Monday, April 15, 2024

Comentarios from Maria: The broken bond between Republicans and Latinos


They finally threw in the towel. Last week, House Republicans abandoned their dangerous game with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding and passed a budget without any provisions blocking President Obama’s immigration measures. For now, our community can breathe a sigh of relief knowing this latest Republican persecution has ended – but for how long nobody knows.

Sadly, what last week confirmed to me and our community is that this was not an isolated incident. The indifference and ire of the GOP extremist base against our community continues.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, made the right decision to work with the Democrats and moderate members of his party to pass the DHS budget but even so, various ultraconservative members accused the Republican Leader of ceding to the demands of the Democrats. If those members consider the funding of a department as vital as DHS a defeat, they are more delusional than I thought. They have once again demonstrated that they live completely disconnected from reality.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the political and economic interests of the Republican Party do not include the interests of the majority of the nation, AND definitively do not include the interests of the wellbeing of the Latino community.

In particular, the relationship between the Latino community and the GOP has deteriorated in such a way that they have adopted a position wholly defiant against Latinos. Recently, Janet Murguía, the president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) reminded us during a speech that the aftereffects of the Republican recklessness are felt in our community now more than ever. “When it comes to Hispanics and their families, too many in the Republican Party simply don’t care. They don’t care about the human toll their inaction [on immigration reform] has on our community,” Murguía said.

There was a time in which it seemed that the GOP had finally reflected upon the damage that their antagonism had caused to our community, and the harm it had done to the party during recent presidential elections.

Some moderate members recognized that an anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric could not coexist with the political future of the party. But now, only two months after assuming control of the Congress, it is plainly obvious that the malice of the extreme voices in the GOP have taken possession – or rather, have hijacked – the path to moderation and progression. The truth is that the Republicans are not only against Latino interests in terms of immigration, but in all the issues that affect our lives, like climate change, health care and the economy.

As I listened to the speeches of the presumed Republican candidates for the presidency during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), it was clear that within the Republican “future,” there isn’t a clear perspective, but rather ongoing incoherence. There is a simple demographic reality in this country that every politician must face at some point in their career: without the Latino vote, there isn’t a path to the White House. That is to say, the damage is already done, and at this point in time, there isn’t a future for Republicans with Latinos. See you later, White House in 2016.

This piece originally appeared in Spanish in The Washington Hispanic.