As we come out of the Mid-Term Elections of 2010, one thing is absolutely crystal clear: Republicans think Latino voters are stupid . . . really stupid.
In state after state Republicans are running ads featuring Latino-looking figures going under, over and around fences which are or are meant to depict our Southern border. Other Republican ads make false and misleading claims about the dangers of illegal immigrants to America. We are urged to be afraid, very afraid of the Republicans’ opponents. Such appeals have even been used by Republican Senate candidate Roy Blunt in Missouri, even though Missouri was a “border state” only during the Civil War. I’ll collected quite a few links illustrating this nonsense:
Republican US Senate nominee Sharon Angle even used pictures of Mexican nationals in Mexico to try to make her point, and she used the images without the permission of the photographer.
Republican jingoism and anti-immigrant distortions have been around for a long time, but now we have another far more sinister effort by Republicans to use immigration and immigrant status as a political tool. A recently minted organization calling itself “Latinos for Reform” sought to air TV ads to urge Latinos not to vote in the Mid Term elections.
In Nevada, some 25% of voters are Latinos. The Tea Party, Republicans and their supporters claim that because of Republican obstructionism, which requires 60 votes to pass any bill, a comprehensive immigration bill is good reason to punish Democrats in 2010. The man who put this effort together formerly worked for the Republican National Committee and his treasurer is a Republican lobbyist. The Post Office Box of “Latinos for Reform” is the same as that of the group that gave us the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” in 2004.
These efforts by Republicans and their Tea Party supporters may have borne fruit in the 2010 elections but, with some one third of the US population projected to be of Hispanic descent by the end of the century, such short-sighted efforts will only serve to alienate the Hispanic voters and encourage their voting patterns to tend toward those of the African-American community, which approach 90% Democratic support. Republicans may politically profit by their xenophobic racism, but in the long run they will likely only do themselves extreme long-lasting damage among Latino voters.