Monday, February 2, 2009

New CIS report claims Latino move to left part of a "Broader Electoral Movement"

I thought readers might find this CIS report interesting and informative. Here is a summary of the report which makes for much quicker reading if you're short on time. Also, see this angry rebuttal published at a site called America's Voice -- I'm so glad America has a voice, aren't you? It reminds me of the time the GOP sent out to "select" Republicans a questionaire concerning President Bush's "initiatives," in which those select few of us who received the questionaire were informed that we spoke for Republicans in our areas, so it was vitally important that we fill out and return the questionaire so that the voices of the masses might be heard through us. I was so excited to learn that I spoke for hundreds, maybe even thousands of Republicans in my area, and I was so certain that they'd be equally excited to know that I was speaking for them, and that the GOP selected me to be their voice without even consulting them about it, that I sent a nice letter to the GOP telling them how I really felt about it. But I digress...

I question some of the findings in the report, particularly the overarching claim, or conclusion, that the Latino movement to the left in the late election is part of a broader electoral movement to the left; a movement which includes white males among other conservative demographic groups.

With all due respect to Mr. Gimpel, I think he leaves out of his study a couple of important factors. First there is the reality that many Americans like myself abstained in the presidential election, albeit I'm not sure there's a way to measure that number of voters accurately. Second, there is the reality that John McCain was such a poor candidate in virtually every conceivable way; that in terms of appeal he is simply out of Obama's league. When the choice is between two liberals, and everybody knows it, so-called "moderates" are going to go with the leftier and the more attractive of the two candidates every single time.

But my biggest beef with the report is the conclusion drawn from the numbers that Latino voters simply do not care about immigration policy ... as part of a broader electoral attitude. I think that is just naive at best; as if to say that Latinos do not identify with their cultural and ethnic heritage, that when push comes to shove, so to speak, Latinos are culturally and ethnically neutral.

Anyway, here are the concluding paragraphs of the report:

In summary, the 2008 election has no clear implications for immigration policy making and for a very straightforward reason: Neither candidate campaigned on the issue, nor was it clear that their positions were appreciably different.

Over the long term, Republicans can expect to enlarge upon their voting margins among Latinos as Latinos become more prosperous and move into areas of existing Republican Party strength where they can develop ties to other GOP adherents. As it stands, what separates Republican-identifying Latinos from Democrats is primarily religion and income. Involvement in Evangelical church circles is clearly associated with Republican Party gains among Latinos, but promoting religious conversion seems like an unusual and possibly controversial way to go about building a base of party support.

As long as Latinos remain in lower income brackets, an outcome virtually assured by sustained high levels of unskilled immigration, the Democrats will continue to maintain their lopsided edge. American ethnic history has shown that the path to Republican Party identification is a slow and multi-generational one. The greater the education and skills deficit new immigrants arrive with, the longer this political migration process will take.

I'm interested in your take.


I decided to read a bit more at the site presumptuously named "America's Voice," and I ran across this item which is apparently a speech given on August 21, 2008, to the Police Foundation of the city of Phoenix, by the city's Mayor, Phil Gordon who states in his opening remarks:

When this nation was founded, no one ever conceived or imagined that immigration enforcement was an issue that would ever fall to mayors and local police departments. But because of federal neglect -- here we are.

Now there's a politician totally disconnected from his nation's history. And I'm quite certain he isn't alone in this uninformed thinking. In fact, I'll bet he's in the majority among his peers.

Now, it's one thing to argue that the federal government ought to have exclusive authority in the realm of immigration standards and enforcement, but it is quite another to assert, dogmatically even, that no one ever conceived or imagined that local governments and law enforcement agencies would be tasked with enforcing immigration laws in their own backyards. This guy obviously doesn't know squat about the original U.S. Constitution. He obviously thinks that (if he's ever bothered to even read the phrase) the granting of hte power to create a "uniform rule of naturalization" to the national government is the same thing as sole and exclusive federal authority in the realm of immigration law and law enforcement. It is not.

What is worse is that the folks who presumptuously claim to represent "America's Voice" have this tripe posted at their website, as if there is anything factual about it. They don't know or understand the difference either. They have an agenda -- Comprehensive Immigration Reform -- and anything they perceive to be helpful in forwarding that agenda, any "authority" they can cite to push their agenda through, they will.

This is a good example of one of the biggest problems we face in this country. What our Mayor is complaining about is the fact that his state legislature created immigration legislation which, naturally, put it on local authorities to enforce. Just as is so common these days, our Mayor hasn't even given the law time to work; he hasn't even given anyone time to make the proper adjustments, which they will in time. Our Mayor expects instant results, and when they don't come, instantaneously, he screams and yells at the top of his lungs saying stupid things like "no one ever imagined local governments would be tasked with enforcing immigration laws." Then comes along a group presuming to speak for the American People and they publish that crap. It is the same thing that happened shortly after Oklahoma's immigration law went into effect. The first time someone suffered the God-awful inconvenience of having to provide a birth certificate as proof of citizenship for driver license revewal, due to their own neglect no less, people started screaming and hollering about how "unjust" this new law was. These same folks, incidentally, were staunch opponents of Oklahoma's law before it ever went into effect.