March 13, 2014
populist right, it’s the final step in Barack Obama’s scheme to destroy our
The president’s plan for
immigration reform would grant “undocumented
immigrants a legal way to earn citizenship that will encourage them to come out
of the shadows so they can pay their taxes and play by the same rules as
restrictionists believe that placing millions of mostly Mexican illegal aliens
on “a pathway to citizenship” will buy votes for the Democratic Party and accelerate
lurch toward European-style Unlimited Government.
Charge #1 is debatable.
Charge #2 is downright dodgy.
First, a quick
question for tea partiers of all stripes: What’s the value in shielding the
Republican Party from ballot-box threats? Conservatism has little to show for its
investment in the GOP. Ronald Reagan couldn’t eliminate a single cabinet-level
bureaucracy, Newt Gingrich’s “revolution” imploded, and George W. Bush tried to
match LBJ’s feverish expansion of the federal “public” sector. (Ohio Governor
John Kasich, a former fiscal warrior in Washington, recently invoked “Saint Peter” in his
defense of expanding Medicaid: “[H]e’s probably not going to ask you much about
what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you
did for the poor. You’d better have a good answer.”)
pesky political realities, let’s go with the notion that Latinos are good for
the Democratic Party. It’s tough to refute, if scanned through the prism of
presidential elections. In the modern era, Republican nominees have crested 40
percent of the Latino vote just once. But the party has fielded some appallingly
unappealing candidates -- e.g., George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt
Romney -- in recent decades. Shouldn’t the nominees bear much of the blame?
Hill, the story isn’t so simple. The ratio of Democrats to Republicans for
Latino congressmen is 27:8.
It’s 1:2 in the Senate, and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are top-tier contenders
for the GOP’s presidential nod in 2016. At the state level, the premise that a
spells electoral doom for Republicans almost disintegrates. Texas
has nearly doubled its share of
Latinos in the last 30 years, while the Lone Star State
has grown redder. The nation’s two Latino governors are Republicans. (In New Mexico, Susana
Martinez’s ethnicity is nearly the majority. Latinos comprise more than a quarter
of the population in Brian Sandoval’s Nevada.)
Last November, Chris Christie won 51 percent of New Jersey’s Latino vote. Univision viewership, it’s
worth noting, can be quite thin in moonbat states. Vermont,
and Maine are
deep blue, with infinitesimal numbers of Latinos.
matters, of course, but culture has far more impact. Dissect the habits and principles
Latinos, and talk-radio gabbers’ stereotypes begin to shatter. Welfare is a
good place to start. “No amnesty!” activists frequently claim that taxpayers
bear an intolerable burden for loose borders. Last year, the
Cato Institute examined the data, and concluded that “low-income
non-citizen immigrants are less likely to receive public benefits than
low-income native-born citizens and … the value of benefits received per recipient
is less for the immigrant groups.”
Looking at all
residents, legal and otherwise, by race/ethnicity and gender, Latino men post
the highest workforce-participation rate.
At 78.1 percent, the cohort significantly surpasses the rates for black (64.2
percent) and white (71.3 percent) males. Latino women are not job-seeking
superstars, but that’s because many refuse to contract out the raising of their
children. Solid family and community bonds contribute to the “Latino paradox.” As
newer arrivals, residents who trace their origins to Central and South America have below-average incomes and subpar school-completion
rates. Yet their health is as good as, if not superior, to both whites and
blacks, in metrics including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and infant
men, women who care for their children, healthy social capital. Who do these Latinos
think they are, Luis and Sofia
Many in the liberty
movement realize that putting America’s
second-largest racial/ethnic group in the crosshairs isn’t helpful. Others wallow
in baseless -- and frankly, bigoted -- shibboleths of welfare dependency and resistance
to assimilation. But demagoguery doesn’t invalidate the truth that Latinos
played no role in the New Deal, aren’t responsible for the Great Society, and
made only a small contribution to the Bush-Obama fiscal
and economic catastrophes.
responses are needed, now, to the twin crises of family
fragmentation and government
insolvency. Instead of spreading myths, hurling accusations, and slamming
gates, it’s time to ask Latinos how they can help.
D. Dowd Muska (www.dowdmuska.com) writes about government, economics, and technology. Follow him on Twitter @dowdmuska.
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