The Republican establishment, consultants, and talking heads should all just take a deep breath.
Yes, we have a serious problem with Hispanics. It’s a problem conservative Hispanics have been trying to tell the GOP leadership about for many years with little or no response or action. But the quick-fix immigration solutions now being offered by the likes of Charles Krauthammer and other establishment-elites figures are an over-correction, do not actually address the root of the problem, and, frankly, may even accelerate our losses in the crucial Hispanic demographic. Here’s Krauthammer’s analysis: “It requires but a single policy change: Border fence plus amnesty.”
Not so fast.
First, let’s start with the facts. Hispanics rank immigration fourth in their list of concerns, behind the economy, education, and health care. Obama has actually deported more Hispanics than any other president. Hispanics simply perceive him as caring more about them, and this is more an issue of style than of substance.
Hispanics start businesses at twice the rate of the general population. They are entrepreneurial and naturally averse to governments that breed economic stagnation, which stands in the way of the upward mobility they seek. They’ve experienced centralized, dysfunctional, crony government in their countries of origin, and they know it doesn’t lift anyone out of poverty.
Second, the Obama economy has been terrible for minorities, including Hispanics. There are 2 million more Hispanics living in poverty than when Obama took office. The children of the working poor that make up a large segment of the Hispanic population are the ones most hurt by our failed public-school system — a failure perpetuated by teachers’ unions, a powerful Democratic-party constituency that stubbornly stands in the way of real reform and a reversal of our embarrassing international rankings in math, science, and reading. President Obama has the “audacity” to send his own girls to elite private schools, while killing scholarship programs for less privileged minorities to do the same. Governor Mitt Romney, on the other hand, was committed to real reform and school choice and promised to make the D.C. voucher program Obama squashed a model for the entire nation.
Third, Hispanics are social conservatives. They are family-oriented, pro-life, and pro-traditional marriage.
So, if the party of secularists and liberalism and “abortion on demand” — and its leader, Obama — are so bad for Hispanics, why did more than 70 percent of them vote for him? The answers and solutions are not as simple, quick, or cheap as GOP and superPAC operatives would like them to be.