Why Do Latinos Rebuff GOP?
OCT. 3, 2011
By JOHN SEILER
CalBuzz today runs a story about why Latinos supposedly are rebuffing the Republican Party, continuing to vote at least 70 percent Democratic. Their conclusion: Republicans should be a lot more like Democrats.
Actually, the opposite is true: Republicans have been too much like Democrats. The party was poisoned for seven years by the far-left policies of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who took his marching orders from his wife, Maria Shriver, a top-level Democrat from the Kennedy Royal Democratic Family. That was enough to dissuade anyone, Latino or not, from becoming an elephant.
Listen to what Tom Fuentes, the great Latino Chairman Emeritus of the Orange County Republican Party, said at the party’s recent convention in Los Angeles. The reference is to his terminal cancer:
“When next you see the likes of an Arnold Schwarzenegger, do not be afraid to reject him. He and his circle were a cancer in our party — a cancer far worse than mine — for which we will long pay a price.”
Other candidates have been pathetic or worse. I remember them well. Dan Lungren’s 1998 governor’s race was the most ineptly run I’ve ever seen until Meg Whitman’s 2010 challenge.
In 2002, businessman Bill Simon was a decent candidate, but his campaign was not run well, either. And then-Gov. Gray Davis ran a lying campaign that was run brilliantly. But then he was recalled in 2003 for imposing an unconstitutional car tax, panicking during the 2001 electricity crisis and what now seems — eight years later — an early apprehension by Californians that they were entering a Lost Decade of economic disaster.
Then there was Whitman last year. Fuentes again:
“When next you see a candidate who thinks that only money is the way to win, like Meg Whitman, do not be afraid to tell her and her paid henchmen so. Remind her that ideas are demanded by the people. Not platitudes.”
Republicans have a tendency to go for the cash — in this case, the $178 million Meg spent on her campaign. That was a lot of gravy for GOP consultants and assorted hangers-on.
Other statewide candidates also have been pathetic, routinely being ground up by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer, two far-left liberals who shoud have been easy to beat. Consider these opponents:
* Carly Fiorina, who wrecked Hewlett-Packard;
* Bill Jones, a tax-increase Republican who took massive government grants for his farm;
* The late Matt Fong, a liberal Republican;
* John Seymour, a liberal Republican;
* Michael Huffington, yet another multi-millionaire liberal who bought his nomination, then was wiped out;
* Tom Campbell, a really bright guy but a moderate who repeatedly has lost statewide efforts;
* Dick Mountjoy, a conservative, but one who supported President Bush’s wars when voters turned strongly anti-war in 2006, hoping Democrats would end the Iraq and Afghan wars. (Instead, President Obama, elected in 2008 on an anti-war platform, expanded the wars to Pakistan, Somalia and Libya. Will you now oppose him, dear Democrats?)
Even if Latinos were 2 percent of the voters in California, Democrats would have won against such pathetic candidates.
But here’s CalBuzz’s explanation; Republicans have been:
“doubling down on English-only, a border fence to keep out the Mexicans, no path to citizenship for the undocumented, no higher-education benefits for children here illegally, stop-and-question laws for suspected illegals and more.”
Let’s separate them:
* CalBuzz: “doubling down on English-only.” They’re referring to Proposition 227 in 1998, the English for the Children initiative. Are they kidding? It won with 61 percent of the vote. True, according to a 2009 analysis in City Journal by Heather Mac Donald, “Though preelection polls showed 60 percent of Latinos supporting Prop. 227, only 37 percent voted for it in the end. Many may have been moved at the last minute by claims that the measure was anti-immigrant.”
In fact, it was pro-immigrant. CalBuzz doesn’t seem to remember the context. Large portions of California — and other states — were becoming separate linguistic enclaves. This would have divided the state, and country, and sealed millions of Latinos off from the rest of America. It particular, it would have isolated Latinos from the overall U.S. economy, which despite its problems remains the world’s largest.
Multi-lingual countries don’t work, with two exceptions. The most famous is Switzerland. But that’s because the country is the most conservative economically, with a vibrant free-market economy that produces the world’s highest standard of living.
The other is Canada, sort of. As recently as 1995, 49.4 percent of voters in French-speaking Quebec voted for seceding from English-speaking Canada, nearly splitting the country along linguistic lines. (In Canada, unlike in America, the freedom to secede is explicit in the country’s constitution.)
Canada then reformed. It began liberalizing the country’s hidebound, socialist economy (although keeping socialized medicine). Today, according to the Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Economic Freedom, Canada ranks 6th most free, just behind Switzerland — and rising in the “Free” category. By contrast, the United States ranked just 9th most free, and dropping, and in recent years has fallen into the “Mostly Free” category.
Canada has assuaged Quebec’s complaints with economic freedom leading to prosperity.
The United States is not Canada or Switzerland, but a much larger, more complex, combative country with a history of difficult racial and ethnic problems. If 227 had not passed, those problems would be much worse by now. At least now we can argue our problems in the same language.
