The Republican Hispanic Challenge |
December 3, 2012
Although Mitt Romney took flak for his statement that he lost the election
because President Obama bestowed “gifts” on key parts of the electorate, what he
said is basically true.
We’re stuck in a deadly spiral where economic growth is retarded because the
economy is larded with enormous and ever-increasing government spending and
debt. Yet, more and more Americans want the lard.
President Obama got re-elected by promising to continue to serve it up.
Romney’s failure, and the failure of the Republican Party, is not that Obama is
pulling this off, but that they can’t get their act together to explain the
problem to enough Americans to stop it.
There seems some hope that this disaster of an election is waking up Republicans
that there are major, growing constituencies in the country that they must stop
ignoring – one major one being Hispanics.
But the big challenge is that, although these constituencies would be far better
off in a nation with limited government and conservative values, they by and
large have already bought into the welfare state.
This includes Hispanics, and many Republicans seem to be dangerously clueless
For example, Republicans like former CEO of Kellogg, Carlos Gutierrez, who
oversaw Romney’s Hispanic outreach.
Gutierrez expressed “shock” at Romney’s candor and offered his own take on what
happened: “…..we lost the election because the far right of this party has taken
the party to a place where it doesn’t belong.”
Somehow, many Republicans have bought the myth that the immigration issue is the
main barrier between Hispanics and the Republican Party.
No doubt the immigration issue is a factor. But this misses the point by many,
The rapidly growing Hispanic sector of our nation is, on average, a low-income
population – with many of the deep social problems similar to those of blacks –
who already have come to love the welfare state.
Median Hispanic income is $38,409 compared to a national median income of
Fifty three percent of Hispanic babies are born to unwed mothers and the high
school graduation rate of Hispanic kids is 65.9 percent.
Thirty eight percent of Hispanic children live in single parent households.
Compared to the national poverty rate in 2011 of 15 percent, Hispanics had a
poverty rate of 25.3 percent.
In a survey done last December by the Pew Research Center, 55 percent of
Hispanics said their view of “capitalism” was negative and 32 percent said it
In the same survey, 67 percent of Hispanics said their view of the label
“liberal” was positive.
For anyone who believes that America’s future lies in restoring limited
government, this snapshot of the most rapidly growing segment of our population,
whose share of the electorate is expected to double by 2030 according to the Pew
Hispanic Center, is sobering.
According to Ron Haskins, co-director of the Center for Children and Families at
the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, the antidote to poverty is work,
intact family life, and education.
As Haskins reports, “In 2009, the poverty rate for children in married-couple
families was 11.0 percent, the poverty rate in female-headed households was 44.3
What America’s Hispanics need is a growing, prosperous economy so they can work
and get a decent wage. The anemic, government larded economy of today is not
going to deliver this to them.
They need to get their kids out of failing public schools and have choice to
attend private, church schools.
And they need to live in a nation in which the traditional family is the
standard and it is once again shameful for women to give birth out of marriage.
In other words, they need the “far right” agenda that Mr. Gutierrez thinks is
Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal
and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based
public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle
Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do