Change in Tactics

The Republican Party needs to focus on minorities

by: Lea Palmer

There is no question that the Republican Party is slowly disappearing.  Its current path will be unable to sustain itself for much longer and for several reasons: social issues have taken a precedent over economic issues and the Republican Party simply isn’t comfortable changing any of their existing views, the GOP doesn’t appear to be able to compromise or treat promising candidates with any respect (remember Ron Paul), and most importantly the Republican Party continues to target a very small portion of voters when they should be targeting rapidly increasing minorities such as the Hispanic population.

President Obama is not, by any stretch, one of the better presidents that the United States has seen.  Even Forbes calls him “…one of the most radical presidents in American history and one of the most incompetent.” (Hunter, 2012).  Yet, the Republican Party was unable to find a component that could beat him out of office, which should have been an easy victory.  Mitt Romney was only able to attain one of the nine battleground states this year and received fewer votes against President Barack Obama than John McCain did in 2008 when Obama was nothing more than a Midwestern junior senator.  Florida became one of the major battleground states as each opponent tried to gain the Hispanic vote, however, the efforts the Republican Party put into obtaining these votes simply weren’t enough.  The GOP, who as we all know hates change, held firm to their proposals on immigration reform.  The DREAM Act which, would have given immigrant children the opportunity to receive residency in the United States if they had a high school diploma, failed; and they proudly proclaimed to support the House-passed version of the Violence Against Women Act that destroyed coverage for illegal immigrants and Native Americans who were victims of domestic abuse.

Within the next couple generations of voters the Hispanic and African-American populations will greatly outnumber other voters, and if the Republican Party wishes to survive, these are the people they should be targeting.  Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington have all seen a huge jump in the number of Hispanic people in their states, some of these states have even netted additional congressional seats because of such a drastic population increase.  What we’re not seeing, however, is a softening attitude to these Hispanic voters.  Many of the states listed above have enacted strict anti-immigration laws that penalize businesses in their states for the use of illegal immigrants even though they make up a vast majority of the needed work.  (pull quote) The Republican attitude toward Hispanics has definitely not softened, and I can attest to this statement as a Hispanic Republican myself.  People like Ann Coulter have not made the relationship any better either, by saying Hispanics are only contributing to the population by “having illegitimate children and going on welfare” (Coulter, 2012).  It’s no wonder that the Republican Party is having trouble reaching out to the Hispanic population.  Quite frankly, why would anyone want to be a part of a political party that has made it quite clear that they are not being supported?

Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, seems to be one of the most promising Republican leaders in the United States today.  He, along with many other Americans, believes that the Republican Party needs to move into the twenty-first century with many of their views.  This Cuban-American senator according to many prominent news sources appears to be most promising figure for the GOP because his views on immigration and other policies has homed in on the most neglected minority in the country.  Rubio believes that the Republican Party has forgotten how to tell the American people what their main goal is which is to promote free enterprise and limited government; something he believes is the only way to help our middle class grow.  In an interview with the New York Times, Rubio stated “We can’t have the kind of vibrant growth we need and the economy we want, based on limited government and free enterprise, if we don’t have a legal immigration system that works… and in order to have a system that works, we have to deal with the people that are already here illegally” (Rubio, 2012).  Rubio believes that for anything substantial to be accomplished, Congress needs to have the ability to come together and create a package of bills that focuses on issues such as, guest worker programs, border security, and ways for businesses to check an employee’s immigration status.

Although Rubio doesn’t think the situation the Republican Party faces concerning minorities is deadly, many others are quite skeptical.  It is going to take a lot of changing for the Republican Party to climb out of the hole that they have made for themselves; They (the Republican Party) have to become the “loving-legal-immigrant” party, rather than the “hating-illegals” party that they are at the moment coined as.  There are far more things that the Republican Party can do to promote their goals, but as the Hispanic population continues to escalate, one of their main concerns should be how to gain their votes and their respect, which they have yet to obtain on a large scale.  Immigration reform is a huge step to accomplishing this goal; however, an even bigger step is to help change the way Hispanics are viewed altogether.