Michael Gerson, President Bush’s former speechwriter nails it today in the WaPo. FIrst on the future of the GOP:
Given current demographic realities, Republicans cannot rely on their white base alone. If a Republican presidential candidate doesn’t get about 40 percent of the Latino vote nationwide, he or she doesn’t stand much of a chance on an electoral map where Florida and the Southwest figure prominently. A nativist party will cease to be a national party.
Breaking 40 percent is possible for Republicans. President Bush did it in 2004. Republican momentum among Hispanic voters has been strong in the past decade — until Rep. Tom Tancredo and his allies began their conflict with the fastest-growing segment of the electorate.
Conceding Latinos to the Democrats in perpetuity is a stunning failure of political confidence. If the Republican Party cannot find ways to appeal to natural entrepreneurs, with strong family values, who are focused on education and social mobility, then the GOP is already dead.
In some ways, the most important part, for me was this:
For Rodriguez and others, religion adds an element beyond politics and culture to the immigration debate. The Christian faith teaches that our common humanity is more important than our nationality. That all of us, ultimately, are strangers in this world and brothers to the bone; and all in need of amnesty. This belief does not dictate certain policies in a piece of legislation, but it does forbid rage and national chauvinism. And this is worth a reminder as well.
I agree with every word of this. I would point out that faith in America is the same. This is not a country of people born here. This is a country of people who came here and chose to be here. That’s what makes us special. The nativists and restrictionists are not keeping America pure. They are debasing it.