Matt Lewis

How to lose the Hispanic vote forever (Hint: concede it now)

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor

A recent theory suggests Republicans should just “double down” on working class white voters. Forcing a binary choice between whites and Hispanics is, in my estimation, a false choice. But that doesn’t mean Republicans won’t make them mutually exclusive.

If the GOP consciously concedes the Hispanic vote to the degree they have conceded the African-American vote (a move they seem committed to replicating), sooner or later (and admittedly, it could take years), the math won’t add up.

Writing-off a constituency isn’t good for anybody, including the written-off constituency. But what bothers me most about the notion that more Hispanics will automatically equate to more Democrats is what it implies. Assuming Hispanics are somehow “unwinnable” means either that, 1). conservative ideas aren’t compelling enough to compete in the market place of ideas, 2). conservative policies are actually only beneficial to whites, or 3.) Hispanics either don’t get it — or are simply predisposed to be liberal (and no amount of cajoling or persuasion can change that.)

These theories range from protectionist and defeatist — to infuriating and insulting.

But let’s assume the best motives here. The problem is that such pessimistic notions have a way of becoming self-fulfilling prophesies. In other words, the only way to guarantee Hispanics will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party is to treat them like they already are.