Bill Murchison

A different kind of "howling" than the kind the writer obviously has in mind might turn the trick for the Republicans. What if they were to present the nation as a whole -- all regions, all races -- with a manifesto for economic growth through responsible economic stewardship and rewards for the old-fashioned virtues of hard work, diligence, thrift, the sorts of things no one ever hears Democrats talking about? Virtue: there's another attribute rarely praised by political figures not wishing to turn off the non-virtuous.

Look, why do immigrants, legal or illegal, come here for in the first place? The chance to be as batty and dependent and worthless as they could be back home without having to rise from bed? Do the great majority not want, fundamentally, the things they see Americans enjoying, and not just government subsidies, but rather, privately created opportunities for growth and prosperity? That is a large generalization but not a reckless one, I think.

If the GOP need not so much "reach out" to newly empowered illegals as remind them of blessings, and jobs, that accrue in a climate of comparative freedom, where tax men and bureaucrats keep low profiles -- how can that hurt the quest for immigrant votes? Or for the votes of natives? Such things are worth affirming on their own terms. A 2012 presidential campaign that linked jobs and freedom and growth and prosperity might have issued in a different result than the one we got, with Hispanics and whites wondering just how Mitt Romney meant to reinvigorate his country. Always remember: Never let a crisis, or a dose of reality, go to waste.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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