The Hispanic Conservative The Hispanic Conservative on Wisconsin Politics and More! Wed, 24 May 2017 09:46:16 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Republican Reformation must happen As we pass Reformation Sunday, which marks the 499th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, we reflect on men like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox and others who put their very lives on the line to restore the Gospel in an era when it was being watered down and corrupted. The Reformers believed that the Roman Catholic Church had strayed far from the basic Christian principles laid out in the Scriptures and they set out to unlock the Bible for the common man so that they could seize the Gospel for themselves.

The concept of reformation is especially relevant in our political climate today. Both parties need reform, but being a Republican, I'll focus on the GOP.

The Catholic Church of the 16th century was corrupt, greedy and hungry for political power in the eyes of the Reformers. The Church had gradually drifted away from the Gospel. The corruption came to a head when a Catholic friar named Johann Tetzel was crassly hawking indulgences to fund the Pope’s new Basilica in Rome. Disgusted by this practice, a monk named Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses onto the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. The fire was lit.

Likewise, the Republican Party needs reform urgently. In our quest for political power we have slashed our conservative values up so badly, we aren't even recognizable as the Party of Lincoln. The anger, xenophobia, sexism, racism, etc. that was once merely tolerated in some quarters of our base and subtly pandered to is now blatant and undeniable in our standard bearer, Donald Trump. And that's just our conservative values, say nothing of our moral authority that has been all but destroyed by the many Evangelical leaders that have become Trump’s religious spin doctors for his many scandals. True conservatism is in a state of darkness, much like the Church in the Middle Ages. The writing is on the wall if we continue down this path. We will never win youth, women, black or Latino voters which means we will never win again. Conservatism is in darkness and on the edge of extinction.

But we can reform. The motto of the Protestant Reformation was “post tenebras lux,” which means “after darkness, light.” We need to get back to espousing the light that is true conservatism, not distorted in a way that only caters to a small, homogenous base, but opened up in a way that appeals to the great diversity of this country. While conservatism is enshrouded in darkness now, the likely election of Hillary Clinton and the possible loss of the Senate may serve as the catalyst for reform. Trump, like Tetzel, is selling us something false, something untethered to conservatism.

A few, like Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, have seen through Trump’s con. Sasse is seeking to reform the GOP, bringing us back to our conservative principles. When asked how he thinks conservatism ought to be in the 21st century, he said, “America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world because the US Constitution is the best political document that’s ever been written. Because it says something different than almost any people in any government has believed in human history. Most governments in the past said might makes right and the King has all the power and the people are dependent subjects. And the American founders said no. God gives us rights by nature and government is just our shared project to secure those rights. Government is not the author or source of our rights and you don’t make America great again by giving more power to one guy in Washington, DC. You make America great again by recovering a constitutional republic.”

People like Sen. Sasse could be modern day Reformers for the GOP, leading it out of the darkness into light. But like the Protestant Reformation in Europe, the Republican Reformation has to come from the grassroots, from everyday conservatives who demand a party with a future and reject the unrecognizable monstrosity that it has devolved into.

After Election Day, it's up to us. Are we ready to jettison Trumpism and move into the light? We’ll need a principled conservative resistance to much of Clinton’s liberal agenda. That's impossible with Trump and the so-called “alt-right.” Following them is following the path to destruction. We can reform. We must reform. Semper Reformanda!

]]> (Jordan Morales) General Mon, 31 Oct 2016 00:22:55 +0000
Republicans need to dump Trump donald-trump-vs-lindsey-graham-1024x536


This election cycle, there are three groups of Republicans. The first are the people who enthusiastically supported Trump from the beginning. Then there are the people who did not support Trump in the primary, but will support him now that he's the GOP nominee using the eroding justification that Clinton is worse. Lastly, there are those who have decided that Trump just asks too much of them. They believe Trump is a disaster for the GOP and is actually dangerous for the country, even at the risk of a liberal Supreme Court. They are Never Trump.

