The GOP's California LessonBy Jared E. Peterson
There's been much verbal hand wringing since the election about the Republican Party's alleged urgent need to modify its stance on amnesty -- this, it's argued, is the key to improving Republican showing among Hispanic voters (Romney got about 22% of the Hispanic vote). As but one of many recent examples, see James Doti's November 16, 2012, opinion piece in the Orange County Register, a normally sensible newspaper.
Almost all this panicked chatter, Doti's included -- from both conservative commentators and Republican office holders -- is based on a willful refusal to see the obvious.
Those who argue that the Republican Party should endorse "a path to citizenship" for ten (twenty?) million illegals ignore the fundamental economic basis for the Democrats' tightening vise grip on the U.S. Hispanic vote: Hispanics, especially those of recent Mexican and Central American origin and their children, do not vote Democrat because they want open borders, but because they are eager for government benefits.
The Republican Party can't cure that economic reality, which is driving Hispanic allegiance to Democrats, by altering its stance on amnesty -- but it could fatally damage the Republican Party by that change.
The US sub-demographic of Mexican and Central American recent arrivals and their children constitutes an immense portion of the overall U.S. Hispanic population (in fact, it's a substantial majority), and its percentage among the U.S. Hispanic population would increase dramatically if a new amnesty were adopted. This sub-demographic is almost certainly voting Democrat in percentages far greater than the overall 2012 Hispanic Democrat vote of 71%.
Any weakening of the Republican Party's longstanding position on a second massive amnesty (President Reagan's 1986 mistake was the first) would be seen by Hispanics as insincere, Johnny-come-lately pandering, and for that reason alone would gain the Party few votes from Hispanics.
But this is not the principal reason Hispanics, particularly recent arrivals, would continue voting overwhelmingly Democrat despite any conceivable Republican modification of its amnesty position.
The following can't be emphasized often enough:
Hispanics don't vote Democrat because Republicans believe the US has a real border with Mexico -- they vote Democrat because huge percentages of arriving Hispanics are impoverished third world immigrants or their children, and as such are natural clients of the welfare state. Despite the admirable eagerness of most Hispanics to work, they also want as many government benefits and as much public support as they can get. And by now their communities are very well informed about which political party has that on perpetual offer.
Case in point: Mr. Doti, of Orange County, California, probably noticed the passage two weeks ago of the ruinous California tax increase known as Proposition 30, raising the state's already exorbitant sales tax a quarter point and increasing state income taxes on families earning over $250,000 to the punitive level of 14%.
This economically catastrophic measure didn't just barely pass -- it passed by a wide margin.
Before California's electorate took on the demographics of a third world nation -- through a combination of massive legal and illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America and President Reagan's 1986 amnesty -- neither Proposition 30 nor anything like it could have passed.
Back in the not so long ago good old days --1978 -- California gave America the tax revolt with the famous (and now very much endangered) Proposition 13, protecting property owners from immense tax increases. In the 1980's and well into the '90's California elected Republican governors.
The possibility of California's repeating such electoral choices within the foreseeable future is as remote today as the return of economic freedom to the USSR was in 1930.
In fact Proposition 30 passed in California on November 6, 2012 -- and the state has descended into one party rule -- for one reason: strong support from the state's Hispanic voters for both.
Solid demographic information on the California election is not easy to come by now, but Edison's exit polls show that California whites did not vote for Proposition 30. Hispanics, however, did vote for it, and very probably in percentages greater than those announced by Edison. Moreover, "younger" voters (who are much more heavily Hispanic in California than older voters) strongly voted for Proposition 30. If data were available, it would no doubt show that the more recently arrived cohort of California Hispanics voted more heavily for Proposition 30 than California Hispanics as a whole.
In short, Democrats didn't change Californians' minds on taxes or two party government -- it changed Californians.
It wants to do the same for the rest of the nation. A second amnesty would merely expedite the Democrats' achievement of their chief goal: bringing to the whole of America the California demographics that brought third world political, economic, and tax conditions to California.
Does Mr. Doti seriously contend that California Hispanics voted to raise taxes on November 6, 2012, because they're angry with the Republican Party's stance on amnesty? Or did they vote that way because they want a bigger welfare state -- more taxpayer support for immigrant income, housing, unemployment, and health care -- all paid for by the private sector middle class?
Instead of changing its position on the essentially unopposed invasion of America that's been going on for twenty-five years -- which by now would avail it next to nothing with Hispanic voters -- the Republican party should be relentlessly directing a blinding spotlight on the now ongoing and unstoppable pillage of California -- and reminding Americans of the Democratic Party-engineered demographic revolution that made possible the ongoing destruction of what was once the nation's most vital and prosperous economy.
More tax and economic atrocities will come in California following Proposition 30. The Democratic Party and the public employee unions are already salivating at the prospect of further tax increases, knowing from the November 6, 2012, election that the state's demographics have given them the combination to the safe.
The California private sector middle class and business community are now -- officially -- defenseless. The rest of the nation, particularly every battleground state, needs to know this.
Facts are stubborn things and this one will not go away: When America has the demographics of California, it will also have the politics, economic policy and taxes of California: the principal features of which include a massive over-privileged public bureaucracy, skyrocketing taxes, an exodus of business, and a beleaguered private sector middle class in precipitous decline or outright flight.
A final point: changing the Party's stand on amnesty and borders would not merely fail to gain Hispanic support. Taking this electorally useless step would have calamitous consequences for the Republican coalition, which overwhelmingly rejects amnesty -- as George W. Bush and John McCain discovered when they tried to sneak it through.
The route to restoring governmental and economic sanity in America, if there is one, lies in keeping the Republicans' enormous 2012 voter coalition together -- 59 million plus, at last count-- and adding to it, by an explicitly inclusive and better articulated core message: that economic liberty, low taxes and less government regulation have always been the path to prosperity -- the 1980's and 90's are but the most recent example -- and that they can be again. This is a positive, inclusive and attractive program for the Party, one that has reasonable chances of increasing Republican vote percentages among all ethnic and racial groups, particularly in view of what are sure to be worsening economic times, especially in California.
Reminding America of the California catastrophe, and how it happened, should make it easier to convey this message.
Of course, the general message must be accompanied by better candidates of all ethnicities at all levels, and a vastly improved and permanent number-crunching ground attack in the critical states, designed to locate new voters, switch old ones, and find, publicize and halt voter fraud.
This approach is the hard road, the long march. In a nation much of whose electorate has forgotten, or never understood, the conditions that lead to prosperity, there are no easy solutions. But a few superficially seductive, but actually ruinous, alternate paths must be avoided. Embracing amnesty for immigrants who entered America illegally is one of them.
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