Point: Republicans didn’t lose because of immigration

After President Barack Obama’s “decisive” victory this month, Republicans everywhere are reeling.

Many are pointing their fingers at the Hispanic vote, an ethnic-centered voting base that was recruited by the Democratic Party this election.

The GOP lost the Hispanic vote for several different reasons: propaganda, class warfare rhetoric, entitlement problems, among others.

But imagine if the Republicans had come out in favor of total amnesty before the 2012 election. Would this have changed anything?

Gallup is convinced that it wouldn’t, as issues such as the economy, healthcare, unemployment and wealth distribution actually rank higher in importance than immigration reform for Hispanics.

I’m not convinced that a great majority of U.S. Hispanics would actually vote for a candidate solely based on the principle of less immigration restriction.

For example, in 2004 47 percent of Hispanics in Arizona voted for Proposition 200, an anti-immigration GOP initiative, according to CNN.

Other examples are prevalent. CNN says again that only 12 percent of Hispanics listed immigration as a top priority in the 2012 presidential election.

But let’s look beyond the numbers for a second.

Romney didn’t lose the presidency because of immigration. He lost the Hispanic vote, but it wasn’t because of immigration.

Romney lost the Hispanic vote because of the misconception that the Republicans are a party of “rich, old white men,” while the Democrats are the true champions for minorities.

Democrat voters believe that Republicans and insurance companies will deny them healthcare, which is why they support Obama’s healthcare overhaul disaster.

More than four out of 10 Hispanics think that higher taxes will help solve our deficit, according to NBC Latino.

Such principles directly align with the ever-so-common Democrat who cries class warfare, identity politics and entitlement dogma.

The Republicans do not have to change their stance on illegal immigration to succeed as a political party in America.

Contrary to the panic among some commentators and pundits, the GOP can remain successful by adhering to common-sense federal duties and lawful immigration principles, much like any other country.

To win back the Hispanic vote, Republicans must instead tackle the ideology behind the welfare state and its relationship to the lower-middle class and poor.

They need to engage Hispanic citizens in political dialogue and cure them from the cancer that the liberal ideology has conveniently situated within them.

The battle needs to be fought in political discussion and ideological change. Democrats succeeded in selling the welfare state to the mass public, and I see no reason why the GOP can’t sell classical liberalism to 21st century America.

The last Republican president to undergo comprehensive immigration reform was none other than Ronald Reagan with the Simpson-Mazzoli Act. It provided amnesty for a plethora of illegal residents in the U.S and was signed into law during his administration.

It was hailed as the bipartisan solution to the American problem of immigration.

But did this end illegal immigration?

Did this fix the political system?

Hardly.

 

Reach the columnist at spmccaul@asu.edu or follow him at @sean_mccauley.

 

Read Savannah Thomas’s counterpoint, “GOP’s failure to build coalition led to loss.”

 

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