The Corner

The Bush Family Project and the GOP

Jenna Bush is leaving DC for a taching job in Latin America, it says here 

It also says: “Last week marked her final day at the Mount Pleasant charter school where she taught for a year and a half … Jenna and a fellow instructor oversaw a class of third-graders being taught in both English and Spanish.”

So yet another link in the Bush-Hispanic chain is about to be forged.  The chain goes all the way back to Poppy Bush’s, er, business arrangement with Jorge Diaz Serrano in the early 1960s.

It’s an odd thing–a paradox, really–that our last Democratic President showed little interest in Latin America and seems to have had no friendships or business ties there.  Chelsea was sent to Oxford, and I think you could make a case that the Democratic Party as a whole, in its thinking, is more Euro-centric than Latin-American-centric.  And yet Hispanic voters in the U.S. are solidly Democratic.  All the main appeals of the current Democratic Party–big-govt. populism, a zero-sum racial spoils system, victimology, open borders, etc.–are much more attractive to Hispanics, and (except for the open borders) much more in line with Latin American political traditions, that the GOP’s appeals to self-support, low taxation, etc.

So the decades-long Bush family project to bond with Latin America has not brought, and so far as I can see is not likely to bring, any political advantage to the GOP.  It’s a strange thing.  Anyone got explanations?

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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