appearing bigoted, there needs to be a clear distinction between conservative arguments on this issue and paleoCONservative arguments on this issue. PaleoCONservatives routinely make arguments attacking all immigration (legal and illegal) of non-whites to the United States. All they care about is America being a bucolic, all-white utopia where they won’t have to experience the “hell” of living with lots of black and brown people.
(For examples of these kinds of arguments, please read the work of the white supremacist, anti-Semitic and racist writers at VDARE.com. The website was created by a notorious British racist, Peter Brimelow.)
For sensible conservatives, opposition to illegal immigration has nothing to do with being anti-Hispanic. It’s about upholding the law. The Republican Party needs to make a clear distinction between the racists, who solely care about white nationalism, and the serious thinkers in the party, who care about the rule of law. Additionally, opposing illegal immigration is a position that anyone who cares about national security must take. Post 9/11, America cannot allow people to waltz into the country without proper documentation. The national security argument is a point that all reasonable people can understand—including Hispanics. Conservatives need to make well-reasoned arguments on the issue of illegal immigration. These arguments cannot simply portray Hispanics as a monolith of shameless welfare-recipients trying to mooch off hard-working, tax-paying white people. Such a blanket indictment of an entire, generally hardworking, group of people is not only false, but politically suicidal, as it strains the potential for outreach.
To reiterate, if the Republican Party successfully earns the black vote, I believe that it is likely Hispanics will follow. After all, if the Republicans can present themselves as friendly to blacks, Hispanics will be more open to hearing the GOP message. Trying to opportunistically reposition on the amnesty debate is patently ridiculous. Rather, Republicans need to communicate to Hispanics with reasoned arguments, while ensuring that the community understands that opposition to illegal immigration isn’t birthed from a detestation of Hispanics. Hispanics will be more willing to listen to reason once it is clear that the Republican Party doesn’t hate them. Opposition to illegal immigration shouldn’t be viewed as a way in which conservatives express their dislike for minorities. PaleoCONservatives generally do hate Hispanics (as well as Jews and black people). That is not true for real conservative Republicans. A repudiation of the bigots who denounce all non-white immigration and seek to present non-white immigrants in the worst possible light is a prerequisite to Hispanics listening to what serious conservatives have to say on this issue.
Conservative policies on the issue of illegal immigration do not need to be changed. Conservative policies on the issue of illegal immigration simply need to be argued with a combination of clarity, compassion, and confidence.
- I recognize that Hispanics are not a monolithic group. In this piece, I use the term for the sake of brevity.↵
- I always capitalize the “con” in paleoCONservative for a reason. These people are shy Nazis pretending to be conservatives. They are utter frauds! I will write more about these Hitlerian devils in the new year…↵
- Ironically, Peter Brimelow is renowned for the quote, “The modern definition of ‘racist’ is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal.” While there is a lot of truth to the notion that liberals falsely accuse people of racism, the truth is that Peter Brimelow is a complete racist and an anti-Semite (as can be seen from not only his own writings, but also from the writers he publishes at VDARE.com). Unfortunately for Mr. Brimelow, when a liberal calls him a racist, it’s not because he’s winning an argument; it’s because it’s actually true.↵