Hispanics come to America for the American Dream. They are “trabajadores,” and you would be hard pressed to find an American farmer, contractor, or restaurant owner who would not testify to their work ethic. Unfortunately, the communities in which they live and work are teeming with liberal activists: farm and service-industry labor unions, well-intentioned community-based social services providers and more radical and racially motivated Latino groups such as La Raza, LULAC, and Mecha. In addition, the curricula their kids encounter in public schools are either hostile or silent on the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, and ideas that are the foundation of conservative thinking. All of these activist groups and institutions have a common ideology and an affinity for big and centralized government, and of course, entitlements. They go out of their way to sign folks up and to begin the cycle of government dependency. Once hooked to the IV of government handouts, a steady drip of ideology, and a heavy dose of raunchy pop culture, the once vibrant American Dreams and traditional family values of Hispanics drift into a slow, deep coma.
The sad fact is that these activists operate unimpeded. The voices of economic freedom, personal responsibility, and self-determination are virtually nonexistent in Hispanic communities and media. The Catholic Church, a potential counter to these secular and socialist ideas, tends to place its most liberal priests in these communities. Thus, the “social justice” mantra so effectively co-opted by the Left in the Obama/Soros era is often reinforced in the churches Latinos attend.
Meanwhile, since Republicans and conservatives prefer D.C. think tanks and expensive ad buys to the long, hard, dowdy work of community organizing, we’ve effectively ceded these communities and the culture that surrounds them to the Left. We simply aren’t playing. And we’re either too lazy, or enamored with quick fixes, or overwhelmed by the task, to begin the work.
On Election Day, the Left won more than the presidency and the Senate. It won the battle of ideas through dogged persistence and a long-term financial commitment to community organizing. The Left managed to convince a mind-boggling number of Hispanics that the American Dream is not for them. On November 6, Hispanics voted for diminished dreams in favor of the security of a government check and Obamacare.
The irony of the now trendy quick-fix solutions of immigration and amnesty among GOP and conservative elites is that these short-term solutions may actually worsen our problem with Hispanics. Sure, we should be leading the way with a sensible worker-visa program and a solution to address the children of illegals, but without conservatives on the ground, educating and organizing on behalf of our values, we’ll just be helping the Left increase its numbers. We need permanent outreach that’s on the ground helping Hispanic parents fight for the changes they need — measures that will deliver the opportunities they or their parents or grandparents came to America looking for. This includes school choice and vouchers, economic-empowerment zones, and policies that encourage start-ups and small business growth.