By Chuck Hobbs – As Census results pour in, it is becoming clear that the nation’s largest minority, Hispanics, are registering in greater numbers as Democrats. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, whose wife, Columba, is Mexican, routinely implores Republican leaders to develop strategies to attract more Hispanic voters.
What Republicans have with respect to most non-Cuban minority voters is more of a personality problem than a policy problem. Often I am asked why more blacks don’t register as Republicans since many are socially conservative on issues like marriage and to an extent abortion. The answer is that it is hard to vote for a party that heralds leaders whose trump cards are active or passive racism. Whether it was Ronald Reagan announcing his 1980 candidacy and belief in “state’s rights” in Philadelphia, Mississippi, a one stop light town that is famous for being the site where 3 young civil rights workers were lynched in 1964; or former Republican Chairman and current Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour’s revisionist history that he doesn’t remember any racism at the University of Mississippi when he studied there in the 1960’s and that Mississippi’s Ku Klux Klan affiliated ”White Citizens Councils” supported integration, well such absurdities leave black voters with a bad taste in their mouths even if they line up in lock-step on other issues.
As for Hispanics, with the exception of states bordering Mexico where folks risk life and limb to enter America illegally, few non-border states have such a widespread problem with illegal immigration to warrant bills similar to the one passed in Arizona last year. That hasn’t stopped copy-cat states from considering such measures.
So in 15-20 years, when the scales are tipped against solid conservative principles because some present day conservative leaders were either too blind or too racist to see where this is heading—they won’t be able to say that they weren’t warned.