"Which of our Hispanic leaders would you consider to serve in your Cabinet?" A woman attending the last Republican debate in Florida asked this of the four Republican rivals.
Oh, for crying out loud! Ethnic-based Cabinet appointees? Do we still need to go out and "seek" people of a certain color or religion to show "fairness and inclusion"? What about considering the best people possible -- isn't that the only appropriate answer to that question?
But Republicans go all Democrat, all too often, in front of black and brown audiences. They say things to show how empathic they are, rather than promote their principles as beneficial to all, regardless of race or gender or ethnicity.
Look at the way former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum answered this Cabinet question. Obviously anticipating such a query, they spat out practically every Hispanic name they could think of short of the Frito Bandito.
Only one, libertarian Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, said the right thing. Paul simply said he wanted someone who understands fiscal and monetary policy -- "Hispanic or otherwise." And Paul won't be the nominee.
The perception of Republicans as racist is joyfully promoted by Democrats like Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who said that Republicans "want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws." Meanwhile, Democrats have successfully airbrushed away their own sordid racist history. This includes the founding of the Ku Klux Klan, which many called "the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party." This includes opposing the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Yet today, by branding the GOP as the party of the racists, Democrats pull over 90 percent of the black vote in presidential elections.
A Republican elected official once asked me what he could do to improve his poll numbers in the black community. "As a private citizen," the frustrated politician said, "I donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for computers in schools. I make all the rounds at the right places in the inner city." Yet in elections he received little black support.
"I'll give you some advice, but you won't like it," I said.
"OK. Stop condescending. Stop apologizing. You can't out-warmth a Democrat. They're pros at showing minorities how much they 'care' by promising special programs or incentives that either don't work or make things worse.