Don’t Despair GOP, You have a Winning Message with Latinos: W. Bush

 By Alex Gonzalez

Now that there is  some level of consensus within Republican Establishment in support of an Immigration Reform, let’s make sure that Republicans need to know that they should not feel any type of trepidations about supporting an Immigration reform, because, it does not conflict with conservative tenets. More importantly, whoever said that having tough views on immigrating—fences and enforcement only—was conservative tenet in the first place?  Furthermore, now Republicans and conservative pundits agree that the peak of Hispanic favorability for the GOP was the 2004 Bush election, we need to get the same message out for Hispanic voters. So the GOP has the answer to its predicament with Latinos: the Rio Grande family values message of W, Bush.

Immigration has never really been part of  actual conservative principles such limited government of John Locke, small but cohesive and strong military of  Alexander Hamilton, or the free-market  Laissezfaire of Adam Smith, or even the “Protestant work ethic” of Max Webber. In other works Republicans can feel confident supporting an immigration reform that is consistent with  conservative Founding Principles that make this nation great; an immigration reform does not conflict with traditional American conservative principles of Locke, Hamilton, and Smith.

John Locke

Most conservative intellectuals argued that John Locke is the Founder of American Conservatism because is his theory, “the people” are the sole creators of government, but the people also limited the ability of government on private citizens.  Thus, the core conservative principle of limited government taught by John Locke are that our nation, our Natural Rights, and our laws are based on Protestant individualistic ideals that are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, but the power ultimately rest on the people,  And our Rights are enshrined within Constitution to balance the populace and the powers of government, and to protect citizens  from intrusive government and other individuals.  These ideals dictate that neither government nor groups–social or religious–have more power, under the law, than the individual. And this doctrine is the chief framework for Constitution and society.

The other core American Conservative tenet is Capitalism, a school of free market taught by Adam Smith. Adam Smith and his work The Wealth of Nations argued that, people need to be free to trade with each other without government intrusion.  Smith argued that every man must be free to pursue his own interests and to compete with other men, as long no laws are violated. As each person pursues their own individual self-interests, they serve the interest of society. But in this conservative mantra, too, conservative capitalism has nothing with immigration.  Rather, conservatism teaches businesses and workers need to be free for government intrusion.

Too, Alexander Hamilton was the Founder of our strong supra centralized government. But he also believed that main role of  the federal government was to be small but cohesive enough  to have strong military to protect the homeland and to protect the interests of US abroad. Thus, Hamilton devoted his life to the idea the US needed to create a mighty military economic superpower that the world would love and fear: The United States of America. So here, also, conservatism has nothing to do with immigration, but rather with the strength of government to protect our interests abroad.   And the type of conservative Jeffersonian  tradition certainly could never tolerate a big intrusive form of government on people, immigrants and citizens alike.

Theretofore, anti-immigrant rants or legislations, have nothing to do with the American Conservative tenets taught by Locke, Smith, Jefferson and Hamilton, and more with restrictionist Progressive   movements of the early 20th century. As a result, Republicans should feel confident enough to promote an immigration reform while staying within the conservative mantra of the GOP.

The Conservative Bush Model    

And to solve the Latino deficit with Latinos the GOP needs a turnaround to the Bush Message. For the last six years, Republicans have lived off the memories of W. Bush every time they talked about Latinos voters (the 44% Latino vote Bush got in 2004  ) while never implementing any of the policies that Bush promoted;  they completely abandoned the most successful Republican campaign message with Latinos in recent history, which was laid out by George W. Bush.  Bush eloquently hit the nail on head when he stated that “Rio Grande family values,” do not end at the border.  Latinos embraced this message and understood it enough to vote for Bush twice.  Consequently, the Rio Grande family values is a proven strategy has potential to really win over Latino voters because it speaks to their heart, as it did in 2004 when 44% of Latinos voted for President Bush.

Bush not only carried a positive conservative message with Latinos in the US, he also carried a free market conservative approach to Mexico and Latin American—and this also is something that conservative got enthuse about when Romney talked about more free trade with Latin America. When his Presidency began, President Bush, being from Texas, had an affinity toward Latinos. In his first official trip abroad, Bush went to Mexico.  And even though the 9/11 attacks created a new level of suspicion between the two nations since  Mexico wouldn’t support the invasion of Iraq the U.N., President Bush kept pushing forward to bring Mexico and the US together. He brought Canadian Prime Minister Martin and President Fox to Texas where the leader’s three leaders signed the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America—partnership to increase the free flow of goods and to harmonized trilateral policies in North America. So the Bush message has been a conservative one that has promotes free trade throughout the region.

When I was the governor of Texas I used to say that the family values did not end at the Rio Grande River—George W. Bush 2007

Despite worldwide financial turmoil, thanks to NAFTA, Mexico-and the US are now more economically intertwined sharing an annual 1 trillion trade with Canada.  Latin America has also been one the most economically stable regions in the world with a continuous 5% GDP growth across the region.  The United States, Canada, and Mexico are awash in hydrocarbon resources: oil, natural gas, and coal. The total North American hydrocarbon resource base is more than four times greater than all the resources extant in the Middle East.  According to the conservative Manhattan Institute, an affirmative policy to expand extraction and export capabilities for all hydrocarbons over the next two decades could yield as much as $7 trillion of value to the North American economy, with $5 trillion of that accruing to the United States, including generating $1–$2 trillion in tax receipts to federal and local governments.  In collaboration with Canada and Mexico, the United States could—and should—forge a broad pro-development, pro-export policy to realize the benefits of our hydrocarbon resources. Such a policy could lead to North America becoming the largest supplier of fuel to the world by 2030.

Further, the aging population of retiring Boomers estimated at 4 million each year exacerbates the Social Security Trust Fund since it will no longer be able to keep solvent, since the pool of beneficiaries is increasing while the pool of workers paying into the system is shrinking. Currently, the ratio of beneficiaries to workers is 3 to 1: it takes 3 workers to pay benefits for 1 Social Security beneficiary. But by 2020, the ratio will be only 2 to 1. Hence, there will be a need to import more workers from other country beside Mexico, in order to provide service for boomers. Hence, an immigration reform  also can be connected to an entitlements.  so we all need to support the GOP when the powerful Heritage Foundation and Nation Review launch intimidation campaign  against Republican who support revamping our broke immigration system.

Therefore, what the Republican Party needs right now is a type of Bush approach to get Latino voters–specifically Mexican-Americans in the southwest—and promote an enlargement of free trade with Mexico and Latin America.  So Republican should feel confident enough that when they argue for an Immigration Reform, they are not betraying any conservative principle, but rather they ought to feel proud that they are extending an invitation to Latinos here in the US and to Latin American within conservative message, the same Bush did it. The groundwork  to woo Latinos to the GOP was laid out 6 years ago by George W. Bush. it is up to the GOP how well they want use it.

Alex Gonzalez  is a political Analyst and Political Director  for Latinos Ready To Vote.  He received a Bachelor Degrees in and a Masters’ Degrees, with emphasis in American politics  from San Francisco State University.
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