Most people can probably see by now that Trump is going to lose in a bad way come November. There's little use arguing it, he is incapable of going more than a few days without saying something totally ridiculous. FiveThirtyEight puts Trump's chances below 15%, with states like Georgia and Arizona (possibly even South Carolina) now in play for Clinton. For this, we can lay the blame squarely on his primary supporters. We hope that the hard lesson they are about to learn resonates so as not to be repeated. It's a loss that we Republicans need to be prepared to absorb. The Republicans have been diagnosed with terminal political cancer for 2016.

That being obvious, what's curious is the second group of Republicans with people such as Gov. Nikki Haley, who spends a lot of time disavowing the crazy things Trump says but quietly mutters that she is supporting him none the less. On Monday, Gov. Haley took some time to slap Trump for his sociopathic feud with a Gold Star family. She went on to say, "At the end of the day, I will continue to say that Trump is the better candidate of the two."

At what point, Gov. Haley, will Trump NOT be the better candidate of the two? Is there anything that Trump could do or say to make her, or any other Trump lukewarm-endorsers, withdraw their support? Given what Trump has already said throughout the course of his dumpster fire campaign, I think not.

The damage of a Trump nomination has been done, but now we need to contain it and prepare for post-November without Trump. Remember when I said that Republicans had been diagnosed with terminal political cancer for 2016? Well, continuing to offer support for Trump is like knowing you're going to die and then mocking God until you go! It's totally counterintuitive. If you already know you're going to die (politically in 2016), then you may want to prepare for what happens next.

What's next is the "rebrand." It was supposed to take place in 2012 after Romney lost, however this time around we need to be more resolute if we are going to have any future as a party. But I find it hard to fathom how rising stars such as Haley, Scott, Rubio and Ryan are going to be able to play a legitimate roll in that if they stand with Trump until the bitter end. Sticking with the political death analogy, you can have a conversion all the way up to death, but not after. After death is too late and so too is after Election Day. While the first group of Republicans is definitely responsible for our demise in 2016, the second group may be responsible for the GOP's eternal political death beyond.

But beyond that, Republicans ought to disavow Trump because of the Supreme Court! Yes, it was once the only cogent argument to support Trump. But with his chances evaporating, the ONLY check against a far-left Clinton Supreme Court will be if Republicans can hold on to the Senate. The latest polls show that Sen. Rubio's lead against his Democratic challenger has all but evaporated after Trump's political week from hell. Likewise, Sen. Toomey from Pennsylvania is also being pulled down by Trump. To defend against unacceptable Supreme Court nominees, Senators need to jettison Trump.

One politician in particular has had the gall to do the right thing: Sen. Lindsey Graham. Not only has he shown immense courage this election cycle, he has a history of lifting the heavy loads for the good of the party (even if the base doesn't realize it). Graham stuck his neck out to lead on the Gang of 8 bill that earned him a primary challenge for his Senate seat. Why? Because he knew it would be good for the party to lead on immigration reform, it's necessary to our electoral future. Unlike Kasich, Graham dropped out of the presidential race early because he knew it would be good for the Stop Trump effort. Graham even endorsed Ted Cruz, whom he personally loathes, because he knew that Cruz would at least give us a fighting chance. And now he stands nearly alone, asking his fellow politicians to stand with him in being Never Trump for the good of the party and the country. Will they convert?

Probably not. Sen. Graham, you were too good for our party - we weren't ready.

]]> (Jordan Morales) General Thu, 11 Aug 2016 21:13:15 +0000
A prescription for Trump and autopsy for Ted Last night was supposed to be a great night for Donald Trump. You had Scott Walker and Marco Rubio voicing their support, attempting to unify the party around the nominee. Later, they would have Ted Cruz speak, putting some salve on still fresh political wounds from the brutal primary, although no one expected an enthusiastic endorsement. After that, the popular Newt Gingrich would fire up the crowd by emphatically extolling his friend, Trump. The night would be capped by Paul Ryan introducing Mike Pence and Gov. Pence introducing himself to the nation. They had just effectively cleaned up the Melania Trump speech mess, and they could now launch the Trump/Pence campaign from a foundation of party unity. Or so they hoped.

