Hispanic Future

Texas is on a path towards a Hispanic majority, a fact that should make conservatives rejoice. The Republican Party, on the other hand, will have some rough times ahead if they don’t get their act together.

To the extent that the Republican Party has failed to connect with Hispanics, it isn’t because Hispanics are liberals but because too many establishment Republicans pander to a big-spending, liberal-Democrat stereotype that is false and destructive.

While wrong-headed to think of Hispanics as a monolithic voting bloc, polls, surveys and other evidence paint a policy picture very different than what liberals want to believe about the rising Texas majority.


US Sen. Ted Cruz
Let’s not forget that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz won his seat – in both the primary run-off and general election –not by pandering to a moderate/liberal stereotype but by speaking honestly to Texas’ culture of conservative convictions, values and principles. He won by stunningly convincing margins statewide, speaking to all Texans.

On fiscal and social issues, Hispanic Texans are strongly conservative. You see it reflected in how many elderly Hispanics are taken care of by their families, instead of placed in nursing homes. You find it in the number of small businesses created by Hispanic entrepreneurs.

In a scientific survey of likely voters conducted late last year by Wilson Perkins Research for TFR and the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute, Hispanics strongly prefer restrained government and greater liberty.

Talking to likely voters regardless of political persuasion, among Hispanics:

  • 88 percent believe lawmakers should practice “truth in budgeting”;
  • 71 percent believe the legislature should “protect the rainy day fund”;
  • 64 percent support stronger spending limits; and
  • 67 percent want to end tax subsidies to corporations.

Looking at Hispanic voter attitudes on education:

  • 71 percent want to increase the availability of online learning;
  • 59 percent want to increase the number of charter schools; and

When asked about tax relief, 70 percent of Hispanic voters polled say that cutting taxes on businesses is good for the economy. If those tax cuts were to lead to budget shortfalls, only 24 percent of Hispanic voters said other taxes should be raised.

Hispanics voters are solidly conservative in practical policy prescriptions. Yet when many pandering Republicans do “outreach” to Hispanics, they pitch hand-outs and big-government spending. Why? Because some of those Republicans are just big-government spenders, while others are moderates seeking votes assume the liberal fantasy about Hispanics is true.

Either way, those Republicans might gain accolades from Democrats and the media, but they leave conservative Texans – regardless of race and ethnicity – out in the cold.

(Any loud-mouths who adopt rhetoric hostile towards Hispanics – and they pop-up every so often, usually after believing the liberal caricature – quickly find out the GOP of 2013 isn’t as welcoming to them as the Democrats of the 1950s.)

The rising Hispanic majority is clearly seeking sincere, optimistic conservatives. Unfortunately, they feel stuck as all of us do with the same choices: Democrats, or Republicans who talk like wannabe-Democrats.

No surprise that a majority of Hispanics just don’t participate in the political system. They, like all conservatives, are yearning for better choices; conservative choices.

As a party, Republicans have the most to gain and lose in Texas. A strongly Hispanic future will be a bright one for the Lone Star State if Republicans can keep themselves from screwing it up.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael is president and CEO of Empower Texans, and its premier project, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capital Hill staffer, think tank vice president and an Eagle Scout, Sullivan is married with three children. He divides his time between the Metroplex, the rest of Texas, and Austin.

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