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Will Hispanics Take The Bait?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Politicians are scrambling to gain favor with the ethnic group du jour: Hispanic voters. Sadly, both Democrats and Republicans are engaging in the worst kind of identity politics in an attempt to pander to this growing voting bloc. This tactic was invented by Democrats, so it’s only natural they would have an advantage. But history has shown that blind loyalty to a party is the road to ruin.

As Hispanics gain political favor, the black vote is losing its shine. There was a time when Democrats pandered rhetorically to win the black vote to the tune of 90 percent. But the loyalty was rewarded with only misery and destruction.

It’s one of the greatest feats of political jujitsu that the party of slavery, Jim Crow, the KKK and segregation, indeed the party that watered down the GOP-led Civil Rights Act of 1957 to the point it was rendered toothless is now viewed as the party for black Americans. Massive unemployment, poverty, government dependence, crime – you name the social ill, and it has exploded to crisis levels after the Democratic Party claimed it was there to “help.” Yet the loyalty remains unshaken.

That loyalty in the face of contrary evidence led to the destruction of Detroit, rising murder rates in Chicago, New York, Baltimore, etc. There is no indicator, economic or social, that has improved for black Americans in this time. So why the loyalty?

Through the unfulfilled promise of better times through government redistribution and social programs, Democrats managed to convince black Americans that the party born to abolish slavery, the party of integration, and the party without which the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would not have passed, is racist.

President John F. Kennedy has been elevated to civil rights hero status – despite the fact he did nothing on the issue for fear of losing southern states in his planned reelection campaign in 1964. When President Johnson signed the bill in 1964, after Kennedy’s assassination, he could not have done so without Republican votes in Congress.

Even CNN couldn’t obscure the fact that more Republicans voted in favor of the Civil Rights act than Democrats, writing, “…more than 80 percent of Republicans in both houses voted in favor of the bill, compared with more than 60 percent of Democrats.”

Lost to history, since history is written by liberals, is the fact that LBJ was the one who, as Majority Leader in the Senate, used his power to render the Civil Rights Act of 1957 meaningless. He didn’t want a Republican president, Dwight Eisenhower, to get the credit because he knew Democrats would lose the black vote permanently. That’s why, when he signed the 1964 law LBJ said, “I’ll have those n***ers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

Since then, since that strategic race-based political move, the black vote has been loyal to the Democrats. And that loyalty has been repaid with destruction. It’s as though the Democratic Party never switched objectives, just tactics; and those tactics worked in a way that would make their ideological forefathers proud.

Now the party that destroyed the black community has its eyes on Hispanics.

Racist groups such as La Raza have long pushed for the day when they could claim the mantle of media relevance on the level of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. There’s a lot of money at stake for them, but a lot of misery on the line for Americans of Hispanic descent.

This plan only works if Democrats, as they have in the past, are successful in convincing Hispanics that they are not Americans, but Hispanic-Americans. That they are their ethnicity, not individuals. That securing the border and enforcing immigration laws is not the rational act of a sovereign nation, but an aggressive act of racism against people who, to a large extent, look like them and are, therefore, them.

It worked once; there’s little reason to think it won’t work again.

If it does work again there is no reason to believe the results will be any different than the last time – Democrats will get votes, “leaders” will get rich, and normal people will suffer. As President Reagan famously said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.”

If Hispanics take the bait, if they fall for the false promise of prosperity through collectivism and identity politics, and the Democratic Party owns their vote the way it owns the black vote, the results will be the same.

The choice between all Americans, but particularly Hispanic Americans, is clear: liberty or servitude. Life can be what you make of it, or what government largess affords you.

To quote President Reagan again, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have now is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it, and then hand it to them with the well-taught lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children's children, what it was once like in America when men were free.”

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