The post-election hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing continues unabated with one of the more gnawed upon topics being whether Republicans, who lost the Hispanic vote by a wide margin, should get onboard with amnesty for illegal immigrants from Mexico and South America.
I always figured that would amount to nothing more than signing up a couple million more Democratic voters.
Columnist Phyllis Schlafly, writing in today’s Investor’s Business Daily, offers several reasons wholesale amnesty would signal a death knell for the Republican Party.
In addition to the false assumption about Hispanics being socially conservative, she points out, “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.”
Speaking of Cuban exiles, I was surprised to see Obama win Florida, especially the Miami area where Cuban-Americans make up a sizable portion of the population. I was night city editor at the Miami News for several years a quarter of a century ago and worked with a number of Cuban-Americans. They were mostly staunch Republicans, except for the younger ones born in the United States.
That’s why bells rang and lights flashed when I read Dennis Prager’s column today at Townhall.com.
Amnesty was never an issue with the Cuban exiles who benefited from the wet-foot, dry-foot policy. A Cuban picked up in the water had wet feet and was sent back to Castro. A Cuban who got to land had dry feet and was sent to the Krome Detention Center and quickly united with his or her “cousins” in Miami.
As Prager so aptly explained, the first generation of Cuban exiles knew communism and thus embraced the
Republican/Reagan brand of conservative anti-communist politics, because “when you escape a Communist regime, you treasure liberty and you understand that as government and state expand, liberty must contract.”
But this year 48 percent of Cuban-Americans voted for the Democratic presidential nominee. That is up from 25 percent in 2000 and 29 percent in 2004 and 35 percent in 2008.
The reason, Prager explains, is American education. I saw it myself. I should have said it myself, but …
“Most American elementary schools and high schools, and nearly all colleges and universities, teach everything that is significant from a liberal/left perspective,” Prager writes. “Multiculturalism has replaced E Pluribus Unum; the American past is villainous; the country is racist; morality is relative; and the left-wing cause of the day — now global warming — is taught as
incontrovertible truth …”
The second generation of Cuban-Americans were more influenced by their schools and by television shows than by their parents, the columnist observes, and that is true of subsequent generations of any immigrant group, whether Soviet Jews, Italians or Irish.
So, the answer is not to change the policies of the Republican Party, but to properly educate the next generations as to the principles of liberty, free markets, self-reliance, competition instead of collectivism, freedom of speech and religion instead of political correctness, and individualism instead of thinking as a member of a demographic group.
And, yes, everybody has a cousin in Miami.
The camera operator may have had a few margaritas too many.