Jim Clark: America’s diversity and what it means for the GOP
It’s no secret America’s white majority is gradually becoming a white minority as the birth rate of citizens of color increases while that of Caucasians decreases.
What does this mean for the Republican Party? The answer is: a huge opportunity.
There is nothing about ethnicity that dictates whether an individual should be either liberal or conservative. The appeal of the GOP to Cuban-Americans is well known, largely over the party’s historic stance of opposing economic collectivism including Fidel Castro’s Communism.
It’s not surprising then that the GOP power structure includes Cuban-Americans such as Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
More recently East Indians have found a home in the Republican Party. Led by columnist and motion picture producer Dinesh D’Souza East Indian political leaders now include Govs. Piyush “Bobby” Jindal (R-LA) and Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa Haley (R-SC).
Beyond these two ethnic groups the GOP has not fared so well. It’s not as though the party is unaware of its challenges among African-American and Latino voters.
Stanford Economist Tom Sowell, an African-American, recently wrote: “Republicans need to think seriously about race issue” in which he advised that the way to peel off seemingly universal Democratic support among African American voters is issue by issue.
He pointed out that most black parents are in anguish over inner city schools and that Democrats are in league with teacher unions who want to maintain the status quo.
These individual voters will support the GOP position on school choice, charter schools, tax credit scholarships, etc. if properly explained.
The timing is perfect with the publicity given new ultra-liberal mayor of New York shutting down charter schools in a deal he made with the teacher union.
Another issue Sowell believes has legs is the Democrats’ support of federal minimum wage laws.
Calling them “a government-created disaster for young minority people,” he points out that unemployment among black 16 and 17 year olds was once under 10 percent but has not been under 20 percent for the last half century due to government tinkering with the economy by enacting minimum wage laws.
“Young people need job experience as much as they need a pay check and no neighborhood needs hordes of idle young men hanging around … “ Sowell wrote.
The GOP has not been effective with a majority of Latino voters either. Ronald Reagan once said: “Hispanics are Republican … they just don’t know it.”
The problem is if they don’t know it they don’t vote it and each year another 900,000 Latino US citizens become eligible to vote. One of the best sources of information on Latino voters is a non-profit called Latino Decisions, an amalgamation of political science professors from major universities which receives funding to conduct polling.
Until recently, jobs and the economy were Latino voters’ primary interests but recent polling in Texas, Arizona and Virginia show that comprehensive immigration reform is now the top issue.
The Republican Party seems to have gotten that message. In a recent report analyzing the 2012 election results the Republican National Committee said: “If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States they will not pay attention to the next sentence. It does not matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy they will close their ears to our policies.”
Fortunately a comprehensive immigration reform bill passed the Senate with GOP support. We have yet to see what action the House will take.
Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates, and has served on the Washoe County and Nevada state GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.