GOP's lost opportunity with Hispanic citizens

Article author: 
Tom Tancredo
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
10 August 2013
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

History will record that in 2013, the Republican Party establishment gambled away its historic opportunity to change the course of politics in America. The Republican Party leadership decided to play 2014 politics with the deck of cards handed them by the Democrats.

Despite all the evidence, all the lessons of history and all the warnings, in approaching the difficult issue of immigration reform, the Republican establishment placed its bet on identity politics. With that choice, it handed the Democrats a certain victory – not only on amnesty, but on the continued expansion of the welfare state.

The evidence of history is all against the likelihood of success of the Republican gamble on identity politics. But just as “hope springs eternal” in the human heart, so does laziness triumph over competence in the Republican consultant class.

The Republican establishment has decided to take what it thinks is the path to winning more support from Hispanic voters by agreeing to pass amnesty legislation disguised as a bipartisan package that includes enhanced border security.

But this time, the amnesty debate has not been mainly over policy. It’s all about “smart politics.” Republicans think they need to “get the immigration issue behind us,” and therein lies the trap...

The only Hispanics who place amnesty at the top of their agenda are activist organizations like La Raza and the National Immigration Forum, groups that practically live at the Obama White House.

Yet, despite the abundant evidence that another amnesty is the road to ruin, the Republican establishment has bought the idea that to win Hispanic votes, we must repeat the mistakes of the 1986 amnesty program...

But here’s the real tragedy. Republicans have now joined Democrats in believing that Hispanic voters can be appealed to only as victims of past oppression, not as Americans with the same hopes and concerns as other Americans. The Republican leadership has jumped into the cesspool of identity politics but insists on calling it a sauna.