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Republicans clueless about minorities

By Rachel Alexander
web posted March 18, 2013

Republicans are losing elections in part because they are losing key demographic groups. Some of those groups, like Hispanics, are growing, making them impossible to ignore. 37 percent of the country is nonwhite. Hispanics comprise 16 percent of the population, accounting for half the population growth within the past decade. 51 percent of children born in California are Hispanic, and 46 percent of the population in New Mexico is Hispanic.

Republicans have had difficulty making inroads with Hispanics due to their position on illegal immigration. The left and its other half, the liberal media, have convinced many Hispanics that tough immigration laws are racist. While this is not true, Republicans have had little success convincing Hispanics otherwise. Meanwhile, Republicans continue to make "enforce the border" key parts of their stump speeches.

The problem with this approach is it needlessly reinforces the false stereotype that Republicans are racist. Why repeat something if it's not necessary and costs votes? Many politicians are pro-life, but they don't say "we must stop abortion" in every speech. Illegal immigration is one of those difficult issues that would be better handled gingerly.

On the other hand, Republican politicians like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who call for a path to citizenship with liberal Democrats, are equally irking voters needlessly. McCain waffles all over the place on illegal immigration; there is no need for him to irritate the GOP base by claiming at times to support a path to citizenship. It didn't work anyways, he received a smaller than usual share of the Hispanic vote as a Republican when he ran for president.

Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick have figured the GOP's immigration problem out better than almost anyone. In their new book, Immigration Wars, they explain how to get at the root problems behind our immigration policy, instead of demanding a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants or focusing only on border security. Former president George W. Bush, who toned down the rhetoric on illegal immigration, won 43 percent of the Hispanic vote when he ran for reelection in 2004.

Immigration is why Cuban-Americans are the one Hispanic group that votes Republican; they perceive Republicans as less hostile. Unlike Hispanics from Mexico, Central and South America who illegally enter the U.S., Cubans who escape from communist Cuba and flee to America are offered political amnesty.

The left has already mastered toning down the divisive, throwaway rhetoric. Agenda 21 is a classic example. Instead of broadcasting everywhere that "we need the United Nations to dictate our environmental policies and living standards," the left quietly passes regulations and laws putting Agenda 21 into place while describing it using vague and safe-sounding words like "sustainability" and "resource management."

Asians, although not considered "minorities," stopped voting for Republicans in 2000. Prior to that, they chose George H.W. Bush over Clinton in 1992, and Bob Dole over Clinton in 1996. By the time Obama became president, Asians were voting Democrat in overwhelming majorities. 62 percent voted for Obama in 2008, increasing to 73 percent in 2012. Asians are not typically dependent upon the government, so they should be a natural Republican constituency. Vietnamese are the only Asians who vote Republican, due to their dislike of communist Vietnam and the GOP's strong anti-communist stance.

There are some really easy ways the GOP can attract more minorities. People identify with others who look like them. Without implementing affirmative action, the GOP should use minority Republicans to attract other minorities. Ads, videos, speaking slots and leadership positions should include qualified minorities. The GOP runs too many ads of white nuclear families. The talking head shows on Fox News are full of the same middle-aged white men and slightly younger white women. In fact, it has gotten so bad the same few commentators appear on multiple shows during the day. There is no excuse for that. With the country at 37 percent minority, there is no dearth of qualified Republican minorities.

Worldnetdaily interviewed country singer Austin Cunningham about his new song praising the pretty women of Fox News, called "The Girls of Fox News." The song is all about how he enjoys watching them. While the young pretty women of Fox News, who are almost all white, are great for the white men watching them, they alienate many minorities who watch. Additionally, Fox News does not feature "hot men" wearing slinky outfits the way it does women, which no doubt turns off a lot of women to the GOP, another demographic the GOP has steadily been losing since the Reagan years. The GOP already has the white male vote, it's not necessary to parade young white females on Fox News to attract them.

Part of the reason for Asians' growing shift towards the Democratic Party is because Obama cleverly appointed a record number of Asians to high office, which was played up in Asian media. Asians make up over five percent of the population.

The Democrats have been prominently portraying minorities for years. This makes them appear more friendly to minorities than the GOP. Portraying the Republican Party as more inclusive of minorities is a freebie, it does not require compromising any principles. It is bewildering why those with power at the top do not take this one simple step. 37 percent of the population is nonwhite; why does the GOP continue to portray itself as 99% white?

Kira Davis, a young conservative black Republican, sent an eloquently written letter to RNC chairman Reince Priebus last week about the GOP's gap in portraying minorities. Her letter begs the question, is there a legitimate reason why this beautiful, well-spoken woman is not on Fox News shows or in GOP leadership, while the same old guard is there year after year?

If the GOP is trying to attract more white male voters, it is doing a great job. ESR

Rachel Alexander and her brother Andrew are co-Editors of Intellectual Conservative. She has been published in the American Spectator, Townhall.com, Fox News, NewsMax, Accuracy in Media, The Americano, ParcBench, and other publications.






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