Larry Elder

"Say something like this: 'You are not a victim. Racism, sexism and homophobia are in full retreat in American life. Today, your fate is determined far more by what goes on in your home -- rather than what goes on in city hall.' Make the case that we all want clean streets, safe neighborhoods and competitive schools. Make the case that your agenda -- low taxes, less regulation and choice in schools -- empower individuals, no matter the race, to make their own choices.

"Say: 'I don't wake up saying what black or brown or white or yellow thing I intend to do today. We are Americans before we are members of a racial group or religion or ethnicity. And, if we want our prayers answered, let's get off our knees and work to make them come true."

The politician said, "I can't say that."

In a piece called "California's Demographic Revolution," Heather Mac Donald describes the result of a March 2011 poll on the unfavorable view California Hispanics have toward the Republican Party: "The top two reasons were that the party favored only the rich and that Republicans were selfish and out for themselves; Republican positions on immigration law were cited less often."

How does the GOP turn that around? Simply saying, "No, we're not selfish, we care," won't work. Make the case for choice in school and private accounts for Social Security. Explain how the liberal feel-good polices -- welfare, public housing, urban renewal, assigned government schools, minimum wage laws -- hurt the very groups Democrats claim to help. Argue that it is condescending, if not racist, to believe that certain people cannot compete because of their race.

President John F. Kennedy, in 1963, was asked whether "Negroes" should receive special race-based hiring to compensate for slavery and discrimination: "I think it is a mistake to begin to assign quotas on the basis of religion or race -- color -- nationality. ... On the other hand, I do think that we ought to make an effort to give a fair chance to everyone who is qualified -- not through a quota -- but just look over our employment rolls, look over our areas where we are hiring people and at least make sure we are giving everyone a fair chance. But not hard and fast quotas. ... We are too mixed, this society of ours, to begin to divide ourselves on the basis of race or color."

Kennedy said that 49 years ago. It's what Messrs. Romney, Santorum and Gingrich should say -- right now.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.