When Ted Cruz got on the stage to speak, the party was on egg shells, hoping for an endorsement, but perhaps willing to settle for something a bit less if it struck the right tone. What they didn't expect, was that the Texas Senator would drop a bomb that night, using his prime time speaking slot to tell voters to “vote their conscience” and to not stay home but to vote up and down the ballot for constitutionalist conservatives. These words may seem innocuous, but they are obvious dog whistles to the “Never-Trump” faction of the GOP. He confirmed the message this morning at an event where he told people that he wasn't in the habit of endorsing people who offended his wife and father.

This “principled stand” is very curious coming from a man who was The Donald’s cheerleader in chief during the early days of the campaign. Indeed, Sen. Cruz even had a co-rally with Trump at one point last year. He regularly said that he liked Trump and considered him a friend while pivoting to attack one of the other actual conservatives he was competing against. Interestingly, Cruz found his “principles” right before the Iowa caucuses and decided to sink his dagger into Trump’s back, going on a tear against his one time friend. Later, we would find out that there was truly nothing he wouldn't do to win when we found out he had betrayed perhaps the most beloved candidate in the race, Dr. Ben Carson. Gone was TrusTed and born was Lyin’ Ted.

Cruz lived up to that moniker last night. At one of the primary debates, the moderator asked him if he would STILL uphold his pledge to support Donald Trump. Cruz answered in the affirmative. He said that he would because he gave his word. As you can imagine, stock in Cruz's word isn't doing so well right now. Once again he made a political calculation under the guise of being principled. He calculated that by ostentatiously denying Trump an endorsement on national television, he would be seen as the principled warrior once again. This strategy was undermined by his past high praise for Trump and the violation of his pledge – it totally backfired. He was jeered off stage, and he was excoriated by the Fox News panel directly afterward for his hypocrisy.

So now we’re at the last day of the Republican Convention and Team Trump desperately needs to come out of tonight driving the narrative. On day one it was the Never-Trump floor “fight.” On day two it was Melania’s plagiarized speech and the botched damage control. Day three was Cruz's betrayal, taking the wind out of Gov. Pence’s sails. Today needs to be a win for Trump.

So what can he do? First, we've had three days of pure red meat with the speeches. While it is a Republican Convention, it's also free prime time attention that every news network is covering. It would be a totally wasted opportunity to do nothing but cheaply appeal to the base. We know that Trump needs to expand the tent if he's going to have a prayer of winning and he should start that process in earnest tonight. Trump ought to be optimistic and inspirational, not angry and boorish. He should appear presidential and make his case to the American people at large, not just his Republican base. Maybe he should comment on black community-police relations beyond just saying “blue lives matter.” Maybe he should go into some detail on his plan to take down ISIS. Maybe he should include a pitch for his tax plan. Maybe he should make the case to Latino voters, beyond just saying “I love the Hispanics.” Maybe he should do all these things, but one thing is for sure, he can't waste this opportunity. However if he does, at least the convention served to hopefully end Cruz's prospects for 2020. Maybe even sooner. Word is he may face a primary challenger now for his Senate seat after his Judas moment.

]]> (Jordan Morales) General Thu, 21 Jul 2016 22:37:53 +0000
Police and Black Community must repair relationship Last week, I had a thought that I wanted to write a piece on the tension that exists between the black community and police departments around the nation. As horrible as it sounds, I thought to myself the next time there is an officer involved shooting of a black man, I'll write it. They're becoming as dependable in America as tax day. Every few months or sometimes even days, there is news of another African American dying at the hands of police and just as predictable as the shooting itself, protesters take to the streets demanding that the violence against their community stops. They say they feel discriminated against. They feel afraid. They feel hunted.

