Opinion

Going Democrat-Lite will make GOP a permanent minority

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Opinion,Op-Eds,Republican Party,2012 Elections,2014 Elections,2016 Elections,Conservatism

Democrats smirk that the muscle of the Hispanic vote is going to make them a permanent majority and make the Republicans extinct, while much of the GOP consultant class pontificates that the 2012 election was a message for the Republican to embrace amnesty and to drop any vestige of conservatism.

Peter Wehner's recent piece in Commentary is fairly typical of the sort of pieces prophesying demographic doom. Are they right?

The entire concept of lumping a very diverse group of people into a convenient label should be a warning sign in itself that something's amiss here.

That is, after all, the sort of identity politics more commonly practiced by Democrats. But using figures that come from Pew, the math tells us a different story altogether.

Hispanics are 9.07 percent of the current electorate (23.7 million voters). Of those, only 12 million or so of that 23.7 million voted in 2012 and they went for President Obama by 67.5 percent, a whopping eight million of the 12 million whom voted. That's just about one third of the entire Hispanic vote available.

In my universe, that means almost two thirds of the current Hispanic vote is either Republican or up for grabs.

That's what all the verbiage and punditry is about, a grand total of less than 3.5 percent of the entire electorate, much of it already living in blue states like California, New York and New Jersey. And that doesn't even account for voter fraud in places like California that are unfettered by voter ID laws.

There's a similar disconnect going on with Asians, another group that's been cited as a demographic Republicans are losing.

Asians are an even more diverse group than Hispanics, but the figures lump together East Asians like Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Koreans with Filipinos, Pakistanis, Indonesians and Indians (a fairly diverse group themselves).

Since they're not broken down but lumped together as a group, the best figure available is that Americans of Asian ethnicity constitute 3 percent of the electorate, about 6,450,000 voters.

I couldn't find the percentage of the Asian electorate that actually voted, but let's be very generous and assume a 40 percent turnout, a huge leap given how low the 2012 turnout was.

Obama got 73 percent of that Asian vote, so we're talking about 1,883,400 votes mainly concentrated in Blue states.

That's a grand total of 28 percent of the available Asian electorate if we're talking a 40 percent turnout. In any event, that means that 72 percent of the Asian electorate is either Republican or available.

I'm not suggesting that conservatives ignore Hispanic or Asian voters, although the thoughts of the Washington Examiner's Byron York on the matter are worth considering.

But the way to attract them is not to lump them together as a "group" but to appeal to their actual interests. A message of fairness, conservative principles, school choice, prosperity and economic growth clearly articulated is what's going to appeal to them.

The ones it doesn't appeal to aren't going to be won over by "Democrat-lite" anyway. They'll vote for the real thing every time, even if the Republicans in Congress do pass some kind of amnesty legislation.

Also, there's this to consider. With Hispanics being the fastest growing demographic in America, a certain number of them are going to embrace conservative principles as time goes on and they get more established.

That happens with every immigrant group over time, because they discover for themselves that statist redistribution merely keeps poverty in place. And that it's conservatism that ensures freedom, prosperity and opportunity.

And 2012? Could it be, just maybe, that this was an election where Mitt Romney unfortunately allowed himself to be demonized and painted as an uncaring plutocrat by the Obama campaign (with a lot of help from a partisan media), and refused to challenge the president openly and forcefully on his many failures and discrepancies?

Could it be that Romney simply wasn't that articulate at explaining his positions and conservatism in general?

Could it be, perhaps, that a lot of people stayed home because they didn't care for Romney? After all, over three million self-identified Republicans did.

Pundits and consultants gotta eat, jackasses gotta bray, and those members of the GOP establishment that want to be Democrat-lite and be well accepted on the D.C. cocktail circuit and the Sunday shows needs to point fingers.

But that doesn't mean we need to swallow it ourselves.

The future of the GOP is bright if it remains true to the republican principles that have resonated with the American people in the past.

And, contrary to what some would have us believe, there is no color line or demographic barrier included in those principles.

The only way Republicans become a permanent minority is if they choose to be, by abandoning those principles.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Parts of this column originally appeared in a post the author penned in 2012 for the blog Joshuapundit.

Joshuapundit blog founder Rob Miller is a regular contributor to the American Thinker. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions for editorials, available at this link.

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