The Republican Hispanic Challenge

Phil Jensen

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giftsAlthough Mitt Romney took flak for his statement that he lost the election because President Barack 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.

Obama got re-elected by promising to continue to serve it up.

Rick Kriebel 2016

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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.

Woodrow Wilcox

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This includes Hispanics, and many Republicans seem to be dangerously clueless about this.

For example, Republicans like former Kellogg CEO Carlos Gutierrez, who served as Commerce secretary in the George W. Bush administration and 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.

pullquoteNo doubt the immigration issue is a factor. But this misses the point by many, many miles.

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 $60,088.

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 was positive.

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 percent.”

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 Gutierrez thinks is the problem.

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Star Parker is president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education and author of the new book White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay. Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine.
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