Viability. Dedication. Trust. Three of the biggest challenges my party faces in every election going forward with one very important group — Latino voters.
New U.S. Census figures for 2010 show that not only are Latinos the fastest-growing ethinic minority in the country, but they’re on the rise to become a minority-majority in various states. There are more Latinos in California than anywhere else the country, and with that power, comes the power to vote. And with that vote, comes great responsibility.
With increased voting power among Latinos, it’s determining across the country in today’s election cycles how candidates must campaign, how to win elections, who winds up being elected, and — the most important aspect of all this, in my opinion — how to govern.
But before we even get to that point, governing, we must first realize the biggest aspect of politics: politics itself. Getting elected. “Winning,” as Charlie Sheen would say. And in order for my Republican Party to be effective in those elections, we must first understand and comprehend the consequences of our actions. We aren’t winning. Locally, in San Diego — yes. Statewide — no. Nationally — it’s a generational problem waiting to happen, if it already hasn’t.
There is a group that was formed, Somos Republicans, by Arizona resident (and republican) DeeDee Garcia Blase that, I’m not only a huge supporter of, but I’m proud to be associated with. What makes them special? I believe their ability to help legitamitely — and, legally — solve the immigration debate once and for all, and help get our party on the right track with America’s Latino communities.
By supporting comprehensive immigration policy, such as the Utah Compromise (Utah H.B. 466) being carried by republican legislators in the Beehive State, and by working in Latino communities across the country to increase republican voter registration, provide voter education and support, Somos Republicans are on the front lines to put our party on the map — in places we haven’t been found yet.
One of their biggest projects is currently working to recall the President of the Arizona State Senate because of his constant fear-mongering legislation. Regardless if his legislation finds successful passage, the mere idea(s) that have been proposed is currently causing irreparable harm to our party brand amongst Latino voters.
Nevermind that, as a country, we’re facing a fiscal crisis unlike we’ve seen in decades, but the distraction this all causes is proving to be mere proof that — even in office – we’re failing to follow the three points I mentioned earlier: viability, dedication, and trust.
All politics is local, and we must be a viable party locally in order to succeed regionally, statewide, and nationally. In San Diego, that’s not an issue. Our strong local party has worked hard to provide quality candidates for the residents of America’s Finest City, and San Diego County. As a member of the local party Central Committee for the last 4 years, I’m proud to have played a small role in that successful, collective effort.
However, the rest of California and America is not like San Diego (although, we’d sure like it to be). In 2010, yes, we did win a majority of seats in the U.S. House and racked up some impressive wins elsewhere across the country. However, it was because we found ourselves able to come across as a viable alternative to President Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s democrats and hardcore liberal, out-of-control-government agenda. We didn’t win because voters felt the need to reward us, we won because the democrats proved, nationally, that they are a failure of leadership and governance. Politically, in short, we were a rebound fling after a bad breakup.
How do we stay viable? By indentifying, training, and promotiong strong candidates that adhere to our party’s founding principles. Perhaps candidates who are homegrown, or have a strong name in the community. Those who are respected and admired. Those who have the drive to develop a plan of governance, and ingrain themselves into the community and develop community relationships with all stakeholders involved.
So, now the question becomes: how can we build back our good graces? By being dedicated. Dedicated to our communities, dedicated to what we, as republicans, believe in, and dedicated to those we serve. We must be able to prove to those in Latino communities that we are dedicated to the offices, the jobs, and the public service that we seek.
The next question should be: how do we manage that? The answer should be: Trust. We, as republicans, have to build back our trust by laying the groundwork for the road ahead. And we, simply, cannot continue to build that trust amongst the voters — especially voters in minority communities – by using marginalizing tactics through scorn, hate, or vilification in policy just to appease a small minority of out-of-the-mainstream individuals.
Remember — and this is quite key — we’re the party of Abraham Lincoln. The President who freed the slaves, and helped lay the groundwork for American equality. We all should know that he was slain by a radical fanatic, a damn near “suicide stabber” if you will, Hell-bent on seeing a revival of Confederate principles. Needless to say, I seriously doubt President Lincoln would have ever proposed an SB 1070. He was, of course, more concerned with the collapse of our country and the very idea of the freedoms we share and embrace today.
Where do we go from here, then? How do we become a viable, dedicated, and trustworthy alternative to the democrats? We do it by being the party that we always have been: the party of fiscal responsibility, the party of supporting individual rights, liberty, and freedoms, the party of opportunity, and the party of encouraging those wanting the American Dream to shoot for the stars.
That’s just my opinion.