If Harry Reid can’t understand why any Hispanic would vote for a Republican, he ought to meet my dad. A Mexican-American resident of Maricopa County, my dad not only votes Republican (his first Republican vote was for Ronald Reagan, and he’s never gone back), but he also supports the new Arizona immigration law.
What Harry and other pandering politicians fail to realize is that Hispanic-Americans are Americans first. They worry about crime, the economy, taxes, and national security — all the same things their neighbors worry about.
The idea that the Hispanic vote hinges on one issue — immigration — is the most ridiculous and patronizing notion. Sadly, Reid isn’t the only politician guilty of this gross generalization. Nothing is more infuriating to me than the way the media and political parties conflate Hispanic-Americans and illegal immigrants. We are not one and the same, and our interests and priorities are often very different.
If Harry wants to “connect” with Hispanics, he and the Democrats might want to start with their position on abortion. If demographic trends continue, Hispanics will be weighing in heavily in the abortion debate, and legal or not, they are decidedly pro-life.
My advice to Republicans: Stop worrying about the “Hispanic” vote. Focus on being true to your party platform, because the party that can deliver economic opportunity along with traditional family values will prevail with Hispanics — and most other Americans.
– Rachel Campos-Duffy is author of Stay Home, Stay Happy: 10 Secrets to Loving At-Home Motherhood.