But if you ask most police officers, they'll tell you it's the other way around. Politicians and ambitious prosecutors looking to make a name for themselves want to serve up officers’ heads on a stick as they see it. They have a tough job where they put their lives on the line to protect their community. Situations and encounters develop in seconds and near-instant decisions need to be made, later to be torn apart by the peanut gallery that has the privilege to watch video footage in slow-motion, from different angles. Some say they are afraid to do their jobs because they don't want to be the next vilified police officer that is accused of murder.

The black community has a well-founded historical distrust of the police in general. The civil rights era molded how many from that generation view police. State troopers blocking black kids from going into white schools, the beat downs, killings, unleashing police dogs on peaceful civil rights protesters and the list goes on. That deep seeded distrust of law enforcement from those who experienced or witnessed that doesn't just go away and it's very likely that it gets passed down to their children. Other high profile abuses such as the Rodney King beating just cement those feelings of distrust and fear.

It's worthwhile to consider both perspectives. According to Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern policing, law enforcement is a relationship between the public and the police. Let's use a husband and wife relationship analogy. If a husband cheated on his wife, the husband needs to work vigorously to repair the relationship so that his wife can trust him again. Even if he's been faithful for 5 years but he hasn't done anything to proactively repair the trust, then there's a major problem with that relationship. For a relationship to work properly, both parties need to be on the same page. Whether the perceptions are real or imagined, both sides need to work to change those perceptions so that trust is reestablished.

And so it is with police. As public servants, it is incumbent on them to proactively work with the black community they serve to repair their relationship. Likewise, It is incumbent on the black community to be receptive to outreach and partnerships from police departments that are trying to do the right thing. Peel says in his Principles of Law Enforcement, “The police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the intent of the community welfare.”

Repairing this relationship isn't only the right thing to do, it helps make officers’ jobs easier and prevents violence. Peel says, “The police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain public respect. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes, proportionately, to the necessity for the use of physical force and compulsion in achieving police objectives.”

There’s no doubt that work needs to be done. The relationship needs to be repaired or else the bad blood will fester. Peel’s fifth principle: “The police seek and preserve public favor by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to the law... by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of society without regard to their race or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humor; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.” Let's consider the black community’s perspective of their relationship with police, and let's fix it.

Note: The night this piece was published, 5 police officers in Dallas, TX in apparent retaliation for the officer involved shootings earlier in the week, were killed. Dallas PD is among the best community policing organizations in the country. They set the trend for deescalation techniques and have the fewest officer involved shootings when compared with other cities of that size. Let's remember the fallen officers who were there facilitating a peaceful protest.

]]> (Jordan Morales) General Fri, 08 Jul 2016 04:07:46 +0000
Clintons mock us with their contempt for the law Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey audaciously announced to the American people that Hillary Clinton would face no criminal charges for her private, unsecured email server which trafficked in “very sensitive, highly classified information.” He said that Clinton and her staff had been “extremely careless” in their handling of that information. Furthermore, he said that “it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s email account." Alas, Director Comey said there is no “clear evidence” that there was criminal intent and therefore, the former Secretary of State is not culpable for the laws that she broke.

Clinton’s email scandal came to a head when former President Bill Clinton met privately with Attorney General Loretta Lynch (Director Comey’s boss) on board a private plane in Phoenix, AZ. Under fire, Lynch acknowledged that it was unseemly for the nation’s top cop to be yucking it up with the husband of the target of her Justice Department’s investigation. Interestingly, shortly after the airplane rendezvous, a story dropped in the New York Times saying that Clinton would consider retaining Ms. Lynch as Attorney General. If that isn't a thinly veiled quid pro quo, then I don't know what is.

And so, here we are. Comey not only exonerates Clinton of her crimes, but also reassures us that if we were to make such an error, we would face consequences: “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”

There you have it. They are scarcely even trying to conceal their arrogance. The rules do not apply to the Clintons. They know it and they want us to know it also. Hillary Clinton doesn't really care that she put the country’s secrets at risk. Bill Clinton doesn't really care that him boarding Lynch’s jet in the heat of the investigation was inappropriate. That doesn't matter to them. They just need to grease the right wheels to get the outcome they desire. They are quite above being judged by the likes of you or I.

