If the Republican party were smart, they would listen to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Secretary Rice recently urged the GOP to be more inclusive and inviting to women and people of color. The GOP is facing a demographic shift that will allow them to compete with gerrymandered House districts but that will make them obsolete in the long run as a national party.
On the issue of immigration, Secretary Rice said, “We have a responsibility to those who do not yet have the liberties and the rights that we enjoy..We cannot abandon them … We were once them.”
According to census data by 2020, deep red states like Texas could finally turn blue, thanks to an emerging majority of Latino voters. Simply put, the math doesn’t do the GOP any favors.
In 2012, 71 percent of Latinos voted for President Obama. According to Pew, the Latino vote helped Democrats win in three critical battleground states: Florida, Nevada, and Colorado. And while immigration continues to dominate the discussion surrounding Latinos currently, it’s the economy and jobs that topped the list of issues the community cared about most in the last presidential election cycle.
And despite the GOP paying lip service to communities of color about “reaching out,” not much has changed since they got pummeled in 2012. The Republican party does not have anything to offer and has stuck in an endless loop of faux investigations and symbolic Obamacare repeal votes. Their lack of policy proposals that will help Latinos in any way, shape or form is partially to blame for their lack of support. Their open hostility to diversity and occasional refusal to see Latino people as humans is also likely a major factor.
The GOP’s autopsy report found that the GOP has to embrace comprehensive immigration reform to have a shot at a share of the Latino vote going forward.
“We are not a policy committee, but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform,” reads the report. “If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.” In 2012, only 1 in 10 of GOP voters were not white. And with the the share of the white vote shrinking year after year, the importance of communities of color to win elections becomes paramount.
Secretary Rice is simply reiterating the findings in the autopsy report and the GOP doesn’t appear to want to listen to her, either. They have already said they won’t be doing anything to pass legislation before the midterm elections and immigration reform continues to be stalled in Congress. Republicans on the state level are attacking women’s rights, with anti-choice legislation that impacts black and Latino women the most. Certainly, ignoring Secretary Rice’s sage advice, continuing to demean poor black people like Congressman Paul Ryan did recently, and proudly campaigning with Ted Nugent are not endearing the grand old party to the very electorate they need to win over.
With the conventional wisdom all but declaring a Republican sweep this November, it would be interesting if the communities that the GOP has ignored and scapegoated for so long showed up in droves to vote them out of office. It’s only a matter of time before the GOP will have to expand their tent to include people of color and women that they attract via policy proposals or they may spend the rest of eternity in political exile.
Follow Zerlina Maxwell on Twitter at @ZerlinaMaxwell.