The Democratic president who insisted, “Si, Se Puede” hasn’t kept his promise to make immigration reform a top priority. He has also deported more Latinos than anybody in history, despite the fact that there are fewer undocumented people to arrest.
So getting the Hispanic vote should be easy for the GOP, which continues to insist on President Reagan’s theory that “Latinos are Republican but don’t know it.” In essence, conservatives say Latinos are voting against their own interests, which is ironic considering that Republicans depend on their rural white base to do exactly that.
There’s just one problem. Hispanics aren’t as conservative as Republicans claim. On many issues, such as healthcare reform and the economy, Latinos support Obama’s positions more than they do the GOP.
But what about those fabled social issues? Well, it turns out that Latinos are not exactly up in arms over the contraception issue, for example, and most support abortion rights. Furthermore, Latinos tend to be younger than the rest of the population, and those kids, like the younger generation overall, are less religious and more socially liberal.
And of course, there is the GOP’s stance on immigration, which could not be more offensive to Latinos if conservatives personally poked every Hispanic in the eye. Really, sometimes it appears to be a devious master plan by Democrats to paint Republicans as nut-job xenophobes. But of course, this implies that Democrats are capable of master plans, which is hilarious.
In any case, the immigration issue alone is enough to alienate Hispanic voters. Still, the GOP could, maybe, sidestep the problem to some degree. However, even those Latinos willing to overlook SB 1070 are going to have trouble pulling that “R” lever.
As we know, people are not always logical. For example, a somewhat conservative Latino who agrees with the GOP on gay marriage is still going to hesitate when he feels Joe Arpaio standing behind him and gloating. This is, after all, a political party that has demonized Latinos — and not in a subtle or coded way, either. Many Republican leaders have been positively gleeful in their pandering to white voters’ fears.
Furthermore, it’s not just a perception that Republicans aren’t too fond of Hispanics. There is some evidence that conservative voters tend to be more prone to racism (and to have lower IQs, but let’s just ignore that one).
Latinos will apparently pick the next president in November. And there are myriad fact-based reasons why they will vote Democratic, but there are even more numerous emotional reasons why they will reject the GOP. It all adds up to an overwhelming advantage for Democrats.
One could argue that Republicans are reaping the bad karma of the so-called Southern Strategy, which benefited conservatives for decades. But that strategy no longer works. It’s a new world out there, which the GOP is slowly, painfully learning.