Bill privately talks to Lynch about “grandkids” and “golf” for a half hour on July 1. Hillary is interviewed by the FBI on July 2 (which probably consisted of her pleading the fifth). The New York Times piece is published on July 3 quoting “anonymous sources” that Clinton may keep Lynch on as Attorney General. Break for barbecue on the 4th of July. Finally, Comey puts on this press conference theater on July 5, complete with a minor tongue lashing to feign the appearance of impartiality and objectivity. With that, the fix is in.

What could Comey do? The husband of his suspect was chummy with his boss (the Attorney General) and his suspect herself was flying on Air Force One that very day with his boss’s boss (the President) on their way to a campaign stop. You try going after the “friend” of both the Attorney General and the President of the United States. Oh, and by the way, you work for both of them. That's some serious pressure.

It's hard to imagine that Secretary Clinton will likely be the next President of the United States. Her total disregard for the law for her personal gain shows an unbridled ambition that is truly dangerous to the country. She is undoubtedly corrupt, that's basically universally accepted as fact. “Liar” is the word most often attributed to her in polls and her trustworthy ratings are pitifully low. It would be nice to be able to enthusiastically endorse a candidate that was at least somewhat more acceptable for the highest office in the land. Unfortunately, the alternative to Hillary Clinton is Donald Trump, who just yesterday thought it a good idea to praise Saddam Hussein for his strong handling of “terrorists.” 2020 can't come quick enough.

]]> (Jordan Morales) General Wed, 06 Jul 2016 04:16:06 +0000
These are some easy changes to gun laws Just one year after the Charleston massacre, another extremist struck an American city, this time killing 49 people in Orlando. Predictably, the left is calling for gun control and the right is fighting it. New gun regulations are not something to take lightly, we have the Second Amendment which guarantees our right to bear arms. However, there are certain measures that we can take that may make it more difficult for bad guys to get guns.

With that in mind I believe it's prudent that any proposed gun control measures meet a high standard for validity. Here are two proposals that I think meet that standard, and both are somewhat inspired by the two aforementioned shootings.

The first is to close the so-called Charleston Loophole. When we go to buy a firearm, the dealer makes a phone call to a section of the FBI that conducts a background check. For most of us, the background check is almost instant and we are able to proceed with our purchase. However for 10 percent of buyers, the check is delayed because there is something in their background that requires further review. The FBI then has three days to investigate and if by then they do not deny the request, the buyer may purchase the gun by default. This is the Charleston Loophole, so named because it is how Dylan Roof was able to purchase his gun.

South Carolina State Sen. Marlon Kimpson has been advocating for a bill that would extend the waiting period for delayed background checks from three days to 28 days, giving the FBI more time to investigate. This would affect a very small percentage of would-be buyers and for good reason, there is a high probability that they are prohibited purchasers. For these very few cases, it makes sense to give the FBI more time to make sure that these individuals are someone who is allowed to own a gun, that they aren't felons, drug addicts, spouse abusers or mentally ill.

The second proposal is to delay people who are on the No Fly List and Terrorist Watch List from purchasing a firearm. It would be an emergency delay for an extraordinary circumstance in the interest of national security. If a person who is on either of these lists tries to purchase a gun, they would be delayed for 30 days, alerting the FBI that there is an urgency for it to investigate the suspected terrorist. If after 30 days the FBI needs more time, it would be able to get an extension of up to 60 days from a judge. In total, someone who is a suspected terrorist would be delayed no more than 90 days without prosecution.

