‘What Drives Latino Men to Republicans?’
…anxiously asks the New York Times.
It occurs to me that there’s an irony here.
As the Republican Party has hopefully noted, Hispanics — at least Hispanics from Mexico and Central America — are visceral conservatives. As soon as they have a modicum of economic security, they buy houses, start having patriarchal, stable families, make sure their daughters are home by ten pm, object to open displays of homosexuality, want law and order, etc, etc.
Etc. I’ve known some of these guys. Settled in, they’re Archie Bunker with suntans — nature’s Republicans.
On the other hand, fresh off the boat (or whatever) they’re poor, insecure, and quite reasonably turn to the party that most loudly promises them security from deportation, subsidized housing, medical care without charges or awkward questions — the Democrats. Viva Hillary Clinton!
Herein, for the Democrats, lies a dilemma. Naturally, to continue to receive the votes of Hispanics, they have to continue to be the party that offers protection and security. But offering that protection and security will inexorably lead to the Hispanics settling in: buying houses, starting to have patriarchal, stable families, making sure their daughters are home by ten pm, etc — in short, becoming Republicans.
What to do, what to do? Ideally, of course, the Democrats could somehow appear to offer Hispanics protection, security, etc — while in fact ensuring that they remain economically marginalized, in need of the state’s protection, etc. Long term, though, that might prove hard to pull off. The Hispanics might start to smell a rat — and the whole idea in the first place is that they will vote.
One alternative here would be to encourage an ever-heavier flow of Hispanics into America. If, say, there will be fifty million Hispanics who have been here for a generation by 2050, why, the thing to do is to make sure that a hundred million more have arrived meanwhile, continuing to look to the Democrats for protection. If not all the Hispanics can be Democrats, at least most of them can. All we have to do is keep letting in more than are already here.
We have a plan!