Young Latinos have grown up speaking English, taking part in the national conversation. If the Bilingual Ed scheme had continued, they now would be suffering in a kind of apartheid system.
Moreover, the Bilingual Ed scheme always was a scam to get more tax money to special interest groups that implemented the program, and benefited from it. And let’s remember that the biggest personal contributor to the anti-227 campaign was Jerrold Perenchio, who contributed $1.5 million. He was the president and CEO of Univision, the Spanish-language TV network, which would have made a lot more money if Latinos had been kept down in the barrio by not learning English and not blending in with the rest of America. In 2009, his net worth was $2.2 billion.
* CalBuzz: “a border fence to keep out the Mexicans.” I don’t want a Berlin Wall on America’s border. But open borders doesn’t work, either. As the late Nobel economics laureate Milton Friedman pointed out, you can’t have both a welfare state and open borders. That’s because people then flood in from other countries to get a free ride from the welfare system.
That problem has been partly “solved” in America by the economic Depression of the last four years, which has seen sharp cuts in welfare payments at the state and local levels. Mexico’s booming economy has helped, as well. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are to blame for the Depression. The Bush-Schwarzenegger policies were just as bad as the Obama-Jerry Brown policies.
Moreover, CalBuzz doesn’t point out that only a free-market, growing economy can absorb new immigrants. In the current situation, new immigrants directly compete with the old immigrants and long-time citizens, driving wages down and unemployment up.
Republicans, if they want to attract Latinos, have to start with their own principles: the Bush-Schwarzenegger policies of wild spending, deficits, debt either tax increases (Arnold) or dumb tax cuts (Bush’s never were permanent) need to be replaced by permanent tax cuts and sharp budget cuts, beginning with major cuts in the bloated $1.2 trillion military budget (it’s that amount if you include everything).
* CalBuzz: “no path to citizenship for the undocumented.” This is the same problem. The U.S. Census Department just reported that from 2006 to 2010, just four years, median incomes crashed in California by a shocking 9 percent. Unemployment remains stuck at 12.1 percent and rising.
With citizens unable to find decent work with good pay, is it surprising that the unemployed and under-employed don’t want more new citizens competing with them for vanishing jobs?
Higher Ed for Illegals
* CalBuzz: “no higher-education benefits for children here illegally.” I sympathize with the kids. But why should children here illegally get a preference over citizen-children from other states? Do taxpayers have to pay for everything? And what about the students who played by the rules, and were born citizens or legally became citizens — but will be bumped out of college in favor of illegals?
* CalBuzz: “stop-and-question laws for suspected illegals and more.” The “and more” part we can just forget because they don’t define it. But CalBuzz certainly is right about some Republicans’ boneheaded move on the stop-and-question laws, which they proposed even knowing the laws never would get through the Democratic Legislature. Such laws also violate the Bill of Rights. Although since 9/11 both Republicans and Democrats have so eroded the Bill of Rights, especially through the tyrannical USA “Patriot” Act, that we hardly have any rights left anyway. Hey, Democrats, what about President Obama’s promise to restore our liberties, when all he has done is extend and deepen Bush’s tyrannies?
I like to be up front with my readers. The fact is that the future is pretty bleak for both America and, especially, California. Stu Spencer was part of the Reagan Revolution. But things are so much different than 31 years ago.
We now have a bipartisan $16 trillion federal deficit, and $1.5 trillion annual deficits. The “Communist” Chinese now are capitalist and are breathing down our necks economically. Their economy soon will surpass ours. California is mired in a la-la land of thinking that our tiny 1 percent of the global economy somehow can be re-engineered to end global warming — excuse me, the new euphemism is “climate change” — just by destroying our own economy. Even as the evidence keeps showing that global warming, if it even exists, is not caused by humans.
Seen in that context, the problem of Republicans attracting more Latino members is rather small tacos. However, as I’ve suggested before, the way to do so is by attracting small-government, tax-cutting Latino business and other leaders, as the GOP has done elsewhere. Nevada now boasts Gov. Brian Sandoval and New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez.
I would have voted for either in a heartbeat over Meg Whitman. (I actually voted for Libertarian Dale Ogden, who got 1.5 percent of the vote. Next time, thanks to the Top Two vote tyranny, I will not have that choice.)
Why don’t Republicans just go to New Mexico and Nevada and clone what worked there?
The economy is worsening again and all the above-mentioned problems will just get worse. Republicans in California now have a chance to re-tool themselves away from the Schwarzenegger-Shriver-Kennedy model of increases in taxes, spending and regulations, toward tax cuts, fiscal responsibility and cutting regulations.
It won’t happen overnight. They’ll lose elections for some time. But as Democrats continue assaulting the economy, a path will be open for Republicans to present sensible alternatives. But they also need to ignore the siren song, by CalBuzz and others, that they should mimic Democrats the way Arnold did.
Victory lies in providing clear alternatives to the California disaster Democrats now are making even worse. Such GOP alternatives would be attractive to everyone, especially Latinos.
May 24, 2013