Democrats in Washington have proposed a total ban on guns for people on these lists and Republicans' answer is that it is taking away someone's Second Amendment rights without due process. Both sides have a point, so let's split the difference. By implementing an emergency delay rather than a total ban, you give the FBI time to investigate someone it believes to be a terrorist and perhaps find a piece of the puzzle it needs (knowing that he or she is attempting to buy a firearm) in order to thwart an attack. All this while ultimately maintaining the person's Second Amendment rights. Someone who is innocent won't have to go through all the red tape in order to restore their rights, they will simply need to wait 30 days (at most 90 days) and they will be able to purchase their firearm by default.

It's true that neither of these shootings would have been prevented by either of these proposals and the blame for that lays squarely on the FBI. In Charleston, the FBI failed to complete Dylan Roof's background check in an accurate and timely manner, allowing a prohibited purchaser to obtain a firearm. In Orlando, Omar Mateen was being investigated by the FBI that later deemed him to be no threat. The FBI needs to learn from these errors and reform their processes in order to prevent similar attacks going forward. But it's conceivable that Roof could have carried out his murder the day after he walked away with his gun. It's also conceivable that Mateen could have gone on his rampage while he was still being investigated by the FBI. This only affects the people who are the highest risk to us. Let's get behind these reforms and demand that the FBI do its part.

]]> (Jordan Morales) General Thu, 23 Jun 2016 14:35:09 +0000
S.C. Leaders Should Follow Graham's Lead on Trump Every four years, Republicans have to swallow their pride and throw their support behind the nominee in order to face our common enemy —Democrats. Some candidates demand more out of us than others. One can only imagine the immense humility it took for Sen. Lindsey Graham to endorse Ted Cruz. But he knew it was for the greater good. That said, no mountain has ever been taller to climb for many principled Republicans than Donald Trump.

South Carolina’s leaders have fallen behind Trump, except for Sen. Graham. It’s significant that Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy have said that they will back him, because to many, they represent a fresh face for conservatism, reform-minded leaders who can sell the conservative idea. We can expect to be able to defend their actions without compromising our basic moral code.

But their support of Trump is completely indefensible. Admittedly, the prospect of a Clinton administration and a liberal Supreme Court can give the staunchest of Never Trump champions second thoughts. But we can rely on Mr. Trump to reinforce our resolve when he does things like suggest that a judge can’t be impartial because he is of Mexican descent.

Sen. Graham said of the judge comments: “If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it. There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”

Those who continue to support Trump will have to give an account for his comments when the Trump flame burns out.

Our leaders seem to be slaves to party unity at all costs. But they ought to consider Sen. Graham’s advice and withdraw their support for Trump. They should reject the poisonous tenor of his campaign and call him what he is: a narcissistic, authoritarian populist who preys on people’s anger and anxieties. That would do more for the GOP than a desperate rally around Trump. I doubt politicians will admit a mistake, but dum spiro spero.

]]> (Jordan Morales) General Sun, 19 Jun 2016 21:37:46 +0000
Disliked by Latinos, Trump Can't Win In December 2012, after Mitt Romney’s loss to President Obama, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus commissioned an autopsy report (known as the Growth and Opportunity Project) of the 2012 election cycle. Republicans wanted to know what had gone awry and how they could start winning presidential elections in the future.

The report was a road map to victory. It treated messaging and demographic partners among other things. But one of the biggest takeaways was that the Republican Party had deficient support from the Hispanic community and that outreach needed major improvement. It said that the GOP needed to enhance its messaging, that a welcoming tone was going to be crucial to repair the relationship with people we had needlessly offended. Specifically, it said Republicans “must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.”

Three years after the report was commissioned, I wrote a column urging South Carolinians to vote for someone capable of taking 40% of the Latino vote, the amount necessary for us to win. I warned that by 2050, nearly a third of the American electorate will be Hispanic and that we had to save our sinking ship this cycle. Unfortunately, a plurality of voters in this state doubled down on the failed strategies of yesteryear, nominating the most unsettling candidate to the Hispanic community and thereby ensuring defeat.

