By Rep. Raul Torres
Perhaps the number one factor that will determine the 2012 General Election is who will win over the Hispanic vote? The party that can attract the Hispanic/Latino vote will not only swing this election to their favor, but will set the stage to dominate Texas politics for many years to come. This said I now wish to examine three reasons why Republicans and Hispanics need each other.
I wish to share with you three main reasons why I believe that Republicans and Hispanics need each other more than they may think. Let’s begin with the most fundamental issue that confronts both groups. During the past 20 years immigration has been one of the top political issues confronting America and our state of Texas. But, regardless of how you may feel about immigration, amnesty, guest workers or border security, the truth is that Hispanics are here either as native born citizens or as legal or illegal immigrants and their numbers are growing so rapidly they will be the voters who decide future elections. This is a clearly well documented fact. Neither party will stop this progression and this growth. The wave is just beginning and in short time the Latino population will be the dominate voting bloc in America.
Many Republicans fear that the growing Hispanic population will make them an insignificant minority group. This is an utterly false assumption. Rather, the Republican Party and its members should embrace the opportunity that lies before us and welcome the Hispanics into the political party and its leadership. Not only is the Hispanic vote within the GOP’s grasp, but due to decades of neglect and abuse by the Democrat Party there growing numbers of Hispanics that are looking for a new political home just as I was back in 1980. Let me share with you a good example of what I am talking about. I received an email on my Facebook account a couple of weeks ago from a local Hispanic Democrat. I will refer to him as Mike. In his email Mike wrote this message:
“You know Raul I have deeply considered joining the Republican Party. As you know already, being self-employed helps individuals stray away from the Democratic Party since we are faulted with for our success when it comes to taxes. I can honestly say I have kept a good eye on how you have been treated by your fellow Republican peers when it comes to redistricting…. The Democratic Party has been hurtful and the Republican Party just leaves us out to dry, at least the ones in Texas. You have no idea how many times I think about pouring money into establishing a conservative Latino party. Maybe then our people will not be left out to dr…… I apologize if I sound disrespectful, but this is the way I feel…. Good Luck with everything.”
I believe that Mike represents millions of Hispanics in Texas today. They are looking for a political home. It’s very clear to see that the party that demonstrates progress and inclusion with Hispanics will reap the political benefits that come with them.
The Hispanic vote is not a vote the Republicans can afford to discard or ignore. The Latinos will find a home. The only question is will it be with the Republican Party or will they by default revert back to the Democrat Party?
Next week we will continue with 3rd installment of our thoughts of “Why Republicans and Hispanics Need Each Other.”
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