In Reagan's 1980 victory, he received 35 percent of the Latino vote, and in his landslide of 1984, he received 37 percent. After Reagan's generous 1986 amnesty, George H.W. Bush's 1988 victory produced only 30 percent of the Latino vote.
Another myth about Hispanic voters is the notion that social issues will get them to vote Republican because they are Christian and pro-family. The Hispanic illegitimacy birth rate is 53 percent, about twice that of whites, and a Pew Research Center poll now reports that the majority of Hispanics support gay marriage.
An American National Election Study asked a question about free market versus government solutions. Only 17.9 percent of Hispanics responded "the less government the better," and 83.3 percent said a strong government involvement is required to handle economic problems.
The pro-amnesty crowd waged an expensive campaign this year to defeat the famous Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but he nevertheless won his reelection. He said he wants to talk "man to man" with Obama and explain that granting amnesty to illegal aliens is unfair to legal immigrants.
Policymakers should read the studies by Cuban exile scholar Jose Azel that probe into Hispanic attitudes and history. He concludes that the sociopolitical heritage from Spain and the post-colonial experience of Latin America have led Latinos to view government very differently from the principles of limited government enunciated and adopted by our Founding Fathers.
There isn't any real evidence of Mexican assimilation to parallel the Irish and Italian assimilation in the early 20th century. The assimilation of the Irish and Italians absolutely depended on stopping the entry of more new foreigners, which the United States did in the 1920s.
The voting bloc that Mitt Romney ignored, but which Republicans must recapture if they ever want to win again, is the blue-collar men without a college degree who had well-paid manufacturing jobs until the free traders shipped those jobs overseas. They used to be called Reagan Democrats, and they were an essential part of the big victories won by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Republicans need a new strategy to recapture those good middle class jobs. We don't need them merely for Republican votes; we need them also to restore our manufacturing capacity and jobs for economic, national security, and family-support reasons.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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