Donald Trump, whose maiden speech contained the famous line, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume are good people," boasts a 75-80% unfavorable rating among Hispanics with only 21% saying they would vote for him. That’s substantially less than the 27% that Mitt Romney received in 2012, and we know how that turned out. Trump rejects all of the recommendations in the autopsy report, and the consequences are obvious.

The data is self-evident, but perhaps most striking is that Trump seems to subconsciously acknowledge that he has no appeal to Hispanics. Earlier this month, Trump declared that the judge presiding over the Trump University fraud case, Gonzalo Curiel, is incapable of being impartial because he is of Mexican heritage. The reason? Because “I’m building a wall” and therefore he has “an inherent conflict of interest.” While making what has been disavowed as a racist statement by GOP leaders who are also curiously endorsing him, Trump admits that Latinos will not have a favorable view of him because of his rhetoric. If not outright conceding the point, he at least does not want to put his money on it.

Long before that, Trump rebuked Jeb Bush for speaking in Spanish to Latino media outlets, calling on him to instead use English. Here again, Trump showcases his total lack of consideration for the Hispanic community. Indeed, he seems to believe that if a voter cannot speak English, or perhaps if they primarily use Spanish media, then we really shouldn’t even bother. He tacitly admits that his campaign has nothing to offer them, and therefore outreach is futile. One thing’s for sure, the Democrats will be hyperactive in the Spanish media markets, ground that Trump has already surrendered.

But Trump claims to be confident that he will win the Hispanic vote. He's begun his version of outreach by tweeting a picture of him eating a taco bowl with the caption “I love Hispanics!" Wonderful. However, when asked how he'll win the Latino vote he says, "I'll win the Latino vote because I'll create jobs." Pretty simple. Unfortunately for him, the autopsy report studied that theory and found after speaking with over 2,000 Hispanics that “If Hispanic Americans hear [perceive] that the GOP doesn’t want them in the U.S., they won’t pay attention to our next sentence. It doesn’t matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies… our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.”

Trump isn’t the only one who has abandoned this report. Republican leadership has effectively discarded it by endorsing him, ignoring the lessons Romney taught us through failure. Now, they’re urging us to support him. They’re trying to sell us tickets to board the Titanic. But I'm not buying it. I’ve seen the movie. Perhaps in 2020 we will finally learn our lesson.

]]> (Jordan Morales) General Sat, 18 Jun 2016 04:32:56 +0000
Wisconsin could be the firewall against Donald Trump Republican front-runner Donald Trump had a rough go at it last week in the Badger State. It began with a series of local talk radio interviews, generally considered friendly terrain for Trump, but quickly turned out to be . . . well, not so friendly.

In just three interviews, Trump was forced to defend the way he talked about women, his inability to be a unifying force in the party, and the lack of detail he devotes to any particular topic in his platform. Trump learned that Wisconsin's talk radio doesn't take its cue from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who seem more attracted to the flare of populism than to the rigors of conservatism.

As noted by a number of publications, Wisconsin's electorate is different because they've been battle-tested unlike any state in the union. Kimberly Strassel, in her column for the Wall Street Journal, put it this way:

“Wisconsin has been in continuous political warfare for six years. Over that time, Republicans lived through Gov. Scott Walker ’s epic battle for his Act 10 public-sector bargaining reform; judicial races; a Senate recall effort; a gubernatorial recall effort; a political assault in a vicious John Doe probe; another election cycle; campaign-finance reform; an overhaul of the state’s ethics body; a right-to-work law; and prevailing-wage reform . . . the result is a conservative electorate that is highly informed, highly energized and highly involved. The fights so far have given voters an acute appreciation of the conservative principles at stake, and a pride in defeating union and liberal priorities. They have radar sensitive to “fake” Republicans, and many aren’t keen on what they are hearing from Mr. Trump.”

The one thing warfare tends to do is unite factions, otherwise divergent, into broader coalitions. Intra-party cannibalism is not really our style. We prefer optimism to fear, civility to hostility, reform to bluster, and most importantly, we prefer conservatism to populism.

