Thomas Sowell

When you try to waffle and be all things to all people, you can end up being nothing to anybody. That is where the "smart money" crowd have gotten the Republicans in recent years.

All Hispanics are not the same. A surprisingly large share of Hispanic voters are opposed to so-called "bilingual education," and not all Hispanics are advocates of open borders. If Republicans can just make inroads into the Hispanic vote, by appealing to those with similar values, that can be the difference between victory and defeat.

Of course particular groups-- racial, regional or whatever-- are especially interested in how a candidate's principles will affect them. Here is where the Republicans have fallen down completely in recent years, even though they have a strong hand to play, even with minorities, if they would only play that hand, instead of trying to pander in transparent ways that only reduce their credibility.

Minorities have been the biggest losers from numerous liberal policies promoted by the Democrats-- whether in maintaining the monopoly of failing public schools for the sake of the teachers' unions, restricting the building of housing for the sake of the environmentalists, turning criminals loose in minority communities for the sake of the American Civil Liberties Union and like-minded "progressives" or artificially expanding unemployment among minority young people with minimum wage laws.

All that needs to be explained-- and explaining is what Republicans have been neglecting for years, except for Ronald Reagan, who knew that you can have your big tent and your principles at the same time, but only if you took the trouble to make your case to the public in plain English.

Republicans have the time to do some real homework on issues and on explaining issues. Whether they will use that time for that purpose is the big question for them-- and for the country.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate