We’ve already pinpointed two reasons why the future looks bleak for the GOP when it comes to attracting Latinos. Basically, Hispanics are younger and becoming better educated, both of which align with liberal values.
But there is a third reason for sparse Latino attendance at future Republican conventions. And it’s an obvious one.
It’s because the GOP has treated Hispanics like shit.
Yes, it really is that simple.
Now, this isn’t a perception issue or poor marketing, which is what many GOP strategists want America to believe. No, it’s the cold hard reality of the Republican Party’s offshoot of the Southern Strategy, which was to demonize blacks in order to convince white racists to vote GOP. And it worked, at least for a while.
The later version of this strategy was to paint immigrants in general, and Hispanics in particular, as an invading force and a direct threat to America. And this too worked, at least for a while.
Clearly, most Republicans aren’t racists. But their willingness to tolerate subtle bigotry — and at times, overt racial animus — has finally caught up with their party.
After all, such politically loaded ideas as Prop 187 were SB 1070 were Republican proposals, no matter how much the party wishes to distance itself from them now. And the GOP’s presumptive nominee for president couldn’t get through the announcement of his candidacy without slandering Latinos.
No, this isn’t some left-wing plot. Republicans did this to themselves, and as much as they want to complain that Democrats are the real racists and conservative values align more with Hispanics and blah blah blah, none of it matters.
Latinos see Trump and his minions clamoring to build a damn wall, and they see GOP policies of the recent past, and they see statistics like this: “56% of Republicans viewed immigrants as a burden on the country; just 17% of Democrats said the same.”
And then Latinos vote Democrat. This is despite the fact that Democrats haven’t been great for Hispanics, and that Latinos have been excluded “from leadership positions in progressive institutions and, some would argue, from involvement in the movement as a whole. “
When you have only two choices (i.e., our current political system), you go with the people who have merely disappointed you, and not with the people who actively hate you.
Interestingly, some commentators say the GOP would be better served by focusing on African Americans, which is ironic and even a little laughable. But it isn’t stupid. After all, “it is generally easier to grow market share when starting from nothing.”
It is also an acknowledgement that Latinos are a lost cause for the GOP, at least for the near future.
So what are the odds that over a decade from now, lots of thirtysomething, well-educated Latino Millennials will vote Republican?
Well, the chances are only slightly better than the odds that there will be a Republican Party at all.