Today, Wisconsin has an opportunity to be the last line of defense, a firewall if you will, to the systemic threat of a Trump nomination. Losing most of Wisconsin’s 42 delegates would make the 1,237-delegate hurdle for Trump a very steep one indeed. It would make a win in Pennsylvania or New Jersey for instance, absolutely necessary to keep his bid for the nomination alive. Conversely, if Trump were to win Wisconsin, the momentum he would gain heading to the east coast would be formidable.

Such is the importance and strength of the #NeverTrump movement. It’s not just built on the idea that a Trump nomination would set up Republicans for historic losses in Congress or even further down-ballot across the country, but could sufficiently damage the party’s ability to rebrand and rebuild beyond November.

Already, Wisconsin has played a pivotal role in unmasking a fraud. Perhaps it's time to send him packing.

What say you Wisconsin?

]]> (Aaron M. Rodriguez) Universal Health Care Tue, 05 Apr 2016 19:22:49 +0000
Obama won reelection because he promised gifts. Clearly, that gift was Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney’s remarks to donors that Obama won reelection because of “gifts” he promised to influential voting blocs is getting some play in recent days.  As the saying goes in conservative circles, you cannot out-pander a Democrat. Democrats can always give more (unless it comes from their own pockets).

Running a campaign as Santa-in-Chief has its advantages, but Romney shouldn’t be so quick to chalk up November’s loss to “gifts.” His response underscores the degree whereto his campaign had really missed the mark.

Obama’s gift of deferred action didn’t woo the Hispanic vote as Romney contends. Univision raked Obama over the coals for failing to reform immigration as he promised. Once you bounce that check, other checks become questionable.  Hispanic voters let Obama off the hook on November 6 because they couldn't stomach the alternative.

Romney was so set on proving his Republican purism, he spat upon any relations the GOP still had with Hispanic voters.  During the primary debates, he excoriated Texas Governor Rick Perry for supporting instate tuition for undocumented immigrants, a policy Romney described as a magnet for illegal immigration.

But Romney didn’t stop there. He promoted a self-deportation policy of making life so unappealing for undocumented immigrants that they would voluntarily choose to return to a way of life they had already risked life and limb to escape. That’s not quite the message of prosperity we can all get behind.

Making Obama’s reelection about gifts leaves one question unanswered: if Democrats are better at promising gifts and gifts win elections, then shouldn't Democrats win every election? Conservatives don’t believe in their heart of hearts that election victories are won by gifting, but by brokering a message of prosperity. The conservative message is timeless, but if the messenger can’t learn to get along . . .

When those on the right talk about catching illegals as “bagging and tagging,” or refer to those that come into the country illegally as an “illegal,” it presents an outreach problem. How would you like to be called an illegal because you were ticketed for speeding in a school zone? It was illegal, right? So, are you an illegal?

Regardless where you stand on the political correctness of terms, this terminology doesn’t jive with a good portion of the Hispanic community. Even those Hispanics not directly affected by illegal immigration (e.g., Cuban-Americans or Puerto Ricans), loathe the way Republicans have broached the topic of immigration.  Those paying attention to Florida would do well to note that 78% of Cuban-American voters supported George W. Bush in 2004 while just 47% voted for Romney. Losing 31% of Cuban-American voters in a swing state that carries twenty-nine electoral votes is no small problem for the GOP.

Wooing the Latino vote isn’t so much about gift promising as it is about building good relationships. Anyone skilled at relationships will say that exploring shared interests is a good starting point. No doubt, conservatives have much in common with the Hispanic community. Reagan famously once said that Latinos were Republicans, they just didn’t know it yet. The idea that Hispanics are a lost tribe that needs a GPS to find its way back home is not far from the truth. Unfortunately, conditions have become so unappealing for independent Latinos that they are self-deporting to the Democratic Party.

]]> (Aaron M. Rodriguez) General Fri, 16 Nov 2012 06:00:00 +0000